At eighteen months old a child is no longer a baby but a toddler. She has changed in so many ways.
1. Cognitive Development
Your child’s thinking and learning skills are blossoming.
Not only does she enjoy turning pages in a book, but she will also be able to point to familiar pictures in the book when you say the object’s name.
She will be able to remember where her toys are usually kept and will look for them.
Your child can follow simple one-step directions like, “can you give me the ball?”.
She can figure out how to work toys with movable doors, buttons or inclines.
2. Large and Small Muscle Development
Most children are walking by the time they are 18-months-old.
Your child may be walking very well, or she may still be a little wobbly need to hold on to your hand.
At this age, toddlers love to climb stairs but will need supervision especially when going down the stairs.
Toddlers like to push, pull, throw and are busy moving all the time.
Your child is probably showing less interest in sitting and concentrating on one thing. Because toddlers can reach all sorts of things and want to explore their world, be sure to place hot drinks or hot food well out your child’s reach.
It is important to look around the house from your child’s perspective and level to see what might be dangerous to her.
Young toddlers are now capable of much more precise hand and finger movements.
Your child now has improved hand-eye coordination.
Simple puzzles can challenge and delight a toddler and help develop eye-hand coordination.
Young toddlers may be able to stack 2 to 3 larger-sized blocks. Because she is now able to turn her wrists, your child can begin to use a spoon at this age.
3. Social and Emotional Development
(Baby crying) Many children at 18 months show more negativity because they’re frustrated.
What social skills does an 18-month-old child have?
Frustration comes when a child may not be able to do something.
A toddler is still limited in the way she can use your words and may have an outburst of emotion as one of the ways to communicate frustration.
When around other children toddlers often compete with other children for toys.
Toddlers need help learning self-control. It is important to remind yourself to remain calm, even though your toddler is not.
Toddlers still become anxious when separated from parents.
When your toddler is upset or frustrated, try comforting your child by hugging or distracting her.
If she pulls away from you try ignoring the behavior.
4. Language and Communication Development
(Baby talk) Toddlers are learning new words every day.
How many words should an 18-month-old be saying?
Most of the words your child likely uses are nouns to name people, pets and toys.
She can probably use at least eight to ten words you can understand, even if they’re mispronounced.
She may even put two words together to make first sentences like “go side” when she wants to go outside.
(Baby talk) At eighteen months your child may say “hi” or “bye bye” with some prompting. (Parent) “Say “bye-bye.” (Child) “bye-bye.” She also understands far more when you speak.
Toddlers begin to follow simple instructions such as “put the doll in the box.” By 18-months toddlers will ask for something by pointing for using a word.
Pointing helps the toddler direct another’s attention to an object or action. She will look at you when you are talking to her.
Toddlers communicate by showing frustration when they can’t have something they want.
She will echo words she hears you say.
Your toddler tries to tell you things using short sentences, or a word or two.
There are several things you can do to help your e18-month-olds grow and learn.
Some ways you can support your toddler’s development are to:
Help your child take a break when you see signs that she is getting frustrated or overwhelmed with an activity or what she’s doing.
Show that you appreciate your child’s affectionate gestures and tell your child, “That hug sure makes me feel better.”
Label or describe your own and others feelings by saying something like, “I’m mad because I bumped my toe, ouch.”
Expand your child’s words and phrases into sentences. When she says, “more milk,” you can say, “do you want more milk in your cup?”
Ask your child questions about the pictures and stories you read together.
Give your toddler a lot of room to move about and have safe, interesting things to explore.
Sometimes, toddlers aren’t developing as typically as expected.
These signs indicate that your toddler may not be developing as other 18-month-old children:
when she is not walking even when she is helped by holding on to another person’s hand.
18 month old not talking at least five words.
not pointing to show you things.
not showing interest in playing with her toys and exploring things around her.
not showing she knows her name when someone calls to her.