Fifteen Months


  • Your child may have vocabulary of 3-6 words, can point to a body part. 
  • Bowed legs are common in this age group. 
  • Children enjoy daily and bedtime routines (brushing teeth, story telling, etc.) 
  • Your child may begin to climb stairs and on furniture. 
  • Your child may be able to build a tower with 2 or more cubes and may begin to put objects into containers. 
  • Children of this age like to help with simple household tasks, such as sweeping, emptying small garbage cans, etc. 
  • Children tell what they want by pulling, pointing, or grunting.


  • Your child should be encouraged to use a spoon. Again, expect messiness; this is how your child learns. 
  • Avoid raisins, popcorn, peanuts, raw carrots, hot dogs, grapes and other small objects of food that your child could choke on. 
  • Your child’s appetite may seem decreased. This is normal because she is not growing at as fast a rate as during her first year. She may eat less at some meals than at others. 
  • Aim to phase out your child’s bottle by 18 months at the latest, if she is not already off the bottle.


  • Clean teeth with a soft child’s toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste two times a day. Do not allow children to eat toothpaste. 
  • Delay toilet training until your child is at least 24 months old.


  • Your child should ride in a toddler car seat at all times in back seat of the car. 
  • Be sure your child does not have access to the street. 
  • Keep matches, scissors, knives, and other sharp objects out of your child’s reach. Be sure your house is “child-proof”. Keep all poison and medicines locked away. Keep Ipecac and Poison Control’s number (528-6048) where they are easily accessible. Never give Ipecac before first talking to the Poison Control Center. 
  • Have gates at the top and bottom of all stairways. Avoid expandable gates that children may get their heads or fingers caught in. 
  • Never leave your child unattended in the bathtub, even for a few seconds. 
  • Tap water should not exceed 120 degrees F. 
  • Use sunscreen and hats to protect from the sun’s rays. 
  • Check window guards. 
  • Supervise closely especially near dogs, lawn mowers, driveways, streets. 
  • Place your child in a safe area during food preparation. 
  • Avoid electrical injuries-cap outlets and avoid dangling electrical cords. 
  • Avoid suffocation-do not let an infant play with balloons and plastic bags. 
  • If you own a gun, we encourage you not to store it at home or in the car. If you do store the gun at home, it should be unloaded, locked up, and ammunition should be stored in a separate place than the gun. 
  • Lower the crib mattress.


  • Continue to help your child increase his vocabulary by naming and describing objects and body parts to him. 
  • Children love to read books, sing and dance. 
  • Television watching should be limited.


  • Picture books, rocking-horses, stuffed animals, containers with shapes, blocks, pull or push toys and measuring cups are enjoyed at this age.


  • Make you expectations clear to your child, but remember that he can only understand at a child’s level. 
  • It is important to set limits with your toddler-expect some negativism and temper tantrums. 
  • Allow no hitting, biting or aggressive behavior.


Your child’s emerging independent behavior should not be misread as intentional misbehavior. It is best to be consistent. Set limits primarily for safety, through verbal no’s and physical removal from potential dangers. Praise your child often for desired behavior and admire his good qualities-“catch him being good”. Limits should be few but firm. Because of growing independence, she may persist in spite of being told no and you may simply have to remove her from what she is doing. It also takes repeated “practice” before a child learns which activities are “no-no’s”.