18 Month Old Milestones – What’s Normal???

Hi my name is The Perfectionist Mom and I am a development stalker.

charlee 18 2

As a parent you want your children to not just hit their developmental milestones but you also want them to excel. At least that is how I am. I have an 18-month-old daughter as of 3 days ago. She is wonderful. She is extraordinarily empathetic, kind, a good sharer, and is very social. These are all things I have never worried about because she has been ahead in learning them. When she was first born I watched everything. I think most first time parents do. You stare at them to see when they first smile. You wait with bated breath as they attempt to sit up alone and cheer them on when they take their first steps. These are all milestones that are huge in a little ones life. Gross motor skills are easy to see and recognize. They are the skills which use the big muscle groups; arms, legs and torso. Fine Motor skills are more delicate using the smaller muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. While these milestones might be more difficult to recognize, they are just as important.

I have read when a child is so consumed with one skill they tend to ignore or even seem to forget others. So if they are busy learning to walk or run they might slow down on talking, even if just for a little while. This is an important fact for parents to realize. I know there are moms out there like me who are consumed by making sure their child reaches each goal even if it is a little late. I get a lot of advice in the “relax, you are a good mom, she will get there” category. While this is true it never helps to hear. I know I need to relax but my daughter is 18 months old and not saying Mama! That’s right, she can say Dada (of course), hi, dog, duck, bear and host of other words but Mama has come out of her mouth maybe 10 times in her entire life. So, yea I get a little paranoid that something could be up. She is a gross motor skills champion. She runs, climbs, jumps (already) and dances her little booty off. She falls like every kid but is super stable to the point strangers think she is well over two.

Here is a list I found of developmental milestone that most 18 month olds should have in their repertoire:

  • Shows affection to familiar people
  • Helps getting dressed and undressed
  • Has perfected two words, vocabulary of around 10
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Eats with a spoon, drinks from a cup
  • Points to show something of interest
  • May have temper tantrums
  • Points to body part when asked
  • Scribbles
  • Explores alone but with a parent close by
  • Understands what pretend means and exhibits signs

This is a very short list of a longer version, from CDC.com. I picked out some of the most widely agreed upon.

With that said I guess my little buggy is doing just fine. She is ahead in a lot, like she already flips through books as if she is reading them (usually happens around 20 months), and has eaten with a spoon since she was 9 months. I am just a little bothered by some of what she doesn’t do; here is the Perfectionist in me.

My amazing pediatrician gave me the best advice, she said, “Work with her on what’s bothering you, but don’t put your fears of her being behind on her. It will turn her into a crazy neurotic kid and she is so sweet you don’t want to ruin that!” She is right. There are lists of things to watch out for and she exhibits none of them.

As long as she is on track I guess I will just have to wait a little longer to hear those sweet words in the morning of “Hi Mama!” For her sake, my inner Perfectionist can wait.

With Love,

The Perfectionist Mom


Get more MOMentous Motherhood in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for FREE Printables, Funny & touching stories, Tasty recipes & Amazing products, hard to find anywhere else!


  • aimee fauci

    Like every else says.. don’t sweat it. Maybe she’d rather call you ‘mommy’ or ‘ma’…. kids develop in their own ways. I have 3 girls and they have ALL developed and progressed differently. Reap in what she can do and just like when a woman is trying to get pregnant… she will say it when you least expect it (did that make sense)

    • The Perfectionist Mom

      It does make sense! I know the moment I stop paying attention she will do it. It is just a little bit hard not to hear it when she constantly says Hi Daddy, Bye Daddy and for me its just smiles. I know we are a lot closer because I stay home with her so maybe it just means I pay the right amount of attention to her. Thanks!

  • sarahsofiaproductions

    I have a 3 year old and 19 month old, so I’ve been there. Each one is different and has done things earlier or later than the other one. My older daughter has yet to say her own name without being prompted our sounding it out. So it’s just not you. 🙂 However, the most important thing to remember is their health and happiness! If your pediatrician is telling you she’s OK than I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  • michelle

    You have a wise pediatrician!!! I was totally obsessed with developmental checklists when my oldest was born. Partly because I was an early childhood educator that taught college students how to perform and score formal checklists, partly because I shared your perfectionistic slant. The good news is, in spite of my constant evaluations, my daughter is a happy, intelligent 13yo today! Hang in there, Mama, you’re doing a great job!!!!!!!

    • The Perfectionist Mom

      That’s good to know. My best friend tests little ones for developmental issues and I know if something were really off she would say something, she spends enough time with her where she would notice. It’s good to know for sure that they grow up healthy in spite of us, right!?

  • Shirley Wood

    I agree with your Pediatrician who gave you good sound advice. I do completely understand that you really do want her to say Mommy! She will. Maybe she has that Mommy connection and doesn’t think you need reminding. Your little angel sounds like she is a smart girl and a big joy to her family. She obviously has wonderful parents. How could anything in life be better than being a Mommy!?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get more MOMentous Motherhood
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for FREE Printables, Funny & touching stories, Tasty recipes & Amazing products, hard to find anywhere else!