Well-Child Checkup: 15 Months
Well-Child Checkup: 15 Months
At the 15-month checkup, the
healthcare provider will examine your child and ask how it’s going at home. This sheet
describes some of what you can expect.
Development and milestones
The healthcare provider will ask questions about your child. He or she will observe your toddler to get an idea of the child’s development. By this visit, your child is likely doing some of the following:
Squatting down and standing back up
Pointing at items he or she wants
Copying some of your actions
such as holding a phone to his or her ear, or pointing with a remote control
Throwing or kicking a ball
Starting to let you know his or her needs
Saying 1 or 2 words besides
“Mama” and “Dada”
At 15 months of age, it’s normal
for a child to eat 3 meals and a few snacks each day. If your child doesn’t want to eat,
that’s OK. Provide food at mealtime, and your child will eat if and when he or she is
hungry. Don't force the child to eat. To help your child eat well:
Keep serving a variety of
finger foods at meals. Don't give up on offering new foods. It often takes several
tries before a child starts to like a new taste.
If your child is hungry between meals, offer healthy foods. Cut-up vegetables and fruit, unsweetened cereal, and crackers are good choices. Save snack foods, such as chips or cookies, for special occasions.
Your child should continue to
drink whole milk every day. But he or she should get most calories from healthy,
Besides drinking milk, water is best. Limit fruit juice. You can add water to 100% fruit juice and give it to your toddler in a cup. Don’t give your toddler soda.
Serve drinks in a cup, not a bottle.
Don’t let your child walk
around with food or a bottle. This is a choking risk. It can also lead to
overeating as your child gets older.
Ask the healthcare provider if your child needs a fluoride supplement.
Brush your child’s teeth at
least once a day. Twice a day is ideal, such as after breakfast and before bed.
Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, no larger than a grain of rice. Use a
baby’s toothbrush with soft bristles.
Ask the healthcare provider
when your child should have his or her first dental visit. Most pediatric dentists
recommend that the first dental visit happen within 6 months after the first tooth
appears above the gums, but no later than the child's first birthday.
Most children sleep around 10 to 12 hours at night at this age. If your child sleeps more or less than this but seems healthy, it is not a concern. At 15 months of age, many children are down to one nap. Whatever works best for your child and your schedule is fine. To help your child sleep:
Follow a bedtime routine each night, such as brushing teeth followed by reading a book. Try to stick to the same bedtime each night.
Don't put your child to bed
with anything to drink.
Check that the crib mattress
is on the lowest setting. This helps keep your child from pulling up and climbing
or falling out of the crib. If your child is still able to climb out of the crib,
use a crib tent, or put the mattress on the floor, or switch to a toddler bed.
If getting the child to sleep through the night is a problem, ask the healthcare provider for tips.
Recommendations for keeping your
toddler safe include:
Plan ahead. At this age,
children are very curious. They are likely to get into items that can be
dangerous. Keep latches on cabinets. Keep products like cleansers medicines are
out of reach.
Protect your toddler from
falls. Use sturdy screens on windows. Put gates at the tops and bottoms of
staircases. Supervise your child on the stairs.
If you have a swimming pool,
put a fence around it. Close and lock gates or doors leading to the pool.
Watch out for items that are small enough to choke on. As a rule, an item small enough to fit inside a toilet paper tube can cause a child to choke.
In the car, always put your
child in a car seat in the back seat. Babies and toddlers should ride in a
rear-facing car safety seat for as long as possible. That means until they reach
the top weight or height allowed by their seat. Check your safety seat
instructions. Most convertible safety seats have height and weight limits that
will allow children to ride rear-facing for 2 years or more.. Ask your child's
healthcare provider if you have questions.
Teach your child to be gentle and cautious with dogs, cats, and other animals. Always supervise the child around animals, even familiar family pets.
Keep this Poison Control phone number in an easy-to-see place, such as on the refrigerator: 800-222-1222.
Based on recommendations from the
CDC, at this visit your child may get the following vaccines:
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
Haemophilus influenzae type b
Measles, mumps, and rubella
Teaching good behavior and setting limits
Learning to follow the rules is an
important part of growing up. Your toddler may have started to act out by doing things
like throwing food or toys. Curiosity may cause your toddler to do something dangerous,
such as touching a hot stove. To encourage good behavior and keep your toddler safe,
start setting limits and enforcing rules. Here are some tips:
Teach your child what’s OK to do and what isn’t. Your child needs to learn to stop what he or she is doing when you say to. Be firm and patient. It will take time for your child to learn the rules. Try not to get frustrated.
Be consistent with rules and limits. A child can’t learn what’s expected if the rules keep changing.
Ask questions that help your child make choices, such as, “Do you want to wear your sweater or your jacket?” Never ask a "yes" or "no" question unless it is OK to answer "no". For example, don’t ask, “Do you want to take a bath?” Simply say, “It’s time for your bath.” Or offer a choice like, “Do you want your bath before or after reading a book?”
Never let your child’s reaction make you change your mind about a limit that you have set. Rewarding a temper tantrum will only teach your child to throw a tantrum to get what he or she wants.
If you have questions about
setting limits or your child’s behavior, talk with the healthcare provider.
Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
Date Last Reviewed:
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