Northwest Spokane Pediatrics
What should I expect from my 18-month-old?
- Has difficulty sharing
- Very possessive
- Finds it difficult to wait and wants things right now!
- Gets angry sometimes and has temper tantrums
- Enjoys simple pretend play like wearing hats and talking on phone
- Enjoys exploring, gets into everything, and requires constant
- Stacks 4-5 blocks.
- Begins to gain some control of bowels and bladder; complete control may not be achieved until around age 3. (Boys often do not complete toilet learning until age 3-1/2.)
- Uses 2-3 word sentences.
- Points to eyes, ears, or nose when asked
- Uses the words "please" and "thank you" if prompted
- Begins to show signs of independence; says "no"
- Acts shy around strangers
- Comforts a distressed friend or parent
- Refers to self by name
- Uses the words "me" and "mine"
- Enjoys looking at picture books
- Tries to do many things by himself
- Enjoys adult attention
- Generally unable to remember rules
- Often gets physically aggressive when frustrated—slaps, hits
- Shows affection by returning a hug or kiss
- May become attached to a toy or blanket
- Enjoys singing familiar songs
- Understands that something can exist even when hidden.
- Can picture objects and events mentally.
- Weight: 20-32 pounds
- Height: 30-37 inches
- Walks well and runs with straight line. Turning at speed is difficult.
- Feeds self with spoon.
- Walks up steps with help
- Takes steps backward
- Enjoys sitting on and moving small-wheeled riding toys
Family meals are important for your baby. Let him eat with you. This helps him learn. Don't make mealtime a battle. Let your baby feed themselves. Your child should use a spoon and drink from a cup now.
Development and Discipline
Children at this age should be learning many new words. You can help your child's vocabulary grow by showing and naming lots of things. Children have many different feelings and behaviors such as pleasure, anger, joy, curiosity, warmth, and assertiveness. It is important at this age to praise your child for doing things that you like.
At 18 months, most toddlers are not yet showing signs that they are ready for toilet training. When toddlers report to parents that they have wet or soiled their diaper, they are beginning to be aware that they prefer dryness. This is a good sign and you should praise your child. Toddlers are naturally curious about the use of the bathroom by other people. Let them watch you or other family members use the toilet. It is important not to put too many demands on a child or shame the child during toilet training.
Toddlers often seem out of control, or overly stubborn or demanding. At this age, children often say "no" or refuse to do what you want them to do. Here are some good methods for helping children learn about rules and to keep them safe:
- Child-proof the home. Go through every room in your house and remove anything that is valuable, dangerous, or messy. Preventive child-proofing will stop many possible discipline problems. Don't expect a child not to get into things just because you say no.
- Divert and substitute. If a child is playing with something you don't want him to have replace it with another object or toy that he enjoys. This approach avoids a fight and does not place children in a situation where they'll say "no."
- Excessive rules can be confusing. It is also important that any rules be overt as toddlers do not yet pick up on the subtle social rules. As such they may break a rule that someone may think should not need to exist. These rules should be rules important for the child's safety. If a rule is broken, after a short, clear, and gentle explanation, immediately find a place for your child to sit alone for 1 minute. It is very important that a "time-out" comes immediately after a rule is broken.
- Make consequences as logical as possible. For example, if you don't stay in your car seat, the car doesn't go. If you throw your food, you don't get any more and may be hungry.
- Be consistent with discipline. Don't make threats that you cannot carry out. If you say you're going to do it, do it.
Avoid Choking and Suffocation
- Keep plastic bags, balloons, and small hard objects out of reach.
- Cut foods into small pieces.
- Store toys in a chest without a dropping lid.
Prevent Fires and Burns
- Keep hot appliances and cords out of reach.
- Don't cook with your child at your feet.
- Keep hot foods and liquids out of reach.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach.
- Turn your water heater down to 120°F (50°C).
- Hold onto your child when you are near traffic.
- Provide a play area where balls and riding toys cannot roll into the street.
- Never leave an infant or toddler in a bathtub alone—NEVER.
- Continuously watch your child around any water, including toilets and buckets. Keep toilet seats down, never leave water in an unattended bucket, and store buckets upside down.
- Check the stability of drawers, furniture, and lamps. Avoid placing furniture (on which children may climb) near windows or on balconies.
- Install window guards on windows above the first floor (unless this is against your local fire codes.)
- Make sure windows are closed or have screens that cannot be pushed out.
- Don't underestimate your child's ability to climb.
- Keep all medicines, vitamins, cleaning fluids, etc. locked away.
- Put the poison center number on all phones.
- Purchase all medicines in containers with safety caps.
- Do not store poisons in drink bottles, glasses, or jars.