Eighteen Month Visit
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about his or her development. Check the milestones your child has reached by 18 months.
Socal / Emotional
- Likes to hand things to others as play
- May have temper tantrums
- May be afraid of strangers
- Shows affection to familiar people
- Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
- May cling to caregivers in new situations
- Explores alone but with parent close by
- Points to show others something interesting
Language / Communication
- Says several single words
- Says and shakes head “no”
- Points to show someone what he wants
Learning, Thinking, Problem-solving
- Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
- Points to get the attention of others
- Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed
- Points to one body part or scribbles on his own
- Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”
Movement / Physical Developement
- Walks alone
- May walk up steps and run
- Pulls toys while walking
- Can help undress herself
- Drinks from a cup
- Eats with a spoon
If you have concerns about the way your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves, or if your child:
- Is missing milestones
- Doesn’t point to show things to others
- Can’t walk or doesn’t know what familiar things are for
- Doesn’t copy others or doesn’t gain new words
- Doesn’t have at least 6 words
- Doesn’t notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns
- Loses skills he once had
You can help your child learn and grow. Talk, read, sing, and play together every day. Below are some activities to enjoy with your 18-month-old child!
What You Can Do For Your 18 Month Old
- Provide a safe, loving environment. It’s important to be consistent and predictable.
- Praise good behaviors more than you punish bad behaviors (use only very brief time outs).
- Describe their emotions. For example, say, “You are happy when we read this book.”
- Encourage pretend play.
- Encourage empathy.
- Read books and talk about the pictures using simple words.
- Copy your child’s words.
- Use words that describe feelings and emotions.
- Use simple, clear phrases.
- Ask simple questions.
- Provide toys that encourage pretend play; for example, dolls, play telephones, work bench, puppets.
- Hide things under blankets and pillows and encourage him to find them.
- Play with blocks, balls, puzzles, books, and toys that teach cause and effect and problem solving.
- Name pictures in books and body parts.
- Provide safe areas for your child to walk and move around in.
- Provide toys that she can push or pull safely.
- Provide balls for her to kick, roll, and throw.
- Encourage him to drink from his cup and use a spoon, no matter how messy.
- Blow bubbles and let your child pop them.