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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

  • 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

  • Points at objects and looks to see when others point to something.
  • 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.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-10-29
Last reviewed: 2009-09-21

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 health care professional.

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