While it’s probably too early to think about the gifted program at your local elementary school, you’ll be amazed at the cognitive progress your baby may make between 16 and 19 months old. This is when toddlers pick up new words and learn to respond to simple commands. However, if your child doesn’t attain all these milestones, don’t panic. Some children develop faster than others, and there’s only a loose connection between cognitive milestones in toddlerhood and a child’s level of intelligence years down the road.
By 16-19 months, most toddlers can:
- Say at least a few separate, distinct words and have between 20-50 words overall
- Recite the names of familiar household objects (TV, chair, table, etc.)
- Follow simple commands like “come here,” “sit in your chair” or “don’t do that”
- Imitate you when you laugh, sneeze, or make a gesture
- Recognize themselves in mirrors, videos, and snapshots
By 16-19 months, some toddlers try to:
- Show an early interest in reading books on their own
- Sing the words, or at least the tunes, of familiar songs
- Search for lost objects
- Identify a few pictured items by pointing and naming
- Solve problems via trial and error (“This switch doesn’t turn the radio on, so which one does?”)
By 16-19 months, some toddlers can:
- Scribble with pencils or crayons
- String together simple, declarative sentences (“I want banana,” “I go to park,” etc.)
- Put on certain clothes, like shoes or pants, by themselves
- Ask “why” questions
More in milestones:
- 16-19 Months: Emotional Development
- 16-19 Months: Physical Development
- Why developmental milestones will make you crazy
- Most toddlers 16-19 months old can say a few simple words.
- At this age, toddlers can usually recognize (and sometimes name) multiple household objects.
- Your toddler may surprise you with “grown-up” flashes of insight and problem-solving skills.