18 month old developmental milestones



By the time your baby is 18 months old, he or she should be able to do a variety of new things such as walking and use a spoon.

Jade Elliott spoke with Carrie Martinez, Utah Department of Health, to discuss the important milestones your child should reach by 18 months old and tools to help parents on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast.

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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

Language/Communication

  • 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 the attention of others
  • Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed
  • 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”

Movement/Physical Development

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

What do you do if your baby is not meeting these milestones?

Video Resources for 18 months:

Can parents get their baby on back on track on their own, or is this something they need a professional for?

Most of the time, children get the developmental skills they need when they are given opportunities to practice. Parents play a huge role in their child’s development, and often can help their child right away. For example, if your child’s screening showed a delay in language, you help your child right away, just by practicing this area of development.

However, sometimes your child may need professional intervention. In these situations, it’s best to work with your healthcare or childcare provider to get resources or referrals to professional agencies who are trained to help your child reach their developmental milestone needs.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


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