Strong Families from the Start

Ages 1 to 2

12 to 18 months; 18 to 24 months

12 to 18 months

Social and Emotional
Is shy or nervous with strangers
Cries when mom or dad leaves
Has favorite things and people
Shows fear in some situations
Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story
Repeats sounds or actions to get attention
Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”

Responds to simple spoken requests
Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”
Tries to say words you say

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing
Finds hidden things easily
Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair
Bangs two things together
Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
Pokes with index (pointer) finger
Follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”

Movement/Physical Development
Gets to a sitting position without help
Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”)
May take a few steps without holding on
May stand alone

18 Months 

Social and Emotional
Likes to hand things to others as play
May have temper tantrums
May be afraid of strangers 
Shows affection to familiar people
Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
May cling to caregivers in new situations
Points to show others something interesting
Explores alone but with parent close by

Says several single words
Says and shakes head “no”
Points to show someone what he wants

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
Points to get the attention of others
Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed
Scribbles on his own
Can follow 1-step verbal commands without gestures; for example, sits when you say “sit down”

Movement/Physical Development
Walks alone
May walk up steps and run
Pulls toys while walking
Can help undress herself
Drinks from a cup
Eats with a spoon 

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