18-Month-Old Baby: Milestones & Development

18-Month-Old Baby: Milestones & Development

Remember when they’d sit quietly, mama? Ah, those were the days. At 18 months old, your baby is now a toddler, and that toddler has done a whole lot of growing, both mentally and physically. Let’s explore those common 18-month-old baby milestones and developments.
A year-and-a-half into life, and your baby is starting to resemble a little person, complete with their own personality, likes, and dislikes.

Communication is getting easier, even if it takes a few guesses and points to work out what they want — and tantrums are getting thrown into the mix as they push their boundaries and test their independence.

But that’s just scratching the surface. Amid the chaos of toddlerhood, these are the milestones and developments you need to look out for.

In this article: 📝

  • 18-month-old baby development — it’s check-up time
  • How much does an 18-month-old eat?
  • What is the normal weight for an 18-month-old?
  • What should an 18-month-old be saying?
  • How should an 18-month-old behave?
  • 18-month-old sleep routines — how long should they sleep?
  • You’re doing great!

18-month-old baby development — it’s check-up time

At 18 months old, your toddler will most likely have a check-up with your healthcare provider to make sure they’re on track.

This can often be a longer appointment, so consider packing extra snacks or toys.

Beyond checking their physical health and wellbeing, your doctor will ask about your little one’s overall growth and development, measuring them against some common milestones for this age range.

These include comprehension, emotional behavior, speech, and motor skills.

Common 18-month milestones:

  • 1. Pointing and understanding: At this age, your toddler may be able to point at pictures in a book when you ask them to find a certain shape or animal, for example. They can also use gestures, like reaching up for something or waving. And they can often follow simple instructions, like “here”, “on” or “up”.
  • 2. Eating and drinking: Finger foods should be in full swing, with your toddler able to pick up and feed themselves tasty treats like apple slices or carrot sticks. And they may also be holding cutlery and drinking from their own cup. Cute.
  • 3. Walking, squatting, and standing: Toddlers have usually found their feet by this point, even if they’re still a little wobbly. They may also be able to squat down and stand back up without falling.
  • 4. Talking: Your toddler is picking up words fast (usually 1-2 new words a week). But it’s not always clear what they’re saying. You could be hearing a mixture of gibberish and actual words, but it’ll soon become clear.
  • 5. Playing: Play is how we learn, and your little one will be engaging their imagination and practicing important skills with pretend play. You might even get an invite to a tea party soon. Check out these simple ways to play at home.

How much does an 18-month-old eat?

If you’re wondering what to feed an 18-month-old baby then here’s a handy tip: toddlers need about one-quarter to one-half of an adult-sized portion of food.

Three small meals plus two or three healthy snacks a day should keep their little tums from grumbling.

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What is the normal weight for an 18-month-old?

We’re always keen for mamas to banish “normal” from their vocabulary. Instead, think about the average weight for 18-month-olds, which is 10.6kg for girls, and 10.9kg for boys.

And what about height?

The average height of 18-month-old toddlers is 31.8 inches for girls and 32.4 inches for boys.

What should an 18-month-old be saying?

Around about this time, your toddler will start getting to grips with two-word sentences.

Most have around 10 words to pull from, while around half of 18-month-olds can say up to 20 or more words.

Points will soon turn into asking for something by name, which will make both of your lives much easier.

There’s also a fairly good chance that one of the words your toddler has down to a tee is “no”. Or, more accurately, “Nooooooo!”

This can be frustrating, but, believe it or not, it’s a good sign. This is the first step towards independence as they set their own limits and test yours at the same time.

Also, can 18-month-olds count?

Although it’s rare for toddlers at this age to have a clear understanding of numbers and counting, they may be able to recognize a number if shown in a picture book.

However, a study suggests that even if they’re not counting per se, they could be working out the rules of counting at this age.

So if you grabbed 10 toys and pointed to each one individually, your toddler might grasp that each object should only be counted once, even if they can’t verbalize that yet.

How should an 18-month-old behave?

With all this boundary-pushing and independence-seeking, challenging behavior can soon creep in.

Don’t get too worried, though, as this is perfectly normal. An increase in both tantrums and separation anxiety is common at this stage.

  • Tantrums: Sometimes it’s helpful to put yourself in your toddler’s teeny-tiny shoes. Those meltdowns when they can’t have a toy or they spill a cup of juice often follow what is, to them, the worst thing that’s ever happened in their life (literally). So stay calm and empathize, even if that’s hard in the moment.
  • Separation anxiety: This is a complex time emotionally, and while your 18-month-old is trying independence on for size, they can quickly revert to needing and wanting their parents. This can make dropping them off at daycare or leaving them with grandma difficult, but avoid the temptation of sneaking off without saying goodbye. Instead, it’s usually better to be firm and positive with your goodbyes, creating a consistent routine.

18-month-old sleep routines — how long should they sleep?

Finally, to support their growth and development, a good night’s sleep for your toddler is vital.

Most will need around 12 hours of sleep through the night, plus a 1.5 to 3-hour daytime nap for a total of 13 to 14 hours of sleep each day.

You’re doing great!

As with any developmental milestones, it’s important to remember that every baby is different.

Just because your toddler hasn’t ticked all these boxes shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

And if you ever need any advice or an answer to a question, the mamas of Peanut have got your back.

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