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12-18 Month Developmental Milestones

Movement and Physical Development

Normal Development

  • Walks alone
  • May walk up steps and run
  • Pulls toys while walking
  • Can help undress herself
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Begins using spoon
  • Can stack 3-6 cubes

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • May regress in previously mastered skills

Ways to Help

  • Encourage physical activities to build strength and regain skills
  • Make physical activity playful
  • Offer a play mat to encourage out-of-bed play
As part of normal development, your child may be able to stack 3-6 blocks and begin using a spoon.

As part of normal development, your child may be able to stack 3-6 blocks and begin using a spoon.

 

Language and Communication

Normal Development

  • Says a few words
  • Says and shakes head “no”
  • Points to show someone what he wants

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • May have difficulties expressing themselves
  • Might be slower to respond due to stranger anxiety
  • Hearing problems may be possible in some cases.

Ways to Help

  • Read to your baby and point to the words and pictures on the page
  • Praise your child for using his or her words
  • Sing and talk to your child throughout the day using new words they may not know
  • Follow directions for proper hearing aid use if prescribed.

Social and Emotional

Normal Development

  • Likes to hand things to others as play
  • May have temper tantrums
  • May be afraid of strangers
  • Shows affection to familiar people
  • Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
  • May cling to caregivers in new situations
  • Points to show others something interesting
  • Explores alone but with parent close by

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • May be more cautious around new people
  • May display increased fussiness or tantrums
  • Separation from caregivers during procedures
  • May have more tantrums and say “no” more often
  • Limited choices limits independence and control

Ways to Help

  • Help your child begin to learn feelings words by naming his or her feelings
  • Encourage play with medical items to help your child process feelings and feel more in control
  • Provide a lot of affection and attention to help your baby feel secure
  • Encourage exposure to other children by participating in play groups when possible
  • Try to maintain a loose schedule to help your child feel secure and know what to expect
As part of normal development, your child may be able to show affection to familiar people.

As part of normal development, your child may be able to show affection to familiar people.

 

Thinking and Learning

Normal Development

  • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
  • Points to get the attention of others
  • Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed
  • Points to one body part
  • Scribbles on his own
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • May have more difficulty understanding/following directions

Ways to Help

  • Encourage your child to explore new sensory experiences. Allow them to get messy sometimes.
  • Children learn by trying new things. Allow your child to make mistakes.
  • Encourage play activities that involve art, music, movement, books, and pretending
  • Limit screen time (TV and tablet)