• Your Child's Milestones (18 Months): Baby Can Walk on Her Own!
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  • Congratulations! Your baby has taken a big step in her development -- literally! She can now walk on her own wobbly knees (and maybe even adorably so with her arms in the air). She also likes to point things out for you to name, hands you toys, and can say a handful of words. Give your little one a jumbo crayon and some paper, and she'll be fascinated at her scribbling. Try getting her a toy dog on a leash too. She'll love pulling it around!

    With guidance from pediatric neurologist Dr. Leoncia Que-Firmalo, psychologist Lillian Ng Gui, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Ages and Stages Questionnaires, a tool used by pediatricians for screening a child's development, below are developmental milestones most babies reach by the time they're 2 years old.

    But first, take note: 

    • Wait until the end of 18 months before observing your toddler for his 18-month-old milestones. Every child is different. Some reach their milestones earlier, and others a little later.
    • Make sure your child is well-rested and fed. The items on this list may require you and your tot to engage in simple activities. Fussiness may make it harder to get accurate observations. 
    • At 18 months old, the AAP recommends a child to be screened for autism and general development. Talk to your child’s pediatrician and ask his opinion.
    • Talk to your child’s doctor at every well-baby visit about the milestones your child has reached. Always consult with a pediatrician who will address your concerns and be able to inform you on what to expect next.
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    What most toddlers can do at 18 months old:

    Physical development 

    • walks on her own 
    • drinks from a cup
    • eats with a spoon
    • may walk up steps
    • pulls toys behind while walking
    • can turn pages of a book, and like to pull, push and dump things 
    • can clap his hands and wave goodbye 

    Cognitive or mental development

    • points at objects to get your attention
    • plays pretend, such as “feeding” a doll or stuffed animal
    • scribbles on his own
    • can follow your 1-step verbal commands without any gestures, such as "sit down"
    • knows what ordinary things are for (e.g. spoon, brush, telephone) 

    Social and emotional development

    • likes to hand things to others
    • may have temper tantrums
    • may be afraid of strangers, and clings to a caregiver in new situations
    • shows affection to familiar people, and likes being held
    • points to show others something interesting
    • can play alone on the floor, and likes to explore alone but with parents close by
    • enjoys an audience and applause 

    Language and communication development

    • says several single words
    • says and shakes head to mean “no”
    • points to show what he wants 


    Red flags
    Children develop at different rates, says the AAP. However, it’s important you still bring up any red flag concerns with a pediatrician. According to the CDC and AAP, talk to your child’s doctor if your 18-month-old: 

    • can't walk
    • when sitting on the floor, can't stand up without support
    • doesn't point to show things
    • doesn't copy others
    • doesn't gain new words
    • doesn't know at least 6 words
    • doesn't copy others
    • doesn't know what familiar things are for
    • doesn't mind or notice when a caregiver leaves
    • loses the skills he once had

    Sources: CDC, AAP, Ages and Stages

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