Eighteen Months


  • Your child may begin to run stiffly, walk up stairs with one hand held, scribble spontaneously, point to body parts, and name one object. 
  • He may be able to seat himself backwards in a small chair. 
  • He may push and pull large objects. 
  • Your child may begin to clearly say “hello”, “goodbye”, “all gone”…..but may not pronounce the consonants at the end of the words. 
  • He may begin to take off shoes, socks, hats and mittens. 
  • Many children like to flush the toilet. Think about getting him his own potty chair to keep beside the commode sometime in the next 6 months. Most children are not ready to be toilet trained until at least two years of age. We would be happy to discuss signs of readiness with you.


  • Your child’s frustration level is low, and temper tantrums may be frequent. These are best ignored. 
  • Children’s emerging behavior should not be misread as intentional. It is best to be consistent, set limits primarily for safety, through verbal no’s, and physical removal from potential dangers. Praise your child for desired behavior and admire his good qualities. Limits should be few but firm. Because of growing independence, he may persist in spite of being told no, and you may simply have to remove him from what he is doing. It also takes repeated “practice” before a child learns which activities are “no-no’s”.


  • Your child should be using a spoon to feed himself, and you can count on messiness at this age! 
  • Table foods and finger foods are good at this age. Most toddlers are picky eaters. 
  • You should still avoid giving your child peanuts, raisins, popcorn, uncut hot dogs, etc. (choking hazard foods)
  • Your child should be drinking from a cup. The bottle should be phased out. 
  • Give 2-3 nutritious snacks daily, but no snacks as reward, limit sugar 
  • Provide healthy choices.


  • Clean the teeth twice a day using a soft child’s toothbrush and toothpaste.


  • A car seat should be used whenever your child rides in any car. 
  • A toddler should begin sleeping in a bed when his nipple line is even with the top of the crib rail-this should prevent him from climbing out of the crib. 
  • All water activities, including baths, should be supervised constantly. Knowing how to swim does not make a child water safe. 
  • Never let your child go near the street unless holding hands with an adult. 
  • Keep Ipecac on hand at all times. Always call Poison Control before using Ipecac (Poison Control 528-6048). 
  • If you own a gun, we encourage you not to store it at home or in the car. If you do store the gun at home, it should be unloaded, locked up, and ammunition should be stored in a separate place than the gun. 
  • Use sunscreen and a hat. 
  • Maintain smoke-free environment.


  • Children at this age love music and listening to records and reading for short periods of time. 
  • They will begin to enjoy “parallel play” with other children on the playground, in the sandbox, etc.., with supervision. 
  • Limit television watching.


  • Riding toys, wagons, blocks, cars, rocking-horses, sand toys, water toys, balls, doll carriages, baby dolls, stuffed animals and books with big pictures.