The Ages 18-24 Months : Stages of Development of Children

A Guide to Developmental Considerations at Various Ages and Stages of Development of Children.

Part Three: Eighteen to Twenty Four Months

Child’s Developmental Considerations

  • Create a safe physical environment in each home such as using baby gates, child locks, electrical outlet covers, and properly securing guns and other dangerous items.

  • Developing motor skills (running, jumping, climbing).

  • Developing language from words to two-word to three-word sentences.

  • Engaging in imaginative and pretend play.

  • Continuing to explore their surroundings through touch and taste.

  • Continuing to develop the ability to comfort themselves and self-control.

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

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

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

  • Beginning to develop confidence in self.

  • Increasing desire to do more for self, such as wanting to use a spoon or dress themselves. Understanding simple one-step instructions.

Parenting Time Considerations

  • Child’s relationship with parents and others is supported through consistent, predictable, loving responses and prompt attention to their needs.

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

  • 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 words and voices directed at them or others become stressed. Frequency of parenting time is more important than length of parenting time.

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

  • Moving between parents’ homes may become difficult for some children at this age, and they may become upset. This does not necessarily mean that the other parent isn’t a good parent or that the child doesn’t want to be with the other parent.

  • Infants may show signs of stress while adjusting to new caregiver.