Do you ever wonder if your toddler is developing at a rate that is comparable to other children? Though the developmental pattern of each child differs, there are several abilities and accomplishments that should occur between the ages of 18 and 24 months. Familiarizing yourself with these milestones can prepare you to facilitate continued progress as your child moves through the developmental stages. It can also help you to acknowledge and deal with any issues that may arise.
Social and emotional development is associated with how your child interacts with others, solves problems and expresses emotions. Enjoyment is commonly found in handing things to you, pointing out objects and pretend play at 18 months, says the Centers for Disease Control in an article entitled “Important Milestones: Your Child at 18 Months." Once your child reaches the age of 2, interest in playmates will increase and your child should show more independence and self-awareness.
Cognitive development affects thinking, concentration and learning patterns. At 18 months, your child should know one or more body parts, show affection, identify objects and feel a sense of ownership, says the National Institutes of Health. Abilities become more pronounced at 24 months and typically include sentence and rhyme completion, shape and color sorting, being able to identify animals and following short instructions. Developmental delays in this area can interfere with later school performance if not identified early.
Your child should learn between 20 and 50 words by age 2 and will begin to put short sentences together. During this period, you should also notice your child consistently acquiring new words, asking simple questions and using consonant sounds at the beginning of words. You can encourage language development by speaking slowly and clearly, engaging in gesture games such as pat-a-cake and by identifying objects for your child to repeat, according to an article on KidsHealth.com entitled “Communication and your 1 to 2 Year Old."
At 18 months, your toddler should be able to walk alone and up stairs, drink from a cup and eat with a spoon, and assist with putting on clothes. Around the age of 2, other milestones include carrying objects, running, throwing a ball and climbing onto furniture unassisted. Expect your child to fall occasionally as he gets used to this level of movement. It is also important to keep your child on soft carpet and away from sharp corners during this time of exploration.