During this time establishing a daily routine that includes a nap and a regular bedtime is very helpful.
Your child should be eating three balanced meals a day, but may require a nutritious between meal snack. Encourage the toddler to feed himself by using a cup. Also, begin letting him use a spoon. During this learning phase expect a messy phase and spilled food. Soft food may still be required. Hard or airway sized foods such as popcorn, grapes, hot dogs, candy and peanuts should be avoided because of the possibility of choking. Milk and dairy products continue to be a necessary part of your child's diet. If your child's milk intake decreases, do not be alarmed. Your child needs just 700 mg a day of calcium, which is easy to achieve. Please review this information regarding calcium in your child's diet to make sure your child is receiving enough calcium. Milk intake should not exceed 16-24 ounces in a day as you transition to whole milk. Don't add salt or sugar to your child's food. Your baby should be off the bottle.
Vitamins & Fluoride
Continue as directed at the twelve month visit. If you have recently moved, check the fluoride status of your water and contact our office if it has changed.
At this age most children can:
- Walk unassisted
- Kick and roll a ball. May try to catch and throw the ball
- Take some clothing off
- Follow simple directions and commands
- Understand some words and phrases
- Say 1-3 words
- Respond to name
- Play hide-n-seek
- Try to name some common objects
- Try to communicate with simple words and actions
Indicators for concern:
- Does not use 1-3 words
- No eye contact
- Does not respond to name
- No pointing or other gestures such as waving "bye-bye"
- Unusual repetitive movements
- Not attempting to cruise or walk
Common Issues And Concerns
To see information on Acetaminophen (Tylenol) dosage, click here. Remember to always dose based on the weight of your child.
- Your child should be sleeping in her own bed and through the night.
- Bedtime should be enforced after a familiar routine is complete.
- If your child is trying to climb out of the crib, he should be placed in a bed that is low to the floor.
- Once your child is put to bed, she should not be allowed out of his bed or room. Toddlers should not be allowed to roam the house without supervision.
Behavior & Discipline
- A daily routine is very helpful for a toddler. A regular bedtime is also important and toddlers still need a nap at least once a day
- Praise your child for good behavior. Parents should show immediate and enthusiastic responses to good behavior, giving more "yes" than "no" messages.
- The best discipline is to use redirection, distraction, gentle restraint, removal of object from toddler, or move the toddler away and help him get interested in something else. Use discipline as a means of teaching and protecting, not as punishing.
- Give your child consistent messages.
- Toddlers should never be spanked. Spanking does not usually work and is not a good kind of punishment for a young child.
- Discourage hitting, biting and harmful behavior
- Encourage language development by talking about the things you are doing and seeing together, reading books, repeating words and phrases and singing.
- Temper tantrums are common between 15 and 30 months, and are normal ways for young children to express frustration. Use time out for tantrums that cannot be ignored and those that are harmful to another person.
- Remember, toddlers have not learned to share yet and sometimes do not play well with other toddlers
- It is best to wait until your child turns two before you begin toilet training
Brush your infant's teeth with a soft toothbrush each day. Please review the information regarding Tooth Decay Prevention.
Your infant is becoming more mobile and constant supervision and safety precautions are critical. Please review the advice found on Healthychildren.org.
- Anchor dressers, furniture, TV's to prevent them falling on your child.
- Never underestimate the ability of a 15-month-old to climb.
- Check for hazards at your toddler's level (stairs, cords, outlets, cabinets, windows).
- Continue using the toddler car seat on every outing in the car. Do not put the child in the front seat.
- Closely supervise your toddler especially near dogs, lawnmowers, driveways, streets and water.
- The toddler's environment should be without cigarette smoke, alcohol or drugs.
- Use sunscreen and limit exposure to the sun.
- Plan for swim lessons by 18 months if not already done.
- Your toddler may be able to tell you now in more obvious ways when she feels sick or something hurts. Watch for fever or changes in appetite, activity level or sleeping habits. Toddlers with ear infections often have fever and cold symptoms.
- Limit your toddler's TV time. It's okay to occasionally watch a TV show designed for young children, but a toddler should watch less than one hour of TV a day. Human-to-human interaction stimulates language and communication. Avoid electronic devices at this age.
Next Well Child Visit
The next routine physical examination is at 18 months of life.