Normal Development: 18 Months Old

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

18 month milestones


Daily Activities

  • Starts to eat with fork.
  • Uses spoon or cup without spilling.
  • 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

  • Looks where you point and then back at you.
  • Points at objects and looks at you to see if you are paying attention.
  • May begin to show frustration when not understood.
  • May show strong attachment to a toy or blanket.
  • May resist bedtime, likes the same routine at bedtime.
  • May respond with “no” constantly.
  • Likes to show some independence (feeds self, undresses self).
  • Starts to develop a self-concept.
  • Responds to simple requests (“Bring me your book”).

Each child is unique. Some behaviors and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, but a wide range of growth and behavior for each age is normal. It is 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.

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, PhD, MPH and Robert Brayden, MD.
Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-09-21
Last reviewed: 2011-09-20
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 Index