18 Months

What Most Toddlers Do by This Age


  • Moves away from you, but looks to make sure that you are close by
  • Points to show you something interesting
  • Put hands out for you to wash them
  • Looks at a few pages in a book with you
  • Helps you dress him by pushing arm through sleeves or lifting up foot

Problem Solving

  • Copies you doing chores, like sweeping with a broom
  • Plays with toys in a simple way, like pushing a toy car

Language and Communication

  • Tries to say three or more words besides “mama,” or “dada”
  • Follows one-step directions without any gestures, like giving you a toy when you say, “Give it to me.”


  • Walks without holding on to anyone or anything
  • Scribbles
  • Drinks from a cup without a lid and may spill sometimes
  • Feeds herself with her fingers
  • Tries to use a spoon
  • Climbs on and off couch or chair without help

Tips and Activities: What You Can Do for Your 18 month old

As your child’s first teacher, you can help his or her learning and brain development. Try these simple tips and activities in a safe way. Talk with your child’s doctor and teachers if you have questions or for more ideas on how to help your child’s development.

  • Use positive words and give more attention to behaviors you want to see (“wanted behaviors”). For example, “Look how nicely you put the toy away.” Give less attention to those you don’t want to see.
  • Encourage “pretend” play. Give your child a spoon so she can pretend to feed her stuffed animal. Take turns pretending.
  • Help your child learn about others’ feelings and about positive ways to react. For example, when he sees a child who is sad, say “He looks sad. Let’s bring him a teddy.”

Developmental Milestones