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Developmental milestones record - 18 months

The typical 18-month-old child will demonstrate certain physical and mental skills. These skills are called developmental milestones.


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


The typical 18-month-old:

  • Has a closed soft spot on the front of the head
  • Is growing at a slower rate and has less of an appetite compared to the months before
  • Is able to control the muscles used to urinate and have bowel movements, 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 1 hand
  • Can build a tower of 2 to 4 blocks
  • Can use a spoon and cup with help to feed self
  • Imitates scribbling
  • Can turn 2 or 3 pages of a book at a time


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 1 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"


  • 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 and other screen time before age 2.
  • Play simple games together, such as puzzles and shape sorting.
  • Use a transitional object to help with separation anxiety.

Alternative Names

Growth milestones for children - 18 months; Normal childhood growth milestones - 18 months; Childhood growth milestones - 18 months


Feigelman S. The second year. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds.Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics

Update Date 11/20/2014

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