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Milestones for Toddlers 18 to 36 Months

written by: Nichole Bolton • edited by: Patricia Gable • updated: 6/19/2014

In the first three years of life, children grow and learn many skills that they will use all through their lives. Doctors look for children to meet milestones for each age and stage. These toddler milestones are in motor development, language skills and social development.

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    Most children meet these developmental milestones around the same age. While infants spend the first year and a half learning skills like Baby from LearnWhatIs hand control, babbling, smiling and crawling, toddlers begin to learn important skills such as walking and talking beginning in the second year of life. There are many cognitive activities that parents can use to encourage learning skills, helping toddlers to meet standard milestones on time. Following toddler milestone charts, parents can learn what skills to work on with their toddler at each age.

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    Milestones at 18 Months

    By 18 months, a child will have reached the following toddler milestones for each area of development:

    Motor Development

    • walks well
    • walks up stairs with assistance
    • picks up and carries a toy while walking
    • climbs onto furniture and sits down
    • throws a ball or toy
    • gets an item that is not easily accessible
    • builds a small stack using blocks

      Language Development

            • names one part of the body
            • points at an item in a picture when asked to
            • uses five to ten words
            • understands a number of phrases
            • follows simple directions

            Social Development

            • uses a spoon properly with minimal mess
            • uses a brush or tooth brush on a doll
            • is aware of object permanence
            • able to indicate toilet needs
            • brushes teeth with help
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            Milestones at 24 Months

            By 24 months, a child will have reached the following toddler milestones for each area of development:

            Motor Development

            • runs with good balance
            • can kick a ball
            • walks up stairs holding on to the railing
            • opens a jar
            • develops hand preference
            • turns one page at a time
            • imitates housework

            Language Development

            • able to put two words together
            • talks about self
            • names four or five body parts
            • points to five items in a picture when asked to
            • uses 50 to 100 words

            Social Development

            • plays alone
            • puts on shoes and socks
            • can tell people his first name
            • able to communicate the need to use the bathroom
            • has temper tantrums
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              Milestones at 36 Months

              By 36 months, a child will have reached the following toddler milestones for each area of development:

              Motor Development

              • draws a circle
              • properly holds a pencil
              • shows hand preference
              • peddles on a tricycle
              • walks up stairs well
              • stands on one foot

                Language Development

                • knows three colors
                • knows name, sex and age
                • identifies eight items in a picture
                • asks and understands a lot of questions
                • able to have a conversation
                • uses plural words
                • counts up to ten
                • understands negatives
                • able to use five or six word sentences

                Social Development

                • able to dress and undress herself
                • plays with other kids
                • can do up buttons
                • understands sharing
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                  When to be Concerned

                  While these toddler milestones are simply guidelines and there is an age range for each skill toddlers learn, parents may be concerned if their child doesn't reach a stage at the same time as other toddlers do. Parents should always bring their child to the family doctor if there is some cause for concern and the doctor can screen the child's development to make sure that everything is on the right track.

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