Children's Development Fifteen to Eighteen Months
While reading this information, please keep in mind that all children are unique. While the sequence of development is practically the same for all children (for example, most children learn to crawl before they learn to walk), each child's rate of development is different. There is a wide variation in normal development. Some children reach developmental milestones earlier than others. Some reach them later than others. Rarely does a delay in reaching a developmental milestone mean that there is a problem. In most cases, delays turn out to be normal. Remember that premature infants generally reach developmental milestones later than other infants of the same birth age. Parents with any questions or concerns about their children's development should contact their children's health care provider.
Highlights in Physical Development
- Hands/Grasp. By fifteen months, most children begin to use a spoon to feed themselves. Most will also be able to scribble on paper with a crayon when shown how.
- Crawling/Standing/Walking. At about fifteen months of age, most children are able to walk by themselves. As children get better at walking, they generally stop creeping and crawling. Young children will keep their feet wide apart when they’re walking. During the period from fifteen to eighteen months, most children learn how to raise themselves to a standing position without help and without using furniture to pull themselves up.
Highlights in Cognitive/Language Development
By fifteen months of age most children are able to say “thank you” or something similar. Most will be able to indicate their wants by using words, by pointing, and by using gestures. Fifteen-to-eighteen-month olds' vocabularies will be growing daily. Most children this age have a vocabulary of four to six words, including names.
Highlights in Social Development
During the period from fourteen to twenty-four months, negativism begins in many children. Many children this age will become possessive about their belongings, they will resist following directions, and the word “no” will become a favorite. Children this age will often start testing their wills against those of their parents. Although this is often a trying time for parents, negativism is a perfectly normal stage in development. Children are becoming aware that they are separate beings from their parents, and they simply want to test this new discovery in as many ways as possible. Most parents are relieved to know that negativism generally declines as children approach their second birthdays.
Reprinted with the permission of the Center for Effective Parenting. © 1998-2004 The Center for Effective Parenting. All Rights Reserved.
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