Age: 15 Months
Fifteen months is age of exploration, activity, and curiosity. Your baby is walking now, starting to talk, and developing a mind of his or her own. With these newfound skills, there often comes resistance to being fed, dressed, diapered, and going to bed. Setting safe limits becomes key.
- Car: Use a Convertible Car Seat in the back seat of the vehicle, rear-facing.
- Important Note: As of 11/2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends car seats remain rear facing as long as possible, until the child reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the seat. This replaces the previous age specific milestone of 2 years and 30 lbs. The recommendations are based on scientific studies showing that rear facing is safest in a crash
- For help securing the seat make an appointment with a Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (to find a location nearest you visit https://highwaysafety.utah.gov/seat-belts-and-car-seats/car-seat-safety/).
- The crib is the safest place; slats less than 2 3/8 inches apart; place the mattress at the lowest setting of the crib.
- You may put mesh/breathable bumpers back into the crib if your baby is a wild sleeper and arms and legs are getting stuck outside of the slats.
- Childproofing: Injuries are a big concern at this age. Toddlers this age will manage to get into everything and usually don’t have innate fear of getting hurt to stop them. Toddlers can climb onto and fall off of anything.
- Use outlet covers.
- Be very cautious about stairs. Toddlers are high risk for falling down them.
- Store chemicals/medications/cleaners out of reach or locked.
- Burns are common at this age, both by pulling hot things down onto themselves (e.g., cords from curling irons, handles from pots) and touching hot surfaces (e.g., fireplaces, grills, stovetops, etc.).
- Lock guns with ammunition separate and in a gun safe.
- Water: Don’t leave unattended in the bathtub and keep water heater at less than 120 degree F (to prevent scalding).
- Smoking: Do not smoke in the home or in your car.
- Sun: Limit sun exposure, use sunscreen when outside.
- Choking: Risk of choking is high at this age (foods, toys, essentially anything that goes in that mouth). Make sure you know how to do “back blows” should that happen.
- Continue whole milk from 1-2 years of age. If your child doesn’t tolerate/care for whole milk just ensure your child is getting enough calcium and vitamin D from other sources (e.g., almond milk, dark leafy greens, milk products, supplements, etc.).
- Should be eating all table foods (no baby style foods). The only diet limitations are foods that seem to cause your child grief/allergies.
- Offer a wide variety of healthy foods, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.
- No bottles at this age. Use a cup (can by sippy style) for fluids.
- Ensure your child is getting plenty of water.
- Limit juice to no more than 4 oz. a day (no juice is the best).
- May need supplementation of a multivitamin (with or without iron depending on how good your child is about eating a balanced diet).
- Should be sleeping through the night and in a crib still.
- May be starting to transition down to one nap daily instead of two.
- Total sleep should be 11–14 hours in a 24-hour time period (including naps).
- Walking well and starting to run.
- Four to six words with lots of babbling that imitates speech (e.g., voice inflection).
- Follows commands without a gesture (e.g., go get the ball).
- May be independent one minute and clingy the next.
- Points with index finger to ask for something or get help.
- Feeding self, starting to use a fork and spoon.
- Brush teeth twice daily with a non-fluoridated toothpaste.
- May need fluoride supplementation (depending on the content of your local water source).
At this age you may treat fever and minor illnesses at home as long as your child looks and acts ok. Bring your child to the doctor if: symptoms are severe or prolonged (e.g., fever beyond 5 days, bad cough, etc.) or you are concerned.
YOUR NEXT VISIT
Your child’s next well child check is at 18 months of age. Anticipate a second Hepatitis A shot at that visit. Keep in mind that there must be 6 months between the first and second dose of Hepatitis A. The first one is typically given at 12 months. Also, depending on the time of year, your child may need a flu shot (remember, the first time your child gets a flu shot, he or she will need a booster/2nd dose 30+ days later).