Development and Characteristics of a 17-18 Month Old Child

Parenting September 14, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 17-18 Month Old Toddler



How I Grow

  • I like to lug, tug, and drag things.
  • I want my own way almost all the time.
  • I can walk upstairs if you will hold one hand.
  • I like to run, but I fall or bump into things sometimes.
  • I’m beginning to use one hand more than the other.
  • When things don’t go the way I want them to, I get angry.
  • I’m learning to crawl backwards down the stairs.
  • I like to grab anything I can reach.

How I Talk

  • I understand more words than I can say.
  • I’m getting good at copying words.
  • I often babble to myself.
  • Sometimes I will do what you ask me to do.
  • I try to sing, and I like to have you sing to me.
  • Sometimes I can ask you for what I want, like a cookie, by naming it.
  • I can say about ten words, but mostly I use the word “no.”
  • I am beginning to understand the meaning of “now.”

What I Have Learned

  • I can fit a round block into a round hole.
  • I can point to one or two parts of my body if you name them.
  • I can copy the simple lines you make on paper.
  • I may be able to match circles and squares on a form board.
  • I am beginning to remember where things belong.
  • I can use a stick to get a toy.
  • I can build a tower of two or three blocks.
  • With your help I can turn pages of a book.

How I Get Along with Others

  • I’m still mostly just interested in myself.
  • I may be grabby and greedy.
  • Sometimes I’m stubborn and bossy, but sometimes I’m friendly.
  • I may be afraid of some things, like thunder and lightning and large animals.
  • I may have temper tantrums when I’m tired or angry.
  • I still love to show off and get attention.

What I Can Do for Myself

  • I can help put toys away.
  • I may be able to turn on some faucets.
  • When I’m ready for bed, I may bring you my pillow or my favorite stuffed toy.

Play I Enjoy

  • I like playing with nesting toys and stacking toys.
  • I often run around without any special plan.
  • I like pushing wheel toys and large toy boxes and other things like that around the floor.
  • I may be able to string large, colored, wooden beads.
  • I like blowing bubbles. I still don’t play very long with any one thing.

Learn more about Your Toddler: 17-18 Months from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.