Your Child at 18 Months (1 ½ years)
What Most Children Do at this Age:
- 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
- Points to show others something interesting
- Explores alone but with parent close by
- Says several single words
- Says and shakes head “no”
- Points to show someone what he wants
Cognitive (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
- Scribbles on his own
- Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”
- Walks alone
- May walk up steps and run
- Pulls toys while walking
- Can help undress herself
- Drinks from a cup
- Eats with a spoon
The Milestone Child Development Chart is shown Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
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 his/her emotions. For example, say, “You are happy when we read this book.”
- Encourage pretend play.
- Encourage empathy. For example, when he/she sees a child who is sad, encourage him to hug or pat the other child.
- 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.
- Hide things under blankets and pillows and encourage him/her 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 toys that encourage pretend play; for example, dolls, play telephones.
- Provide safe areas for your child to walk and move around in.
- Provide toys that he/she can push or pull safely.
- Provide balls for him/her to kick, roll, and throw.
- Encourage him/her to drink from his/her cup and use a spoon, no matter how messy.
- Blow bubbles and let your child pop them.