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Normal Development: 18 Months Old

Here's what you might see your child doing between the ages of 18 and 24 months.

Daily Activities

  • Begins to eat with fork.
  • Enjoys imitating parents.

Motor Skills

  • Walks skillfully.
  • Enjoys pushing and pulling toys while walking.
  • Runs awkwardly and falls a lot.
  • Walks backward a short distance.

Cognitive Development (Thinking and Learning)

  • Understands that something can exist even when hidden.
  • Can picture objects and events mentally.

Language Development

  • Speaks from 3 to 50 words.
  • Wants to name everything.
  • May use a few two-word combinations.
  • Repeats familiar and unfamiliar sounds and gestures.

Emotional and Behavioral Development

  • May begin to show frustration when not understood.
  • May show strong attachment to a toy or blanket.
  • May resist bedtime, prefers predictable pattern of bedtime events.
  • May respond with "no" constantly.
  • Likes to show some independence (feeds self, undresses self).
  • Begins to develop a self-concept.
  • Responds to simple requests ("Bring me your book").

Each child is unique. It is difficult to describe exactly what should be expected at each stage of a child's development. While certain behaviors and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide range of growth and behavior for each age is normal. These guidelines show general progress through the developmental stages rather than fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to reach some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

If you have any concerns about your child's own pattern of development, check with your healthcare provider.