Keeping up with your 18-month-old’s milestones

Time flies when raising a baby and witnessing a child’s growth is one of life’s purest joys. But they grow so quickly that sometimes it’s possible to lose track of the toddler milestones they’ve reached.This handy checklist lets you know just what to tick off on your baby’s milestone checker.

Occupational therapist Elsie Labuschagne says it’s important for parents to note that children do not all develop at the same pace, therefore milestone charts should be used to guide your child’s development and to monitor their progress.

Toddler milestones: Here are some of the things your 18-month-old should be able to do by now:

  • Can make hand gestures such as waving and clapping and can reach up to give or receive.
  • Is able to follow simple instructions, such as “put it down” and “give it”.
  • Can make at least four different consonant sounds.
  • Is able to identify at least three different body parts when asked.
  • Can say 20 or more words – the words do not have to be clear.
  • Can hold their own cup to drink.
  • Is able to pick up food using their fingers and is able to eat independently.
  • Can help with dressing themselves by putting out their arms and legs.
  • Is able to walk alone.
  • Is able to squat to pick up objects and can stand back up without falling over.
  • Can show affection towards people, pets or toys.
  • Is able to point to show you something.
  • Can look at you when you are talking or playing together.


What should you do if  your child is struggling to reach their milestones?

Occupational Therapist Elsie Labuschagne, spoke to Ackermans about the steps parents could take, should they be concerned about their child’s milestones.

Your child may be able to efficiently do all these activities on the milestone checker or might be struggling with some.
“Some children develop rapidly in one area while ‘neglecting’ another area, usually only for a while. Their milestones could therefore see-saw between milestones, but it should balance out in the end,” says  Elsie..

  • If you become aware of a certain milestone that your child has not reached, pay extra attention to that particular milestone.
  • Encourage it in a playful manner. The child should experience it as fun and games and not as an exercise or chore that must be done.
  • Seek advice or professional help from an occupational therapist when you see very little or no progress.

“Parents are often hesitant or afraid to seek help, but delaying seeking advice could result in more milestones not being reached. It is therefore better to get help early and lay a good foundation for your child’s future development,” advises Elsie.


Read more toddler parenting tips here