The Ages 9-18 Months : Stages of Development of Children

Part Two: Nine to Eighteen Months

Child’s Developmental Considerations

  • Continuing development of attachment relationships to caregivers.

  • Continuing to develop trust in others.

  • Developing motor skills (crawling, standing, walking, drinking from a cup, using a spoon). Exploring their surroundings through touch and taste.

  • Continuing to develop internal patterns of waking, eating, and sleeping.

  • Continuing to develop the ability to comfort themselves.

  • Developing language from sounds to words.

  • Developing ability to remember things they cannot see, including a parent who is not present. Showing signs of separation anxiety when separating from either parent or other important caregiver.

  • Becoming upset during transitions from one parent to the other.

Parenting Time Considerations

  • Children need their caregivers, surroundings, and routines to be predictable and responsive to their needs.

  • Children become attached to parents and others through consistent and loving responses to their needs, such as holding, playing, feeding, soothing, and talking gently and lovingly. Children are sensitive to changes within each home and between homes.

  • Children do best when there is minimal disruption to their routine.

  • Children need their surroundings to be places of minimal stress. Children exposed to anger, violence, and patterns of harsh tones of voice directed at them or others become stressed. Children have an emotional memory for things that are frightening to them such as anger, violence, and harsh sounding voices.

  • Frequency of parenting time is more important than length of parenting time.

  • Separation anxiety is normal while transitioning from caregivers and it does not necessarily mean there is a problem in either household.

  • Long separations from either parent may stress the child’s attachment relationship with that parent.

  • Children may show signs of stress while adjusting to new caregiver