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16-18 Month Old Development Checklist

As a 16-18 month old, your child will be going through some incredible developmental milestones. By keeping track of what to expect during these months, you can help ensure that they’re on track and thriving. This 16-18 month developmental checklist will give you an idea of what to look for and how to encourage your child’s growth. Every child progresses at their own pace, so don’t worry if your little one is behind or ahead of schedule – just make sure to consult with your child health nurse if you have any concerns. Enjoy watching your child grow!

Growth And Weight

Height and weight are key signs of your child’s development and growth. While children grow at different rates, the below estimates can be used as a guide. If you’re unsure about your child’s weight or height, it’s important to speak to your child’s health care professional.

16 Months 17 Months 18 Months
Height (cm) Girls: 78.6

Boys: 80.2

Girls: 79.7

Boys: 81.2

Girls: 80.7

Boys: 82.3

Weight (kg) Girls: 9.8

Boys: 10.5

Girls: 10

Boys: 10.7

Girls: 10.2

Boys: 10.9

Cognitive Development

While the below milestones are a useful tool, it’s important to remember that every child develops at their own rate. As such, it is not cause for concern if a child does not reach every milestone precisely on schedule. Instead, focus on the overall trend of your child’s ability and consult with a professional if you have any concerns.

  • Make some animal sounds
  • Use mostly single words, but understand many simple words said to them
  • Be able to point to some parts of their body when you name them
  • Be ready for “real thought,” that is, to form mental images and symbols that represent objects or actions
  • Growing language development, able to speak 6-20 recognisable words
  • Refer to themselves by name
  • Enjoy listening to nursery rhymes and join in
  • Language skills, as they “talk” to themselves when playing


Visual Development

When it comes to visual development, every 16-18 month old is different. However, there are certain visual development milestones most toddlers will reach by a certain age. Of course, these are just general guidelines – some babies may show these signs sooner or later than others. If you have any concerns, be sure to talk to your child’s doctor.

  • Recognise familiar objects and pictures in books and surroundings
  • Look towards and signals to request for objects they want
  • Watch and retrieve a rolling ball as far away as 3 metres
  • Point to distant objects outdoors

Motor Development

As a 16-18 month old, your child will go through a remarkable process of motor development. Providing opportunities for pretend play is essential for promoting healthy motor development in all infants.

  • Scribble with a crayon
  • Carry things while walking
  • Like to climb on things
  • Build a tower of 2 blocks
  • Play with push along toys
  • Be able to help take their clothes off
  • Climb into a chair and sit
  • Walk more steadily, but with feet slightly apart
  • Pick up food and small objects more competently
  • Start to show a preference for one hand over the other
  • Push and pull objects

Social and Emotional Development

For a 16-18 month old, this is a time of growing independence. They will learn to express themselves in more complex ways, as they engage with you and other children. The below social and emotional milestones are key in toddler development.

  • Become frustrated when they can’t do something
  • Be very suspicious of strangers
  • Demonstrate a strong preference for one parent, usually Mummy
  • Show a growing desire for independence
  • Start to “test the limits” to see what behaviours are acceptable
  • Start to have temper tantrums
  • Your child plays alone for short periods
  • Like to help with household tasks
  • Be somewhat reluctant to separate from their parents
  • Continue to hold on to a “security blanket” or suck their thumb when insecure or tired


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