Developmental milestones record - 18 months

Alternative names 
Growth milestones for children - 18 months; Normal childhood growth milestones - 18 months; Childhood growth milestones - 18 months

This article describes the skills and growth markers relevant to 18 month-old children.

Physical and motor-skill markers:

  • Anterior fontanel (soft spot on the front of the head) should be closed  
  • Growth slows and appetite declines  
  • The child is physically able to control sphincter muscles, but the child may not be psychologically ready to use the toilet  
  • Able to run, but with a lack of coordination  
  • Falls frequently  
  • Able to jump in place  
  • Able to get onto chairs without assistance  
  • Walks up stairs with one hand held  
  • Can build a tower of 3 to 4 blocks  
  • Imitates scribbling  
  • Can turn the pages of a book two or three at a time

Sensory and cognitive markers:

  • Can say 10 or more words  
  • Identifies parts of the body  
  • Understands and able to identify through pointing common objects  
  • Frequently imitates  
  • Feeds self  
  • Able to take off some clothing items, such as gloves, shoes, and socks  
  • Begins to feel a sense of ownership identifying people and objects by saying “my”

Play recommendations:

  • Encourage and provide the necessary space for physical activity  
  • Provide safe replicas of adult tools and equipment for the child to play with  
  • Allow the child to help around the house and participate in the daily responsibilities of the family  
  • Encourage play that involves building and creativity  
  • Read to the child  
  • Control the type and quantity of television viewing  
  • Control the type and quantity of games played


Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Amalia K. Gagarina, M.S., R.D.

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