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Developmental milestones record - 18 months

Definition

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

Alternative Names

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

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
  • 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

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 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"

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 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.

References

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

Review Date:11/20/2014
Reviewed By:Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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