Your Toddler at 18 Months: Developmental Milestones


toddler activity

The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. After his first birthday, your toddler is learning to walk and be more independent.

According to the CDC, At one year of age, the typical toddler will be able to display the following skills:

Physical and motor skills

  • Triples the birth weight
  • Grows to a height of 50% over birth length
  • Has a head circumference equal to that of the chest
  • Has one to eight teeth
  • Pulls to stand
  • Walks with help or alone
  • Sits down without help
  • Bangs two blocks together
  • Flips many book pages at a time
  • Has a pincer grasp
  • Sleeps 8-10 hours at night and take one to two naps during the day

Sensory and cognitive development

  • Learns to eat independently
  • Follows a fast moving object
  • Can respond to sounds
  • Responds to his/her name
  • Understands several words
  • Can say mamma, papa, and at least one or two other words
  • Understands simple commands
  • Tries to imitate animal sounds
  • Connects names with objects
  • Points to objects with index finger
  • Waves bye bye
  • Starts developing attachment to a toy or object
  • Experiences separation anxiety and may cling to parents
  • Explores shortly alone in familiar settings
  • Understands that objects and people exist, even when he/she doesn’t see them (object constancy)

Toddler movements

The following milestones indicate what most toddlers should do by the end of 18 months. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

Social and Emotional

  • Likes to hand things to others as play
  • May have temper tantrums
  • May be afraid of strangers
  • Shows affection to familiar people
  • Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
  • May cling to caregivers in new situations
  • Points to show others something interesting
  • Explores alone but with parent close by


  • Says several single words
  • Says and shakes head “no”
  • Points to show someone what he wants

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
  • Points to get attention of others
  • Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed or dress them
  • Points to one body part
  • Scribbles on his own
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”

toddler activitiesMovement/Physical Development

  • Walks alone
  • May walk up steps and run
  • Pulls toys while walking
  • Can help undress himself
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Eats with a spoon

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  1. Doesn’t point to show things to others
  2. Can’t walk
  3. Doesn’t know what familiar things are for
  4. Doesn’t copy others
  5. Doesn’t gain new words
  6. Doesn’t have at least 6 words
  7. Doesn’t notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns
  8. Loses skills he once had

For developmental milestones for babies age 0 to 12 months, see What To Look For as Your Baby Grows.

For developmental milestones for toddlers age 18 to 24 months, see Toddler at Two Years.

Resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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