The way your child learns, plays, and acts shows you important steps in development. All children grow and develop at their own rate. However, most follow a predictable skill path along the way. These skill paths are called developmental milestones; skills that most children can perform by a certain age. Use the checklist below to determine what milestones your child has completed by 18 months of age.

By 18 months most babies:


Fine Motor (skills that require balance and movement of small muscle groups)

_ Stack small toys on top of one another.

_ Make marks on paper with a crayon.

_ Turn pages of a book independently.

_ Get a spoon into their mouth right side up.


Cognitive (memory, problem solving, thinking, and overall play)

_ Turn a small container over to dump out the contents if they cannot reach inside (with or without a demonstration).

_ Imitate drawing a line from the top of the paper to the bottom.

_ Imitate new movements such as wiggling their fingers.


_ Point to objects to tell you what they want.

_ Imitate or say eight to ten words consistently.

_ Point to the correct picture when you say “Show me the kitty” or “Where’s the shoe?”

_ Follow simple directions without visual cues such as pointing to an object.


_ Play apart from a familiar person for 5 minutes.

_ Approach other children (eye contact/smiling).

_ Bring toys or objects over to you if they need help.


Gross Motor

_ Bend over and pick up a toy and stand up without falling.

_ Walk independently with little falling or tripping.

_ Walk down stairs with a hand held.

_ May begin to run.



_ Drink from an open cup independently.

_ Feed themselves with a spoon with some spilling.

_ Chew well, without choking or gagging.

_ Rarely put non-food objects in mouth.

Talk to your doctor or contact an early intervention program in your community if you notice any of the following signs of a possible developmental delay in your child of 18 months:

_ Doesn’t point to or show things to others.

_ Doesn’t walk independently.

_ Doesn’t know what familiar things are for.

_ Doesn’t copy others.

_ Don’t gain new words.

_ Doesn’t notice if caregivers leave or return.

_ Loss of skills.

ASQ. Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ – 3)

CDD. Centers for Disease Control <>

D’Eugenio, Diane and Rogers, Sally J. Early Intervention Developmental Profile (EIDP). 1981. University of Michigan.

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