Language Express Preschool Speech and Language Services System of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville.

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Milestones - By 18 Months - Print Version

The developmental milestones listed within each of these age groups mark the progress of young children as they learn to communicate and develop their speech and language skills. If your child is not meeting one or more of the developmental milestones or if you are concerned about your child's speech and language development please contact us at: 1-888-503-8885


  • Understands more than she can say
  • Responds to simple questions with words or actions (“Where are your shoes?”)
  • Follows simple instructions (“Show me the…,” “Give me the…”)
  • Points to 3 body parts when asked
  • Points to pictures you name in books or photos
  • Understands “in,” “out,” “off,” “on”


  • Says at least 20 words; words may not be clear. e.g. “Mama” for “Mommy,” “Ba” for “Ball”
  • Says “No”
  • Copies animal sounds
  • Asks for something by pointing and using sounds or words (points to cookie and says, “num num”)
  • Uses at least 4 of these sounds: p, b, m, n, d, t, w, h

Play Development

  • Pretends with toys (Gives teddy a drink)
  • Enjoys making things happen (pop-up toys, wind-up toys) 
  • Moves to music (definitely dancing!)
  • Looks at you when you are talking and playing together

Teachable Moments

  • Point to and name body parts when dressing and at bath time.
  • Go for a walk. Point to and name the sounds your child hears.  Point to the things she sees. Collect things along the way (leaves, stones, flowers). Talk about what she is doing in simple words, repeating them over and over again.
  • Read books together! Wait for your child to point to something, say the word for her, then add a little bit more.  (“A bird, that’s right… a bird. The bird is flying.”)

Things You Can Try At Home

  • Let her hold a book and name the pictures she touches or looks at.
  • Use real words, e.g. “Give me…,” not “Ta-ta.”
  • Sing action songs over and over (“Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Little Rabbit Foo-Foo”). Stop in the middle, wait for your child to take a turn or do an action, then continue together.
  • Put objects in containers and shake them. Open and close them, then dump them out. Add words like “in,” “out,” “more,” “open,” and “shake” while you talk.
  • Try on your child’s socks and say, “Too small.” Have your child try on your hat, and say, “Mommy’s hat is too big!” Try lots of other clothes too!

What To Watch Out For

  • A child who is not trying to talk
  • A child who doesn’t bring things to show you or give to you
  • A child who doesn’t take turns (e.g. roll a ball back and forth)
  • Repeated ear infections (Talk to your doctor)