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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

  • Begins to eat with fork.
  • Enjoys imitating parents.

Motor Skills

  • Walks proficiently.
  • 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

  • May begin to show frustration when not understood.
  • May show strong attachment to a toy or blanket.
  • May resist bedtime, prefers predictable pattern of bedtime events.
  • May respond with "no" constantly.
  • Likes to show some independence (feeds self, undresses self).
  • Begins to develop a self-concept.
  • Responds to simple requests ("Bring me your book").

Each child is unique. It is therefore difficult to describe exactly what should be expected at each stage of a child's development. While certain attitudes, behaviors, and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide spectrum of growth and behavior for each age is normal. These guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general progression through the developmental stages rather than as fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to attain some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

If you have any concerns related to your child's own pattern of development, check with your health care provider.

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, PhD, MPH and Robert Brayden, MD.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2006-10-05
Last reviewed: 2006-04-27
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.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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