Toddler Milestones: 18-24 Months

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

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toddler eating fruit
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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Dances with Music

toddler dancing
Frances Janisch

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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Understands but Might Not Follow Instructions

toddler discipline
Tina Rupp

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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Milestones: Red Flags to Watch For at 2 Years

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Stop Putting Objects in Mouth and Identify Body Parts

Sing Together
Kathryn Gamble

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

mother cooking with daughters

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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"Reads" On Her Own

child reading
Christa Renee

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

08 of 29

Knows Wrong from Right

child with sad face

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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Bedtime Battles

Baby boy crying in crib
Image Source/ Veer

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

mother hugging son

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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Can Throw a Ball

toddler throwing ball
Kathryn Gamble

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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Undress by Himself

Toddler running in underwear
Greg Scheidemann

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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Speak Well Enough to be Understood

cute girl in polka dot dress
Blend Images/ Veer

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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Walk Up Stairs

toddler climbing stairs
Fancy Photography/Veer

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

Child holding electric toothbrush

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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Identify People/Objects in Pictures

mom and toddler looking at camera
Juice Images/Veer

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

walking 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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Object Permanence

toddler pointing
Kathryn Gamble

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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Understands Prepositions

father playing with kids
Fancy Photography/ Veer

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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Starts "Mine" Routine With Objects

toddler hugging doll
Kathryn Gamble

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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Starts Showing Shyness Towards New People

child clinging to mothers leg
Fancy Photography/Veer

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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Stacks Blocks

stacking blocks
Kathryn Gamble

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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Wants Attention All the Time

mother kissing toddler
Juice Images/Veer

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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Loves Interactive Games

Use Complete Sentences
Kathryn Gamble

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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Identifies Likes and Dislikes

Identifies Likes and Dislikes
Kathryn Gamble

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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Names Body Parts

talking to toddler
Image Source/ Veer

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

mom and dad each holding a child

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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Notices Gender Differences

Interact With All Ages
Kathryn Gamble

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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Talks About Self

toddler smiling
Fancy Photography/Veer

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 &copy 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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