Your 16-18 Month Old Toddler — Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 
16 to 18 month old toddler development and milestones
Tetyana Kovyrina/ Pexels

Oh, Mama! Here’s hoping you’re staying well-hydrated and taking your vitamins, because you need your energy these days. At 16 – 18-months-old, your toddler is in a constant state of motion: crawling, walking, climbing, grabbing, hiding, even running. They’re learning new tricks every day, some less amusing than others (just wait until they figure out how to take off their own diaper!).

But what a fun time you and your toddler have reached, too. Your baby’s personality is in full bloom, and the two of you understand each other more each day. Here are a few other milestones you can look forward to during this stage of your toddler’s development.

Your 16 – 18-Month-Old Toddler’s Development & Growth Milestones

How much should a 16 – 18-month-old weigh?

If you notice that your little one doesn’t seem to be growing as much these days, don’t let your imagination spin out of control. The reality is that toddlers grow at a much slower rate than infants. So, how much should your little one weigh at 16 to 18-months-old? Per the World Health Organization, the average weight of a toddler this age ranges from 21.6 pounds to 23.4 pounds for girls and 23.2 pounds to 24.1 pounds for boys.

How much should a 16 – 18-month-old be eating?

Your 16 to 18-month-old toddler could be continuing in what feels a little bit like a food strike. Or catering to the demands of a tiny foodie dictator. In other words, they’re probably pretty darn picky. This is actually a normal part of development that ultimately helps them figure out their likes and dislikes. Toddlers are also surprisingly good at gauging how much food they need for their little bodies.

Still, baby’s gotta eat! Your little one should be getting approximately 1,000 calories per day, give or take, typically split between three balanced meals and two healthy snacks per day. At this point, you’ve probably moved away from baby foods and purees into whole foods, which is great — go for a variety of fruits and veggies, either mashed or finely chopped. Remember, though, a serving of food for your toddler should only be about one-fourth the size of an adult portion of food.

Baby needs whole milk to meet their calcium needs, so aim to give your little one about three 8-ounce cup per day. Ideally, your 16 to 18-month-old toddler should be off the bottle/formula by now. But if you’re breastfeeding, keep going, Mama! You’ve got this.

How much should a 16 – 18-month-old baby sleep?

Your toddler may be running you ragged during the day, but they’re (thankfully) giving you a bit of reprieve at night. Children between 16 and 18 months of age need about 11 to 14 hours of sleep — although some snooze even more — with two or so hours being daytime naps. So, your little one is likely sleeping through the night or close to it, meaning you get to sneak in some extra shut-eye, too. Word to the wise: If your toddler does like to nap during the day still, try to make sure they’re not sleeping past 4 p.m. That might throw off their rhythm and lead to sleepless nights (aka “sleep regression“).

Your 16 – 18-Month-Old Toddler’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones

Should a baby be walking at 16 – 18-months-old?

By 16 to 18 months old, most toddlers are walking. In fact, some are outright running! They are probably walking up steps or learning to, perhaps on their own in a nod to their burgeoning independence. Your toddler might be starting to jump, too. So, yeah, life is getting interesting. If you haven’t already triple-checked your baby-proofing, take the time to do so right now.

Should a baby be talking at 16 – 18-months-old?

At this age, most toddlers are saying at least a few words, with many boasting a vocabulary from 10 to 15 words. Up to 16 months, the average toddler picks up one or two new words a month. But they could experience a language explosion around 18 months of age, during which they might accrue as many as 10 new words per day.

Accordingly, some toddlers this age are using 20 or more words, albeit still not the most articulately. As a matter of fact, toddler language often sounds a lot like gibberish — but it’s gibberish that you have likely learned to understand pretty well. Also aiding in your communication with your toddler is the fact that, around this age, they may be using what is called “telegraphic speech.” This is a fancy way of saying they string two or so words together to form short sentences based on associations. For example, when they see a park, they might say, “Go play!”

In other language development news, you must find that your newly chatty little one is, well, a little bit bossy. This is part of them asserting their independence, so try to take it with a grain of salt. Having said that, it’s totally understandable if you get tired of the word “no” over the course of these months.

What are some behavioral issues a 16 – 18-month-old might have?

In addition to telling you “no” at every turn, your toddler might be showing out in other ways around this age. They may have temper tantrums, whine, and throw things. They may also be dealing with stranger anxiety and an extreme clinginess to you, Mama.

And as if all of that wasn’t fun enough, your toddler might also discover the fine arts of nose-picking and poopy-diaper-exploration this month.

Should a 16 – 18-month-old be potty training?

We all have that friend who swears their kid was potty trained by 1-year-old. And, hey, it’s possible. But if your kid doesn’t seem interested in the big kid potty yet, don’t stress. Your little one will usually give you cues when they are ready, and you’ll have a much easier time with potty training if you wait until that point. If you try to push it earlier, it will likely take you even more time in the long run.

Your 16 – 18-Month-Old Toddler’s Health

Could my 16 – 18-month-old be teething?

Has your little one been running a low-grade fever? Do they seem more fussy than normal? They might even point to their mouth and try to tell you it hurts. In any case, your 16 to 18-month-old child could absolutely be teething. According to Stanford Children’s Health, a child usually gets about one tooth per month once their teeth start coming in. Around this age, baby’s upper cuspids might poke through and, a little later, their lower cuspids.

Does my 16 – 18-month-old need a doctor’s visit?

Once your baby reaches a year-and-a-half, you’ll need to take them into the doctor for a check-up. Like most appointments up to this point, your child’s weight, length, head circumference, and heart rate will be recorded. Their doctor will likely do a screening test to help identify any developmental delays. And, as always, your child’s doctor will ask questions to gauge your toddler’s progress — and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have. Baby’s doctor will also do a physical exam and order any appropriate tests.

Will my 16 to 18-month-old get immunizations during this time?

Depending on your doctor’s immunization schedule, your baby may receive vaccine boosters to protect against hepatitis B (HepB, 3rd dose), diptheria, tetanus and acelluar pertussis (DTaP, 4th dose), poliovirus (IPV, 3rd dose) and influenza (IIV) — if they haven’t received these boosters at a prior appointment.

Written by Julie Sprankles

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