The second year of life brings about enormous changes in the lives of the child and the parents. The toddler becomes very active and is developing independence and is filled with curiosity. An 18 months old toddler will start walking, run around, attempt to speak, and express him or herself in different, new ways. The physical development of a 1.5 year old child is quite different compared to the time period of the first year. During the second year, the weight gain slows down dramatically.
For example, a baby may triple his or her birth weight after just 12 months, but during the second year, he or she may only gain around 5 to 7 pounds for the entire year. An average child at twelve months weighs around 22 to 23 pounds, and by 24 months, weighs around 29 to 31 pounds. An 18 months old will weigh around 25 to 27 pounds on average, and measure around 31 to 32 inches in height. The child will be going through a lot of physical growth and changes that you do not see, for example, more muscle development along with better motor controls, and will also start developing their own prefrences for certain tastes in food.
Physical Development Milestones
Below, we list some of the physical development milestones that you might see for a 18 months old baby.
- At one and a half, your baby can now walk forward, backward, and also from side to side. Different children develop at different rates, and some toddlers will be very sturdy at 18 months old, while others may still be a bit "wobbly". You can help strengthen your child's leg strength and improve your child's balance by going for short walks each day. When your child gets tired, you can carry or put him or her in a stroller to rest.
- Some 18 months old babies may be running already, but will likely fall and stumble often when they run. They can walk with push toys such as a toy car or a toy shopping cart.
- An 18 months old cannot walk up and down stairs just yet. They will usually go up and down stairs on their hands, knees, and tummy. You can help your child develop some strength and balance by holding his or her hands and assisting them walking up or down the stairs; however, gate the stairs when you are not around to keep your child safe.
- Your child will probably enjoy playing with balls and try to throw them; however, he or she will not be able to throw balls very well yet. He or she will also like to play with stacking toys, and may be able to stack 2 or 3 blocks on top of one another. You can help your child develop greater motor controls by having toys such as stacking blocks, or ring stacking toys around the house. When your child fails at stacking the toys, encourage him or her to try again.
Young children at this time are learning to be more independent, and is very curious and exploring the world around them. At this age, they do not yet know what might be dangerous (for example, stairs, power plugs etc...), and it is important to child proof your house the best you can. At this age, the child is fully mobile and able to get where they want to; however, they're still developing muscle strength, balance, and motor controls, and will fall quite often. Always keep child safety in mind.
Also, the first molars may be cutting through around 12 to 18 months, and the cuspid teeth will show up during 16 to 24 months of development. Whatever the speed of your child's development, always make sure to give lots of love and attention to make him or her feel safe and secure about their relationship with you. Provide gentle assistance and guidance to help them along with their new learnings and discoveries of the world around them.