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    Developmental milestones record - 18 months

    Growth milestones for children - 18 months; Normal childhood growth milestones - 18 months; Childhood growth milestones - 18 months

    Skills and growth milestones of 18-month-old children describes the physical and mental development that is expected for this age.

    Information

    All children develop a little differently. If you are concerned about your child's development, talk to your child's health care provider.

    PHYSICAL AND MOTOR SKILL MARKERS

    The typical 18 month old:

    • Has a closed soft spot on the front of the head (anterior fontanel)
    • Is growing at a slower rate and has less of an appetite compared to months before
    • Is able to control the muscles used to urinate and have bowel movements (sphincter muscles), but may not be ready to use the toilet
    • Runs stiffly and falls often
    • Is able to get onto small chairs without help
    • Walks up stairs while holding on with one hand
    • Can build a tower of two to four blocks
    • Can use a spoon and cup with help to feed himself
    • Imitates scribbling
    • Can turn two or three pages of a book at a time

    SENSORY AND COGNITIVE MARKERS

    The typical 18 month old:

    • Shows affection
    • Has separation anxiety
    • Listens to a story or looks at pictures
    • Can say 10 or more words when asked
    • Kisses parents with lips puckered
    • Identifies one or more parts of the body
    • Understands and is able to point to and identify common objects
    • Often imitates
    • Is able to take off some clothing items, such as gloves, hats, and socks
    • Begins to feel a sense of ownership, identifying people and objects by saying "my"

    PLAY RECOMMENDATIONS

    • Encourage and provide the necessary space for physical activity
    • Provide safe copies of adult tools and equipment for the child to play with
    • Allow the child to help around the house and participate in the family's daily responsibilities
    • Encourage play that involves building and creativity
    • Read to the child
    • Encourage play dates with children of the same age
    • Avoid television time before age 2
    • Play simple games together, such as puzzles and shape sorting
    • A transitional object may help separation anxiety

    References

    Feigelman S. The second year. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 9.

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            Review Date: 11/9/2012

            Reviewed By: Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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