Milestones - By eighteen months

Baby pointing in mans arms Understanding of language
Your child will understand single words in context. e.g. These are usually things they hear a lot during the day, such as “coat on”, “drink”, “shoes”, “bus”, “daddy car”, “all gone”.  They will understand more words than they can say.
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Your child will respond appropriately to short, simple questions and instructions, e.g. Where’s daddy? 

  • Does your baby get excited when you mention things they enjoy?
  • Does your child look round when you ask questions or give instructions, e.g. “Where’s teddy?”
  • When looking at a picture book, can your child point to some of the pictures you name?  E.g. point to the dog when you ask “Where’s the dog?”
Check it out Speech sounds and words
Your child may use a simple sound system including consonants such as p, b, d, g, m, n, w.   They may say things like “bo-bo” instead of bottle. Children copy gestures and words from adults so talk with them at every opportunity during the day.
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Children of this age still babble but are starting to use 10 or more words though these aren’t always clear.

  • Is your child starting to use single words?

Any concerns?
It is important to remember that all children are different and your child may develop at a faster or slower rate than others. If your child has a nanny, childminder or goes to nursery talk to them about your child’s speech and language. It is always helpful to have information about how your child talks and communicates in other places.

If you are concerned about your child’s speech, language and communication development, for example, you think that they communicate less than other children their age, you should contact your health visitor, children’s centre or local speech and language therapist  and talk to them about your child. You can contact a speech and language therapist yourself; you do not need to go through your GP or health visitor though Speech and Language Therapy services are run differently depending on where you live. You can get free resources and check out your child’s speech, language and communication development at

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3 months > 6 months > 1 year > 18 months > 2 years > 3 years

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