To the eyes of a toddler, the world is a never-ending source of amazement and constant frustration. Your toddler is soaking up information about the world, making new connections and learning new things every day. Your baby’s world is constantly expanding as they are learning new skills all the time. Learning can be frustrating, and it’s not uncommon for toddlers to express frustration when their ambition develops faster than their skills. Just imagine living in an adult-sized world when you are less than 3 feet tall. As a parent, you can help your toddler by providing a supporting and encouraging environment and giving your child access to plenty of stimulation.

By 12-15 months, most toddlers can:

  • Say a few words, perhaps including “daddy,” and “mommy,” and a few other words.
  • Say “no!”
  • Wave bye-bye, either to people or objects (for reasons experts are still trying to figure out why, babies wave “bye-bye” a lot more often than they wave “hello!”).
  • Point to things to play with or look at.
  • Understand and respond to verbal commands.

By 12-15 months, some toddlers are trying to:

  • “Use” household objects and appliances (phones, utensils, remote controls, vacuum cleaners).
  • Take books down from shelves or out of piles, and leaf through them independently.
  • Communicate with you via gestures, when she sees that you can’t understand what she’s saying.

By 12-15 months, a few toddlers can:

  • Use five words.
  • Point to a limited number of objects, people, or pictures as you name them (i.e., “cat,” “dog,” “baby,” etc.).
  • Follow simple directions, including “Follow me!” or “Please give that to me.”
  • Shake head to indicate “no” or nod for “yes.”
  • Recognize and point to body parts, like “belly” and “head.”

Remember each toddler is different. It’s never productive to compare your toddler to others. Just try to provide a healthy environment and enjoy watching your toddler discover the world around him or her. Continue reading to and with your child. The benefits of reading are profound and linked to all manner of healthy cognitive development in the coming months and years.

More in milestones:


  • Your toddler should understand (if not comply with) the word “no.”
  • Most early toddlers know how to wave bye-bye and point to objects they want.
  • Some babies learn to talk faster than others, so don’t be alarmed if yours seems to lag behind.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important Milestones: Babies at 18 Months.
  2. National Institutes of Health. Developmental Milestone Records – 18 Months.
  3. Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. Developmental Milestones.
  4. Wisconsin Child Welfare System. Developmental Stages of Infants and Children.


  1. Wave bye-bye, either to people or objects (for reasons experts are still trying to figure out why, babies wave “bye-bye” a lot more often than they wave “hello!”).

    REALLY??????? IS this a joke? I must be beyond an expert if this question can not be answered by an expert and I can give you t he answer.

    PEOPLE DO NOT WAVE HELLO as MUCH AS THEY WAVE GOODBYE. when was the last time you waved hello? Me, I can’t remember the last time, but I waved goodbye to my family members as they left yesterday, as did my daughter…..hmmmmm…we didn’t wave hello…we waved goodbye… Why is my daughter waving goodbye but not hello?

    PLEASE THINK before posting the obvious.

    1. I cannot agree more! I am so lucky to get little glimpses into our reader’s lives – takes me right back to when my firstborn was the same age. Enjoy “Payta” as she learns about her world. It’s true what they say as this time will pass by quickly! Let us know how Bundoo can better serve you as a parent by continuing to comment.

  2. My almost 15-month-old son has been waving hello for a couple of months now. He has a different wave for hello and goodbye…he waves his whole arm when he says hello and does the fist squeeze for bye bye. He LOVES people, so I think that’s why he says hello so much. He does it mostly in public and with strangers, which is adorable, and people can’t help but stop and talk to him constantly!

    It also makes me feel good that he is doing all of the things on this list! 🙂 Proud Mommy moment!

  3. As the mother of a 13 month old this is definitely accurate! I laughed at the fact that they wave “goodbye” more than “hello” we can’t get her to wave hello at all, but she’s always excited to wave goodbye! I also noticed she picked up shaking her head and nodding by herself and thought it was pretty fascinating!

    1. Toddlers crack me up! I love seeing the quirky way they interpret their world. Some toddlers at this age also like to practice eye blinking. They will sit and open and close their eyes as they learn the difference in perspective. Too cute!

  4. My 13 month old understands that no means he is not suppose to be doing something… but does he comply? He just turns and smiles! (Its so hard to be mad at him with that cute little smile!)

    1. Sounds like you have the “enjoy watching your toddler discover the world” part down. 🙂


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