The toddler years can be the most exciting, challenging, fun and learning enriched years in a child’s life. At 18 months old, your child will have acquired new skills in lots of different domains and will be constantly looking for opportunities to put these to the test in novel situations. Whilst this is a time to be in awe of your child’s development (and the speed with which they learn), it can certainly be a worrying time if you feel as though your child is running behind his or her peers when it comes to listening and speaking.

  • Maybe your child is getting frustrated and biting, hitting, kicking or screaming?

  • Maybe they prefer to play on their own and aren’t joining in games with the rest of the group at daycare or playgroup?

  • Maybe other children are using words and your child is not yet babbling, let alone talking. 

Below you’ll find a small list of communication milestones that speech therapists look for at 18 months. Use these as a guide to better understand what you can expect and when.


  • Your child will be able to understand some phrases which he or she has heard frequently, such as “give me a kiss”.

  • Simple directions should also be able to be followed, including “put it down” or “come here”.


  • At 18 months, most children have at least a dozen single words in their repertoire. These might include “Mama” or “Dada”, “drink”, “car”, and of course, “no!” and “mine!”

  • This is also an age where children are starting to link two words together to make simple sentences. These might be “all gone” or “mummy car” or “go bubbles”.

  • Your child will still be babbling sentences, and wanting to join in on conversations. You should be able to identify a few clear words in the midst of these babbled sentences. 

  • Your child will also start referring to himself or herself by name or “me”. Using ‘I’ will come a few months later.


  • Your child will be making eye contact frequently.

  • They will be showing interest in playing games with others as opposed to playing alone.

  • Your 18 month old should enjoy being read to and looking at the pictures in books; pointing out items of interest and making bids for your attention.

If your child is not yet meeting these milestones or if you have any questions or concerns, give us a call on 3103 0776 or email, so that we can outline the best options for you and your child.