Children's Development Eighteen to Twenty-Four Months
While reading this information, please keep in mind that all children are unique. While the sequence of development is practically the same for all children (for example, most children learn to crawl before they learn to walk), each child's rate of development is different. There is a wide variation in normal development. Some children reach developmental milestones earlier than others. Some reach them later than others. Rarely does a delay in reaching a developmental milestone mean that there is a problem. In most cases, delays turn out to be normal. Remember that premature infants generally reach developmental milestones later than other infants of the same birth age. Parents with any questions or concerns about their children's development should contact their children's health care provider.
Highlights in Physical Development
In general, during the period from eighteen to twenty-four months, most children are becoming more proficient in motor skills begun at an earlier age.
- Hands/Grasp. By eighteen months most children can scribble on paper with a crayon or pencil. Most also have the dexterity to unwrap loosely wrapped small objects, and turn the pages of a book, two or three pages at a time. Children this age are becoming very good at feeding themselves with a spoon. Most can also drink from a regular cup without help and without spilling.
- Standing/Walking/Crawling. Many children that are eighteen months can walk alone, but balance will probably be unsteady. Many children this age can climb onto low furniture and push or pull a wheel toy. By eighteen months, most children can creep up stairs, and some will be able to walk up stairs if their hands are held by an adult. Most children this age can squat or stoop and then stand back up without falling. At twenty-one to twenty-four months, most children will be able to maintain their balance quite well when standing, and they may be able to bend over to pick up an object without falling.
Highlights in Cognitive/ Language Development
Most children have a vocabulary of eight to ten words, including names, by eighteen months of age. Many words may not be complete, or pronounced correctly, but are clearly meaningful. Eighteen-month-olds are usually able to communicate with words and gestures, recognize and name familiar objects (including people), and carry out simple requests. Most children this age begin to use words more and more often to express their wants and needs. Most can understand and use simple phrases like “All gone.” After eighteen months, vocabulary increases rapidly. By twenty-four months of age most children use two word phrases and have a vocabulary of 100-200 words.
Reprinted with the permission of the Center for Effective Parenting. © 1998-2004 The Center for Effective Parenting. All Rights Reserved.
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