Best Things: 18-24 Months Old

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Here are my ten favorite things about children in the 18-24 month age range. I love these toddlers! It is a range that definitely has its share of difficulties, so it is nice to accentuate the positive and focus in on the things to be grateful at this time.


1-Language Explosion: There are a lot of language explosions as these little ones grow, but the one during this time period is probably the most noticeable. It makes the most dramatic difference on the life of the child and those around the child. The sentences start and the new words flow like honey from an overworked bee hive. The child is able to communicate wants and needs and everything is easier!


2-Rose Smelling: These little toddlers stop to smell the roses. Every single one. Through the eyes of these toddlers, I see the world in a whole new light. I notice things I have taken for granted. The world is an amazing place and toddlers appreciate every pebble and are in no hurry to do anything. They are very good at enjoying the moment they are in.


3-Sense of Humor: The sense of humor is really emerging. I love to hear Brinley say, “Hahahaha! I funny.” Not only do they love to laugh, they love to make you laugh (which is why you need to be careful about what you laugh at! Something may be funny the first time, but not so funny the hundredth). 


4-One Nap: By this age range, toddlers are down to one nap. I LOVE one nap! You have the mornings for errands and playing and the afternoon is still quiet time you can get stuff done.


5-Mini-me: I love the little mimic that toddlers are. Children mimic you, but this age range and into the next age range the mimic-ing is super obvious and noticeable. Your child looks at just how you are sitting, drinking, talking, walking, and wearing your clothes. Then she assesses herself and makes it so she is the same. You see her studying you and adjusting herself to match you perfectly. The highest form of flatter is to copy someone, so around a toddler, you should feel quite flattered!


6-Close Yet Independent: Toddlers are even more content to do things on their own. Imaginations are sprouting and they are able to entertain themselves without necessarily tearing things to pieces. Even with this new independence, a toddler in this age range still makes sure to stay close to mom. Most toddlers won’t stray too far. This is very nice for trips to the park–you aren’t doing much chasing of the child. If you sit still, the child stays in a radius. It doesn’t mean you don’t need to watch the child, but you don’t have to get up much.


7-Helper: The toddler in this age range will start to actually be helpful when it comes to helping to clean up if you have required it throughout life so far. If you are lucky enough to have a natural cleaner on your hands, you might even start to walk into Independent Playtime and find your child just finishing cleaning up the room.


8-Holding Hands: I love walking along with my little toddler running double time to keep up with me while she holds on to my finger with her entire fist. She feels big and important, but she still wants to be close to me and make sure I am not going without her. That little hand around the finger is a feeling to memorize and cherish.


9-Easily Excited: I love the excitement these toddlers show. Daddy comes home? Best moment of a lifetime! Grandparents visit? Couldn’t be better! Apple for lunch? Wahoo! Brinley is a bit more exaggerated in this than I remember my other kids being. She literally shakes with joy at pretty much anything positive in life.


10-Singer: I love to sing and I love to have a little toddler start trying to sing a song with me. Once their sentence capability comes, they love to try to sing songs that they have heard their whole lives. 


Do you have any favorites with this age range?

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. Claire Hui
    August 13, 2014 / 4:02 PM

    Your blog has been such a blessing! My baby is about to turn 4 wks old and I've been following BW from the beginning. I have a question about sleeping through the night… In the Chpt "Est. Baby's Routine" BW talks about Phase 1 and how ideally, my baby should be "sleeping through the night"… to clarify… does that mean sleeping the recommended 4-5 hrs or does it mean sleeping longer than that? Thanks in advance!

    • Valerie Plowman
      August 19, 2014 / 12:11 AM

      I haven't read the newest version yet (came out after my youngest was a baby), but at 4 weeks, 4-5 hours is right.

  2. Mara Kreiling
    August 13, 2014 / 4:47 PM

    Love love love the hand holding!! My 18 month olds have just started doing that, along with mimicking everything. So stinking cute! Oh, and Claire, I think it means 4-5 hours straight. It's not usually until 10-12 weeks that they may start going 10-12 hours at night. Just my input 🙂

  3. Sarah W
    August 13, 2014 / 8:24 PM

    My first baby (girl) is 20 months and I'm loving all the things you described! I love that she will still cuddle sometimes but is much more independent. I also love the sound of her voice. I want to cherish that too. She's a big talker, on the range of a 3 year old with a 200+ word vocabulary and 4 word sentences. She's a mockingbird and it's so fascinating to watch a little person develop!

    • Valerie Plowman
      August 19, 2014 / 12:12 AM

      So true the little voice is so cute!

  4. Stephanie Kirby
    August 14, 2014 / 3:07 AM

    I'm with you! Toddler phase is my absolute favorite. I love to hear her talk. Like Sarah W mentioned, her voice is just so sweet. She loves to mimic me too. She wants to help me vacuum, wipe off things, she wants to wear lip gloss, carry a purse. I always find it funny when we are out and about. She is so drawn to babies. She says, "AWW! LOOK! A BABY!" Even if the "baby" is as old as she is. I just love it all at this stage! 🙂

    • Valerie Plowman
      August 19, 2014 / 12:13 AM

      Haha I love that about little ones! I love how they see a child older than they are and call them a baby. So funny.

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