15 Month Visit

By 15 months, you’re well into the toddler year. Toddlers are rapidly developing their own personalities and feeling out their place in the family. They are full of energy and love playing with other family members. Although their strong wills can be trying, seeing your child grow and develop quickly is very rewarding!

What most babies do by this age:

Social/Emotional Milestones

  • Copies other children while playing, like taking toys out of a container when another child does
  • Shows you an object she likes
  • Claps when excited
  • Hugs stuffed doll or other toy
  • Shows you affection (hugs, cuddles, or kisses you)

Language/Communication Milestones

  • Tries to say one or two words besides “mama” or “dada,” like “ba” for ball or “da” for dog
  • Looks at a familiar object when you name it
  • Follows directions given with both a gesture and words. For example, he gives you a toy when you hold out your hand and say, “Give me the toy.”
  • Points to ask for something or to get help

Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Tries to use things the right way, like a phone, cup, or book
  • Stacks at least two small objects, like blocks

Movement/Physical Development Milestones

  • Takes a few steps on his own
  • Uses fingers to feed herself some food

Source: CDC – Learn the Signs, Act Early

Next, work on…

Playing together

Toddlers love to play with you. Continue playing on the floor with your little one using her toys to increase motor skills.  They enjoy exploring the outside world and learning how to move and balance better. Continue to stack blocks and play with shapes together. Other great toys include small stuffed animals, toys that can be pushed or pulled as well as containers like simple measuring cups.


Expressive language usually still lags behind receptive language at this age, but you’ll continue to notice your toddler picking up more and more spoken words. Continue to name everything in your environment, reading and playing with picture books.


  • When describing rules to your toddler, be clear and firm but no long winded lectures!
  • Have realistic expectations; expect some negativism and temper tantrums.
  • Remember to ignore temper tantrums. If your child is in a safe location, calmly walk away.
  • Never allow hitting, biting, or aggressive behavior.
  • It is crucial to be consistent, both at different times and between different caregivers.
  • Praise your child often for desired behavior and admire his good qualities- catch him being good!
  • Because of growing independence, he may persist in spite of being told “no” and you may have to remove him from what he is doing.
  • It also takes repeated “practice” before a child learns which activities are “no-no’s”.


Since toddlers enjoy exploring their world, make sure that the part of the world that they explore is as safe as is possible.

  • Keep dangerous items out of reach like choking hazards; cords; hot, sharp, and breakable items; and toxic substances (lock away medicine and household chemicals).
  • Use safety gates and watch your toddler closely when on stairs.
  • Your child should ride in a car seat at all times. It’s safer for her to be rear facing until she’s two years old.
  • To prevent drowning, close bathroom doors, keep toilet seats down, and always supervise your child around water (including baths).
  • Protect your child from gun injuries by not keeping a gun in the home. If you do have a gun, keep it unloaded and locked away. Ammunition should be locked up separately. Make sure kids can’t get to the keys.
  • Keep emergency numbers, including the Poison Control Help Line number at 1-800-222-1222, near the phone.


  • Your toddler enjoys self-feeding. You can encourage this with finger foods, and teaching more about the use of forks and spoons. They won’t be skilled with these items yet and will make messes often!
  • Avoid sweets and empty calories. Your child doesn’t have to have juice, but if you introduce 100% fruit juice, limit it to less than 4 oz per day.
  • Whole milk remains important and toddlers still need about 16-24 oz of milk per day. This should be served in a sippy or straw cup. Bottles should be gone by this age.
  • Continue offering a variety of ‘healthy food’ options including different types of vegetables to keep the diet as varied as is possible.
  • Toddlers often eat one “good meal” per day. Continue to offer three regular meals, but sometimes the best meal is lunch.


Three vaccines are scheduled for today: Hib, Varicella, and DTaP.

  • Hib is a vaccine against Haemophilus influenza type B, a bacteria which causes severe infections in children.
  • Varicella protects against chickenpox.
  • DTaP protects against diphtheria (a severe throat infection), tetanus (lockjaw) and pertussis (whooping cough).

The next visit is at 18 months of age. See you then!