What to expect from your child at 18mths

18mth walks well carrying toy

This post continues on from my post ‘What to expect from your child at 15mths’. It is interesting to compare the progress that children make in such a short time.

Posture and large movements

  • Walks with feet only slightly apart, starts and stops safely. No longer needs to hold arms in extension to balance. Runs rather stiffly though seldom falls
  • Runs carefully, head held erect in mid-line  eyes fixed on ground 1-2 metres ahead but finds difficulty in negotiating obstacles
  • Pushes or pulls large toy boxes along the floor
  • Can carry large doll or teddy bear while walking
  • Enjoys climbing and will climb forwards into adult’s chair
  • Walks up stairs with helping hand and sometimes downstairs. Creeps backwards down stairs or occasionally bumps down few steps on bottom backing forward
  • Kneels upright on flat surface without support

18mth squats to pick up toy 18mth walks up and down stairs with help 18mth climbs into adult chair

Visual, perceptual and fine motor

  • Picks up small objects on sight with delicate pincer grasp. Recognises familiar people at a distance and points to distant interesting objects when outdoors.
  • Enjoys simple picture books, often recognising  and putting index finger on boldly coloured items on page. Turns several pages at a time.
  • Holds pencil in mid or upper shaft in whole hand in a pronated grip or with crude approximation of thumb and fingers. Spontaneous to and fro scribble and dots, using either hand alone or sometimes with pencils in both hands
  • Builds tower of three cubes after demonstration and sometimes spontaneously. Enjoys putting small objects in and out of containers and learning relative sizes of objects.
  • Beginning to show preference for using one hand

18mth builds tower of three blocksenjoys picture books

Speech, language and communication

  • Chatters continually to self during play, with conversational intonation and emotional inflections 
  • Listens and responds to communications addressed directly to self.  Uses between six and twenty recognisable words and understands many more
  • Echoes prominent or last word in short sentences addressed to self

18mth points to persons nose

Social behaviour and play

  • Explores environment energetically. No sense of danger
  • Treats dolls and teddies as babies e.g. hugging, feeding and putting them to bed
  • Remembers where objects belong
  • Less frequently casts objects aside in play or rejection
  • imitates everyday activities such as feeding a doll, reading a book and sweeping the floor
  • Exchanges toys both cooperatively  and in conflict with peers

18mth explores environment 18mth imitates everyday activities 18mth plays contendedly alone 18mth still dependent on familiar adult

Self-care and independence 

  •  Holds spoon and gets food safely to mouth, although may play with food. Holds cup with both hands and drinks without much spilling. Lifts cup alone but usually hands back to adult when finished
  • Assists with dressing and undressing, taking off shoes, socks and hat, but seldom able to replace
  • Beginning to give notice of urgent toilet needs by restlessness and vocalisation. Bowl control may be attained but very variable. May indicate wet or soiled nappy.
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