Normal Development: 18 Months Old

Each child is unique. While some behavior and growth milestones tend to happen at certain ages, a wide range for each age is normal. It is okay if your child reaches some milestones earlier and others later than the average. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, check with your healthcare provider. Here’s what you might see your child doing between the ages of 18 and 24 months.


  • Enjoys imitating parents.
  • May begin to show frustration when not understood.
  • May show strong attachment to a toy or blanket.
  • May resist bedtime, likes the same routine at bedtime.
  • Likes to show some independence (feeds self, undresses self).


  • May respond with “no” constantly.
  • Points at objects and looks at you to see if you are paying attention.
  • Looks where you point and then back at you.
  • Speaks from 3 to 50 words.
  • Wants to name everything.
  • May use a few two-word combinations.
  • Repeats familiar and unfamiliar sounds and gestures.


  • Starts to develop a sense of “me” and “mine.”
  • Responds to simple requests (“Bring me your book”).
  • Understands that something can exist even when hidden.
  • Can picture objects and events mentally.


  • Starts to eat with fork.
  • Uses spoon or cup without spilling.
  • Walks without falling.
  • Enjoys pushing and pulling toys while walking.
  • Runs awkwardly and falls a lot.
  • Walks backward a short distance.
Written by Robert Brayden, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-09-25
Last reviewed: 2013-09-18
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.
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