May 8, 2024

Unveiling the Marvels of 18 Month Milestones

Unveiling the Marvels of 18 Month Milestones

As parents, we are constantly filled with wonder as we watch our children grow. Their journey, from the first smile to the moment they sit up unaided, is nothing short of a miracle. Each day brings discoveries and challenges, both for them and for us. Our children's milestones are a testament to their continual growth and development, and in no time our little ones grow from being newborns to toddling 18 month old babies.

At around 18 months, you might notice your baby beginning to display some impressive physical, cognitive, social, and emotional skills - indeed, these 18-month milestones bring with them a fascinating experience. However, it's also a time when you may find yourself facing numerous questions and uncertainties. What should I expect at this stage? How can I best support my child's development? Is it normal if my child has not achieved certain milestones yet? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate these questions through this informative guide.

List of 18 Month Old Developmental Milestones

At around 18 months old, children typically achieve several developmental milestones across various areas of growth, including physical, cognitive, language, and social-emotional skills. Here's a detailed list:

Physical Development

Gross Motor Skills:

  • Walking steadily without support, possibly beginning to run.
  • Climbing onto low furniture or stairs with assistance.
  • Kicking a ball.

Fine Motor Skills:

  • Using a pincer grasp to pick up small objects.
  • Scribbling with crayons or markers.
  • Trying to feed themselves with a spoon or fork, although not always successfully.

Cognitive Development


  • Beginning to understand cause and effect (e.g., if they drop a toy, it falls).
  • Simple problem-solving skills, like figuring out how to open a container or fit shapes into a sorter.
  • Memory and Imitation:
  • Remembering and imitating simple actions or routines, like waving bye-bye or blowing kisses.
  • Recalling the names of familiar objects or people.

Language Development


  • Saying several words and starting to combine them into simple phrases (e.g., "more juice," "bye-bye, Daddy").
  • Understanding and following simple commands, like "Come here" or "Give me the toy."

Communication Skills:

  • Pointing to objects to express interest or request.
  • Babbling with inflection and tone that mimics conversation.
  • Social-Emotional Development:


  • Pointing to objects to express interest or request.
  • Babbling with inflection and tone that mimics conversation.
  • Social-Emotional Development:

Showing clear attachment to familiar caregivers, seeking comfort when upset.

Demonstrating empathy by comforting others who are upset.

18 Month Baby Food

At 18 months old, babies typically transition from purees to more textured and varied foods as they continue to explore different tastes and develop their chewing skills. Here's a general guide to 18 month old baby food:

  • Soft Fruits and Vegetables: Offer a variety of soft fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, cooked carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, avocado, and cooked apples. Cut fruits and vegetables into small, manageable pieces to reduce the risk of choking.
  • Protein Sources: Introduce protein-rich foods like cooked lean meats (chicken, turkey, beef), fish, tofu, and eggs. Make sure meats are tender and cut into small, bite-sized pieces. Beans and legumes can also be introduced, either mashed or in small, cooked pieces.
  • Grains and Carbohydrates: Offer whole grains like cooked pasta, rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain bread or crackers. Incorporate different types of grains for variety and nutritional balance.
  • Dairy and Dairy Alternatives: Continue to provide breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition. Introduce whole milk (or fortified alternative milk, if necessary) as a drink or mixed into meals. Offer dairy products like yogurt and cheese, choosing options without added sugars when possible.
  • Healthy Fats: Include sources of healthy fats in your child's diet, such as nut butter (if there are no allergies), seeds, and olive oil. Avoid foods high in unhealthy fats, such as fried foods and processed snacks.
Photo by: Troy T on Unsplash
  • Hydration: Offer water throughout the day to keep your child hydrated, especially during meals and snacks. Limit fruit juices and sugary beverages, opting for water as the primary drink.
  • Mealtime Structure: Offer three meals and two to three snacks throughout the day to meet your child's nutritional needs and energy requirements. Encourage self-feeding and independence during meals, but be prepared to assist as needed.
  • Allergen Introduction: Introduce common allergenic foods like peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and seafood gradually and one at a time, while monitoring for any signs of allergic reactions. Consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns about food allergies or sensitivities.

18 Month Old Sleep

At 18 months old, children typically need around 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day, including nighttime sleep and one or two daytime naps. Here's a general guide to 18 month old baby sleep:

  • Nighttime Sleep:
    • Most 18 month olds need around 10 to 12 hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep.
    • Establish a consistent bedtime routine to signal to your child that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This routine might include activities like bathing, reading a book, and cuddling.
    • Create a calm and comfortable sleep environment by ensuring the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.
    • Encourage your child to fall asleep independently if possible, as this helps them develop healthy sleep habits. However, some children may still need comfort from a caregiver to fall asleep at this age.
    • If your child wakes up during the night, try to soothe them back to sleep without stimulating activities. Avoid turning on bright lights or engaging in active play.
  • Daytime Naps:
    • Most 18 month olds still need one to two naps during the day, totaling around 2 to 3 hours of daytime sleep.
    • Pay attention to your child's sleepy cues, such as rubbing their eyes or becoming fussy, and aim to put them down for a nap before they become overtired.
    • Keep nap times consistent as part of your child's daily schedule, but be flexible to adjust based on their individual sleep needs.
  • Sleep Challenges:
    • Separation anxiety may peak around this age, leading to nighttime awakenings or resistance to bedtime. Reassure your child with extra cuddles and comfort during these times.
    • Some toddlers may experience sleep regressions due to developmental milestones, teething, or changes in routine. Consistency and patience are key during these phases.
    • If your child consistently has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, consult with a pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical issues or sleep disorders.
  • Sleep Safety:
    • Follow safe sleep practices to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This includes placing your child on their back to sleep, using a firm mattress with a fitted sheet, and keeping soft bedding and toys out of the crib.
    • Avoid using pillows, blankets, or other loose bedding in your child's crib, as these can pose suffocation hazards.

18 Month Old Health and Safety

Ensuring the health and safety of an 18 month old baby involves various aspects of their physical well-being, environment, and preventive measures. Here's a guide to promoting the health and safety of your toddler:

  • Regular Health Checkups:
    • Schedule regular well-child visits with a pediatrician for routine checkups, vaccinations, and developmental assessments.
    • Discuss any concerns or questions you have about your child's growth, nutrition, behavior, or milestones during these appointments.
  • Nutrition:
    • Offer a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to support your child's growth and development.
    • Limit sugary snacks and beverages, and encourage drinking water throughout the day.
    • Follow recommended feeding guidelines and portion sizes for toddlers to prevent overeating and promote healthy eating habits.
  • Hygiene:
    • Practice good hygiene habits, such as regular handwashing with soap and water, to prevent the spread of germs and reduce the risk of illness.
    • Teach your child basic hygiene routines, such as brushing their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Childproofing:
    • Childproof your home to create a safe environment for your toddler to explore and play.
    • Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs, secure heavy furniture and appliances to the wall to prevent tipping, and use outlet covers to protect against electrical hazards.
    • Keep small objects, choking hazards, and toxic substances out of reach, and store them in locked cabinets or drawers.
Photo by: Shot By Ireland on Unsplash
  • Supervision:
    • Supervise your toddler closely, especially in potentially hazardous situations or environments, such as near water, around pets, or during outdoor play.
    • Teach your child about safety rules, such as not touching hot surfaces, not running into the street, and being cautious around strangers.
  • Emotional Well-being:
    • Provide a nurturing and supportive environment for your child's emotional development.
    • Offer plenty of positive reinforcement, praise, and affection, and respond to your child's needs with empathy and understanding.


Navigating the journey of parenthood comes with its share of challenges - but it also brings immense joy and fulfillment as you witness every stage of your child’s growth. The 18-month milestones mark a significant phase in your child’s development. Understanding these developmental markers can equip you with the knowledge to support your toddler's growth effectively.

At Raising Superstars, our scientifically backed Prodigy Framework fosters comprehensive child development through daily activities that take just a few minutes. With a keen focus on promoting growth without screen time, we're committed to helping you raise superstars. Together, let's make every step of your child's developmental journey an enriching experience.

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