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Milestones for an 18-Month-Old Child - Topic Overview

Social and emotional development

Most children by 18 months of age:

  • Do not show much of an interest in playing with other children. But they engage in "parallel play." This is when children play next to or along side each other but don't interact. Adults are their main focus for social growth.
  • Are very curious. They like to grab and move almost anything within reach.
  • Like to show off for parents and caregivers. They may become happy when they do something they are especially proud of and look to parents for a reaction.
  • Like to copy what other people do. For example, your child may like to imitate you and stretch his or her arms up high when you play "so big!" He or she may try to make the same faces you do and copy something you say by jabbering with a similar tone of voice.

Language development

Most children by 18 months of age:

  • Understand 10 times more than they are able to put into words.
  • Know the names of some people, body parts, and objects. They can often point to an object in a book when asked.
  • Use their own language, sometimes called jargon, that is a mix of made-up words and understandable words.
  • Follow two-step commands, such as "Go get your teddy bear, and bring it here."

Social and motor development

Most children by 18 months of age:

  • Stand from a crawling position without holding onto anything.
  • Walk by themselves.
  • Hold a cup by themselves.
  • Can coordinate hand movement between the fingers and the wrist. This allows your child to eat with a spoon (although at this age, it is guaranteed to be messy).
  • Like to press buttons, move handles, and turn knobs.
  • Can stack 4 blocks.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 19, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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