18 month old development

By 18 months old, your toddler will have mastered a whole new range of fun and exciting activities. At one-and-a-half, most toddlers will be able to:

  • Use at least six or seven words, although they understand many more
  • Use mama and/or dada appropriately
  • Wave bye-bye in response to someone waving to them
  • Follow basic instructions (for example ‘Give mummy the ball’)

Not only will your child be actively communicating with you, but they will also be able to:

  • Stand alone without toppling over
  • Bend over, usually to pick something up
  • Walk reasonably confidently

Your toddler will have become more hands-on and soon enough they will be able to:

  • Point to an object they want, then pick it up and put it into a container
  • Scribble on any surface– so keep the crayons in a safe place!

Social Skills and Behaviour

By 18 months old, you will notice that your little one’s personality is growing and that they are expressing themselves by communicating a broader range of emotions, including:


  • Pleasure
  • Warmth – so it’s a great time for cuddles
  • Assertiveness
  • Curiosity
  • Interest in new experiences (for example, doing the weekly shop with mum and dad, or making “music”)
  • Frustration

You will notice that your toddler enjoys playing games with friends and family, and loves affection. They will be able to protest and may be saying ‘no’ a lot but, by eighteen months old, they will also begin accepting limits. This is a great age to begin introducing manners into your toddler’s life:

    • One way to encourage good manners is by setting a good example yourself. Always listening to your toddler will encourage them to listen to you and those around them
    • Always try and use good manners like “please” and “thank you” around your child. You can even help encourage good manners by asking questions like “what’s the magic word?” or “what do you say?”

Learning Development

At 18 months old, your toddler is more able to communicate their wishes and their intentions accurately.

Your toddler will begin to show they can think about things that are not in front of them. For example, when they see you hide an object behind a cushion, they will search under the cushion for it even though they can’t actually see it, and they may also remember where they last left their favourite toy.

Interested in learning more? View more information on child development