What Are The Milestones For 18 Months

Milestone Moments Matter18 Months

We continue to look at milestones the CDC has outlined for children. We looked at milestones for a one-year-old.  Let’s continue our trek through the various ages up to five years old. Today it’s all about 18 months. Due to the amount of information for each age designation, I am creating a separate post for each one.

This information comes from a little booklet that describes various milestones for kids from ages two months to five years old. It’s called ‘Milestone Moments: Learn The Early Signs. Act Early,” by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC).

My grand-nephew, Jaxon is developmentally delayed and autistic, and this little book has been insightful. I became familiar with this little book at a doctor’s appointment for Jaxon. Had I known about this little resource, maybe I would have caught Jaxon’s autism and delays much sooner. I share this with you because there may be others unaware of what the CDC defines as milestones for children. These milestones are things to watch for in your child and tips on how you can help your child learn and grow.

“Your Child By 18 Months – What most children do by this age.”

Social/Emotional Milestones

  • 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 Milestones

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

How you can help your child’s development?

  1. Provide a safe, loving environment. It’s important to be consistent and predictable.
  2. Praise good behaviors more than you punish bad behaviors (use only brief time-outs.)
  3. Describe her emotions. For example, say, “You are happy when we read this book.”
  4. Encourage pretend play.
  5. Encourage empathy. For example, when he sees a child who is sad, encourage him to hug or pat the other child.
  6. Read books and talk about the pictures using simple words.
  7. Copy your child’s words.
  8. Use words that describe feelings and emotions.
  9. Use simple, clear phrases.
  10. Ask simple questions.

Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

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

Movement/Physical Development Milestones

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

How can you help your child’s development?

  • Hide things under blankets and pillows and encourage them to find them.
  • Play with blocks, balls, puzzles, books, and toys that teach cause and effect and problem-solving.
  • Name pictures in books and body parts.
  • Provide toys that encourage pretend play; for example, dolls, and play telephones.
  • Provide safe areas for your child to walk and move around in.
  • Provide toys that she can push and pull safely.
  • Provide balls for her to kick, roll, and throw.
  • Encourage him to drink from his cup and use a spoon, no matter how messy.
  • Blow bubbles and let your child pop them.

Act early if your child:

  • Is missing milestones
  • Doesn’t point to show things to others
  • Can’t walk
  • Doesn’t know what familiar things are for
  • Doesn’t copy others
  • Doesn’t gain new words
  • Doesn’t have at least six words
  • Doesn’t notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns
  • Loses skills he once had

*It’s time for developmental screening!

At 18 months, your child is due for general developmental screening and an autism screening, as recommended for all children by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask the doctor about your child’s developmental screening.

Don’t wait. You know your child best.

Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay and ask for a developmental screening.

If you or the doctor is still concerned:

  1. Ask for a referral to a specialist and,
  2. Call your state or territory’s early intervention program to find out if your child can get services to help. Learn more and find the number at cdc.gov/FindEI.

For more information, go to cdc.gov/Concerned.

The above information was taken from the booklet titled, Milestone Moments – Learn the Signs. Act Early.

DISCLAIMER: The CDC recently lowered some of the standards for the milestones in 2022. For those updates, it is best to visit their website. The information contained herein comes from this little booklet published in 1991,1993, 1998, 2004, and 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Bright Futures. This booklet was obtained from a doctor’s office in the fall of 2021. We recognize every child is different and what you do with the information is your decision. We are not making suggestions, simply sharing what we found.

Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,”


The Teaching Lady Logo


How Do I Pray?

Mary Barbera – Autism Mom ABA Help






Submit a Comment