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Definition:

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



Alternative Names:

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



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 previous months
  • Is physically able to control the muscles the control urination and bowel movements (sphincter muscles), but may not be psychologically ready to use the toilet
  • Runs with a lack of coordination and falls frequently
  • 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
  • Listens to a story or looks at pictures
  • Can say 10 or more words when asked
  • Identifies one or more parts of the body
  • Understands and is able to point to and identify common objects
  • Frequently 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 daily responsibilities of the family
  • Encourage play that involves building and creativity
  • Read to the child
  • Control the type and amount of television watched
  • Control the type and amount of games played


References:

Feigelman S. The second year. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 9.




Review Date: 11/3/2008
Reviewed By: Jennifer K. Mannheim, CPNP, private practice, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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