Developmental milestones record - 18 months

Skills and growth milestones of 18-month-old children describes the physical and mental development that is expected for this age.

Information

All children develop a little differently. If you are concerned about your child's development, talk to your child's health care provider.

PHYSICAL AND MOTOR SKILL MARKERS

The typical 18 month old:

  • Has a closed soft spot on the front of the head (anterior fontanel)
  • Is growing at a slower rate and has less of an appetite compared to months before
  • Is able to control the muscles used to urinate and have bowel movements (sphincter muscles), but may not be ready to use the toilet
  • Runs stiffly and falls often
  • Is able to get onto small chairs without help
  • Walks up stairs while holding on with one hand
  • Can build a tower of two to four blocks
  • Can use a spoon and cup with help to feed himself
  • Imitates scribbling
  • Can turn two or three pages of a book at a time

SENSORY AND COGNITIVE MARKERS

The typical 18 month old:

  • Shows affection
  • Has separation anxiety
  • Listens to a story or looks at pictures
  • Can say 10 or more words when asked
  • Kisses parents with lips puckered
  • Identifies one or more parts of the body
  • Understands and is able to point to and identify common objects
  • Often imitates
  • Is able to take off some clothing items, such as gloves, hats, and socks
  • Begins to feel a sense of ownership, identifying people and objects by saying "my"

PLAY RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Encourage and provide the necessary space for physical activity
  • Provide safe copies of adult tools and equipment for the child to play with
  • Allow the child to help around the house and participate in the family's daily responsibilities
  • Encourage play that involves building and creativity
  • Read to the child
  • Encourage play dates with children of the same age
  • Avoid television time before age 2
  • Play simple games together, such as puzzles and shape sorting
  • A transitional object may help separation anxiety

References

Feigelman S. The second year. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 9.

Review Date: 11/9/2012
Reviewed By: Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Hide
(web5)