Toddler Milestones: 18-24 Months

Watch for these milestones to occur between 18-24 months.

Everything in this slideshow

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Fancy Photography/Veer


If your child insists on holding his own spoon--leaving her with spaghetti in her hair and smashed banana on her cheeks--congratulations! Self-feeding is an important developmental step for your toddler.

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Frances Janisch

Dances with Music

Turn on some catchy tunes and watch your tot go! Toddlers unabashedly let their bodies move to the rhythm, making for some adorable dancing. (Get out the video camera, Dad!)

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Tina Rupp

Understands but Might Not Follow Instructions

You tot understands when you give instructions, though she may follow the directions or run off gleefully without a second thought. Is she being deliberately disobedient?

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Kathryn Gamble

Stop Putting Objects in Mouth and Identify Body Parts

You may notice your child moving beyond the sensory and exploratory habit of putting everything in her mouth--and instead find she can identify her mouth (and maybe nose and eyes, too)!

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Likes Helping Mom

Next time you're doing chores, look down. Is your toddler shadowing you? Given the chance, she loves to help you with whatever you're doing--even housework can be fun for little ones.

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Christa Renee

"Reads" On Her Own

It sounds like gibberish to you, but your proud toddler feels like a big girl as she holds her own books and animatedly "reads" them out loud

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Knows Wrong from Right

In many circumstances your toddler now recognizes what's right and what's wrong (so don't be fooled by your little guy's puppy dog eyes when he knows he's in trouble)!

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Image Source/ Veer

Bedtime Battles

At the end of the day you just want to relax, but your stubborn child has other ideas. Learn how to get your kid in bed (and keep her there) without bedtime battles.

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Linking 2 Words

No longer limited to one-word sentences, your toddler is now using two words in combination to express his feelings, desires, and needs.

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Kathryn Gamble

Can Throw a Ball

Is your kid practicing to be a star pitcher? It's too early for baseball bats and gloves, but your toddler loves to play ball now that she can throw.

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Greg Scheidemann

Undress by Himself

For your tot, getting out of his clothes by himself is a developmental milestone. Once he's figured out how to undress, don't be surprised if you catch him with nothing on!

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Blend Images/ Veer

Speak Well Enough to be Understood

You may be doing less interpreting of your toddler's speech these days. Around this age, little ones often begin speaking well enough to be understood much of the time.

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Fancy Photography/Veer

Walk Up Stairs

Stairs can be scary for parents of toddlers, yet climbing them is a skill tots need to master. Take a deep breath and supervise as your child learns to go up the steps.

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Start Brushing Teeth by Self

Your toddler can't be responsible for his dental health, but he can begin learning how to brush his little teeth. (Just be sure you follow up with a thorough brushing when he's done!)

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Juice Images/Veer

Identify People/Objects in Pictures

The pictures in your family's album take on new meaning to your growing tot. Ask him to point out loved ones in photos--he's learning to identify familiar people and objects.

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Can Walk Down Stairs

No longer content to descend on his hands and knees, your child may venture into walking down the stairs. Be sure he's supervised as he practices this large-motor skill.

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Kathryn Gamble

Object Permanence

If you remove a toy from your kiddo's sight, he understands that it still exists and may try to find it. You can test his sense of object permanence with a game of hide-and-seek!

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Fancy Photography/ Veer

Understands Prepositions

If you tell her the ball rolled under the table, does your little one know where to look? Under, over, up and down--your child is grasping the meaning of prepositions.

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Kathryn Gamble

Starts "Mine" Routine With Objects

It's a toddler's motto: What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine! Watch as your sweet little one suddenly becomes possessive over every object that passes through her hands.

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Fancy Photography/Veer

Starts Showing Shyness Towards New People

Don't be surprised if your previously easy-going child suddenly becomes a timid wallflower in certain social situations. Meeting new people often brings out shyness in toddlers.

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Kathryn Gamble

Stacks Blocks

A stash of blocks can provide lots of entertainment for a toddler--especially once she becomes proficient at stacking them. It's fun to build a high tower and send it crashing!

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Juice Images/Veer

Wants Attention All the Time

It's in a toddler's nature to want a parent's attention all to himself, all the time--leaving Mom and Dad to cope with constant interruptions and demands. Learn more about this common, attention-seeking behavior.

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Kathryn Gamble

Loves Interactive Games

Not one to sit on the sidelines, your inquisitive toddler wants to join in the games. Time spent interacting playfully with you is important for his growing-up -- and besides, it's just plain fun!

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Kathryn Gamble

Identifies Likes and Dislikes

Your child may cherish her yellow pajamas--until tonight, when she emphatically announces she doesn't want them anymore! Watch as your tot learns to express her likes and dislikes.

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Image Source/ Veer

Names Body Parts

Head, shoulders, knees and many body parts can your kiddo name? Make a game out of pointing to each other's elbows and ears!

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Responds to Simple Questions

Ask a simple question and you just might get a simple answer from your growing tot. Try it out with your toddler and see if she'll respond to your inquiry

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Kathryn Gamble

Notices Gender Differences

Your toddler can dress herself now and may notice that while she's happy in skirts, the boy next door is not. Aha! She's begun seeing the differences between guys and gals!

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Fancy Photography/Veer

Talks About Self

It seems your toddler just learned to walk, and now she can jump! She may delight in telling you about her new feat, too--kids this age love to talk about themselves.

Copyright © 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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Milestones: Red Flags to Watch For

While young children can reach milestones at different ages, the CDC... more
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