Is your 18 month old meeting their communication milestones?
The toddler years are some of the most exciting, challenging, fun and learning enriched years in a child’s life! At 18 months old, your child will have grown and developed in ways that will only leave you amazed, and the rate at which they learn leaves much to be desired. They are constantly changing and adapting to newfound sounds, smells and experiences. Whilst this is a beautiful time to be in awe of your child’s development, it can certainly be a time of worry if you feel like your child is more delayed than his or her peers.
Maybe your child is getting so frustrated they are biting, hitting, kicking or screaming. Maybe you’ve noticed they play on their own and aren’t playing games with the rest of the group at daycare or playgroup. Maybe the other children are starting to say words and your child is not yet babbling, let alone talking.
When parents notice that their toddler is late to talk, their first instinct is to seek help. But they’re often told by friends, family, and even their doctor that their child will probably “grow out of it”, and that they should just “wait and see”. But is a ‘wait and see’ approach really a good idea? Or could you be losing precious time?
As such, our team at SpeechEase Speech Therapy wanted to provide you with a small list of ‘milestones’ for your 18 month old to ensure you know what to look out for from the very beginning, and get your child the help they need sooner rather than later.
- At 18 months, most children have at least a dozen single words in their repertoire. These might include “Mama” or “Dada”, “drink”, “car”, and of course, “no!” and “mine!”
- This is also an age where children are starting to link two words together to make simple sentences. These might be “all gone” or “mummy car” or “go bubbles”.
- Your child will still be babbling sentences, and wanting to join in on conversations. You should be able to identify a few clear words in the midst of these babbled sentences.
- Your child will also start referring to himself or herself by name or me. Using ‘I’ will come a few months later.
- Your child will be able to understand some phrases which he or she has heard frequently, such as “give me a kiss”.
- Simple directions should also be able to be followed, like “put it down” or “come here”.
- Your child should be increasing the range of textures that they eat. At 18 months, they should be enjoying mashed and lumpy foods.
- They should be able to hold a bottle or cup by themselves and tip it to drink.
- They should be able to self-feed with finger foods and with a spoon should be emerging and messy!
- Your child should be making eye contact frequently.
- They will be showing interest in playing games with others as opposed to playing alone.
- Your 18 month old should enjoy being read to and looking at the pictures on the pages. Looking at books is a great foundation to literacy development.
As you can see, there is a lot that your toddler should be doing! When we think back on it, it’s amazing how much they are taking in, learning and evolving for such a little person. If they are having trouble with any of these areas, early intervention is the best thing you can do as the longer you wait, the more behind they will potentially fall.
If your little one is not meeting these milestones or if you have any questions or concerns, give us a call on 1300 773 273 and make an appointment to chat about your options.