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A Blog from Your Kaiser Permanente Pediatricians in Northern California

Mother and daughter

Your 18-Month-Old

Your 18-month old is on the go – in more ways than one. They’re developing at a fast pace now. Their vocabulary is exploding and most toddlers can understand 1 to 2 new words every hour! Your child knows 10 times as many words as they can say, including the names of some people, body parts, and objects. They can often point to an object in a book when asked.

Look out! They’re walking with ease and anything within reach is fair game. They like to press buttons, move handles, and turn knobs. This is fun but it can also be exhausting trying to keep them safe. You’ll notice your child pretending to “feed” a toy or imitating other behaviors they see.

Most children at this age can:

  • Use a spoon to feed themselves.
  • Say 3 to 6 words.
  • Walk backwards.
  • Retain a memory of an object removed from their view – this makes for exciting games of hide and seek with their favorite toy.

Your child may be ready to:

  • Run.
  • Walk up steps and kick a ball forward.
  • Listen to a story and look at the pictures.
  • Brush their teeth – so after you’re done scrubbing, give them the toothbrush for some fun practice!
  • Undress themselves – what a good game they make of this!

Remember, all babies develop at their own rate. So if your little one isn’t doing all these things just yet, you’ll likely see them soon. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, talk to your pediatrician at your next well-child visit, or send an email with your question anytime.

Resources for parents

American Academy of Pediatrics:
Toddler Growth and Development

My Doctor Online:
Normal Growth and Development: Infants and Toddlers

Disclaimer: If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.