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18 – 24 Months Developmental Milestones

Learning about stages of typical development can help parents anticipate what to expect next in order to guide their babies, more successfully and confidently, through each developmental stage. Please keep in mind that even though there are typical patterns of development, actual timelines will vary for each child.

The information below is a basic guideline to help parents identify the developmental milestones of typically developing toddlers.

18-24 Months

  • Likes to scribble and draw loops and circles.
  • Builds towers with 6 or 7 blocks.
  • Manipulates play dough or
  • Walks down steps holding your hand.
  • Jumps, hops, dances, runs and throws or kicks a ball forward.
  • Turns light switches off and on.
  • Paints with a large brush and uses a fork.
  • Has a vocabulary of 20-50 words; can make a two word sentence.
  • Names objects in books. Refers to himself by name.
  • Enjoys dramatic, imaginative play imitating adult behavior.
  • Plays alone, but alongside other children.
  • Displays love for parents and caregivers; begins to show sympathy toward others.
  • Demands personal attention.
  • Likes to give orders and control others.
  • Often tests limits and frustrates easily.
  • Enjoys viewing pictures of himself.
  • Asserts independence by saying “No!” and “Mine!”
  • Removes clothes and enjoys being naked.
  • Likes to play hide and seek.

What can a parent do to promote healthy child development?

  • Read and talk with your toddler throughout the day to enhance social skills and language skills.
  • Show your toddler how to share by sharing with him.
  • Provide a safe environment in which your toddler can explore freely.
  • Allow for plenty of unstructured play time for your toddler.
  • When your toddler becomes upset, help him to name his emotions and find appropriate ways of dealing with them.
  • Remind your child of your love and build his self esteem by providing lots of hugs and encouragement.

If you feel your baby is not growing or learning in the way you expect, please talk with your pediatrician and/or call Alabama’s Early Intervention System for further assessment (I-800-441-7607).

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