As a parent of an 18-month-old toddler, you may have concerns about your child’s development, particularly their movement and physical skills, language and communication milestones, social and emotional milestones, and cognitive milestones.
In this blog post, we will talk about what an 18-month-old should be doing in these areas and how you can support your child’s development.
Movement and Physical Milestones
At 18 months old, your toddler should be able to walk without holding onto anyone or anything. If your child is not yet walking independently, it may be necessary to speak with your pediatrician about this. In addition, your toddler should be able to scribble with a pencil or crayon on a black sheet of paper. This will help to develop their hand skills and prepare them for writing.
Your child should also be able to drink from a cup without a lid and feed themselves with their fingers and should be able to use a spoon and fork. Climbing on and off a couch or chair without help is also a normal part of development at this age, so giving them a safe space to explore is important.
Language and Communication Milestones
At 18 months old, your child should be saying three or more words besides Mama or Dada. The words may not be completely clear yet, but your child needs to be using some words already. If your child does not have any words yet, it would be good to speak with your pediatrician about this and get a developmental screening.
Your child should also be able to follow one-step directions without any gestures. For example, they should be able to give you the ball when you ask for it or pick up the spoon when they are eating.
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Social and Emotional Milestones
Social and emotional milestones are often underrated skills, but they are important at this age. One of the signs of social and emotional development is when your child moves away from you but still looks to make sure you are close by. This shows that you are a safe and secure base for your child, and they can explore the world knowing you are nearby.
Your child should also be pointing to show you something interesting, such as a tree or a dog passing by. When your child points to something, it’s important to encourage joint attention. Joint attention is when a child will point at something and then look at the person and the object, using several different ways of communicating, including saying something, gesturing, using facial expressions, and making eye contact.
One of the most significant cognitive milestones that toddlers experience is the ability to think and problem-solve. This is a crucial step in a child’s development, and it sets the foundation for future learning and growth.
During this stage, children become very interested in imitating the adults around them. They will watch you closely as you perform daily tasks, such as sweeping with a broom or preparing a meal. What’s interesting is that they won’t just copy what you’re doing; they’ll also notice the subtle details of how you do it.
In addition to imitating daily tasks, children will also start to play with toys in simple ways. For example, they might push toy cars or play with building blocks. As children grow, their play will become more complex, and they will start to develop their own ideas and creativity.
As parents, it’s important to encourage and support our children’s development during this crucial cognitive milestone. We can do this by providing them with opportunities to explore and learn, both through play and in everyday activities. We can also model positive behaviors and attitudes, as children will pick up on these as well.
In conclusion, if you have an 18-month-old toddler, it’s important to be aware of their developmental milestones in movement and physical skills, language and communication, social and emotional development, and cognitive milestones. By providing a safe and supportive environment and encouraging your child’s exploration and communication, you can help them develop the skills they need to thrive.
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