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Home > My Child > Ages and Stages > 18 to 24 Months > What to Expect

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What to Expect: 18 to 24 Months

Developmental milestones describe what most children are capable of doing at a particular point in time. Developmental milestones also provide a snapshot of the new skills many children will be starting to master in the upcoming months or year. Knowing what children are capable of, and what they will be practicing, can help you provide appropriate experiences to enhance your child's development.

Remember, developmental milestones only provide benchmarks. Each child develops at his or her own pace. So, in any particular child some skills may emerge early, while others may appear later.

If you have any concerns about your child's development, consult your child's physician.


Typically Can:
  • Help with simple household tasks
  • Enjoy playing alone for a few minutes, for example, looking at books, building with blocks or colouring
  • Show ownership or possession
  • Cannot share easily
  • Recognize himself in a mirror
  • Point to show something to a parent
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Beginning to be able to be toilet trained
  • Putting on simple clothing without help
  • Playing alongside another child

  • Problem Solving

    Typically Can:
  • Understand how familiar objects are used, such as a spoon for eating, pages of a book for turning , a ball for throwing
  • Recognize herself and family in photos
  • Attempt simple 2 to 3 shape puzzles
  • Sort objects into groups, for example, socks, toy cars, or different fruit
  • Solve simple problems using tools
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Enjoying finger plays, nonsense and nursery rhymes
  • Matching objects to a picture
  • Enjoying simple make-believe actions, such as feeding his baby doll and putting his teddy to sleep
  • Developing shape and size discrimination
  • Understanding that events can be sequenced

  • Numeracy

    Typically Can:
  • Understand the passing of time and the meaning of "when we go home," "not now" and "tomorrow"
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Having a sense of more than one
  • Exploring one-to-one correspondence
  • Exploring written symbols for numbers

  • Language

    Typically Can:
  • Use two-word sentences, for example, "more juice," or "more cookie"
  • Sing songs in her own way
  • Imitate new words and phrases, such as "go bye-bye," and "mommy's car"
  • Name some pictures in a book
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Singing simple songs with correct words and actions
  • Following simple commands
  • Many more words are understood by others outside the family

  • Emotional

    Typically Can:
  • Be unhappy about any changes in her routine
  • Be subject to mood swings and tantrums
  • Concentrate on a task for some time, for example, 5 to 10 minutes
  • Show concern for others
  • Show fears, but be able to be settled down
  • Have bad dreams and nightmares
  • Be pulled in a tug of war between the need to be dependent and show independence
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Can be away from his parents for a short time, without being too upset
  • Saying "NO" a lot
  • Sharing a piece of food

  • Gross Motor

    Typically Can:
  • Ride on small wheeled toys
  • Carry a large toy while walking
  • Kick a ball
  • Squat while playing
  • Climb onto an adult chair, turn his body around and sit
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Walking on tiptoes
  • Throwing and retrieving objects

  • Fine Motor

    Typically Can:
  • Fold paper
  • Stack three to four blocks
  • Take lids off jars
  • Fit cups and boxes inside of each other (nesting by size)
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Imitating horizontal line
  • Opening doors by turning knobs
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