After the first birthday, your child might show some big changes. In a short amount of time, you would notice your child walking and running all over the house, hiding things, throwing them, and navigating through your home leaving a lot of work for you. Being aware of the milestones they show at different ages helps you identify the status of their physical and cognitive growth.

Here are the key milestones that can be observed around 18months of their age.

18 months

Gross Motor Skills

  • Squats to pick up objects
  • Crawls up a few steps
  • Runs around
  • Walks up steps with 2 feet per step with handheld
  • Carries a toy while walking
  • Sits in a small chair

Fine Motor Skills

  • Makes marks with crayons
  • Drops object in, takes the object out from the container
  • Scribbles spontaneously
  • Throws a small ball a few feet while standing

Verbal Language Skills

  • Uses 3 words other than names
  • Speaks in sounds like an unknown language
  • Follows directions that do not include a gesture
  • Identifies at least 2 body parts
  • Names at least 5 familiar objects

Social Language and Self-help Skills

  • Imitates scribbling
  • Drinks from cup with little spilling
  • Points to ask for something, get help
  • Looks around after hearing things like “Where’s your ball?”
  • Engages with others for play
  • Helps dress and undress self
  • Points to pictures in a book, to object of interest to draw parent’s attention to it
  • Turns and looks at adult if something new happens
  • Begins to scoop with a spoon
  • Uses words to ask for help

When your child is around 2years of age, you would be surprised at their enthusiasm to do things on their own, without your help. In such a process, they might also end up hurting themselves. Get ready for that “terrible twos” period!!

2 years

Gross Motor Skills

  • Kicks a ball
  • Jumps off the ground with 2 feet
  • Runs with coordination
  • Climbs up a ladder at a playground

Fine Motor Skills

  • Stacks objects
  • Turns book pages
  • Uses hands to turn knobs, toys, and lids
  • Draws lines

Verbal Language Skills

  • Uses 50 words
  • Combines two words into a short phrase or sentence
  • Follows 2-step command
  • Names at least 5 body parts
  • Speaks in words that are 50% understandable to strangers

Social Language and Self-help Skills

  • Plays alongside other children (i.e., Parallel play)
  • Takes off some clothing
  • Scoops well with a spoon

You could expect your little one to make great strides like climbing a staircase, running, throwing, or kicking and trying a make-believe play, between 2 to 3 years. Once your child is 3 years of age and if you are planning a daycare or preschool, it is common for your child to have that “separation anxiety”.

3 years

Gross Motor Skills

  • Walks up steps; alternating feet
  • Runs well without falling
  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Climbs on and off couch or chair
  • Jumps forward

Fine Motor Skills

  • Copies a vertical line
  • Grasps crayon with thumb and fingers instead of fist
  • Catches large balls
  • Cuts with child scissors
  • Draws a single circle
  • Draws a person with head and one other body part

Verbal Language Skills

  • Uses pronouns correctly
  • Uses 3-word sentences
  • Speaks in words that are 75% understandable to strangers
  • Tells you a story from a book or TV
  • Compares things using words like bigger or shorter
  • Understands simple prepositions, such as on or under

Social Language and Self-help Skills

  • Spears food with fork
  • Washes and dries hands
  • Increasingly engages in imaginary play
  • Tries to get parent to watch by saying, “Look at me!”
  • Enters bathroom and urinates by self
  • Puts on coat or jacket by self
  • Plays in cooperation and shares

When to Be Concerned?

All children develop at slightly different rates. But, there are some things that could signal potential developmental issues. 

We recommend you consult an expert if the child:

  • Can’t walk
  • Doesn’t have at least 10 words to speak
  • Doesn’t copy words or actions
  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Loses skills the child previously had
  • Doesn’t know how to use brush, spoon or fork
  • Doesn’t understand simple instructions
  • Doesn’t engage in pretend play
  • Has problem with stairs or falls often

In case you observe any such issues, it is recommended to consult your pediatrician and get a developmental screening done. If you think you need any kind of support such as speech consultation or assessment, or any kind of therapies for helping children with developmental delays, our expert psychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioral therapists, and special educators at Wellness hub are happy to help you. Happy Parenting!