As your baby turns into a toddler, you’ll want to keep an eye out for certain milestones that let you know your baby’s development is moving along at the right pace (and to make sure you don’t miss anything!). These milestones are both physical and behavioural, serving as an important way to help gauge how your baby is developing, and also how well he or she is adjusting to life outside of the womb. If you notice any of these five key milestones in your baby’s growth into toddler have been missed, it may not necessarily be a problem, but it would be beneficial to speak with your doctor or paediatrician about what that might mean.
At 6 months, your baby is ready for solid foods. They’re able to sit up straight and no longer require a caregiver at every waking moment (although it may be hard to tear yourself away). Eating solids helps develop motor skills like chewing and swallowing, but it can take some time to master. Prepare for a few messy sittings at the dinner table!
At 9 months old, your baby should be able to turn his or her head in response to your face, and even gaze back at you for extended periods of time. This will seem like nothing, however, when they become proficient at changing their positions, either pushing themselves up to crawl, or pivoting to reach for something, like a toy. Early developers may even be starting to pull themselves to their feet with the aid of furniture.
Developmental milestones at 12 months include some of the first steps and words. By 12 months, babies typically have begun using two-word phrases such as ‘mama do’, or ‘dada go’. Most babies are taking their first independent steps at around 12 months, and they will develop more finer motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Finger foods can be self-administered, for example, as they get better at grasping things between their thumb and fingers.
At 15 months, your little one is becoming curious. They can identify and pick out some colours, will develop attachment to items like toys and blankets, and will continually improve their ability to talk, listen and respond.
At 18 months, your baby is officially in the realms of toddler-hood. They will be able to walk and use basic language. Moreover, they will demonstrate signs of independence, understanding what tools in the household are used for, and have more direction and purpose behind their actions.