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Well Child Care > Well child care: 15 Months

Well child care: 15 Months

Information regarding developmental goals, safety, immunizations, and nutrition information.

Developmental Goals

  • By 15 months toddlers should point to pictures in books and point to objects they want to show you. Read daily!
  • Point to objects and ask, “What is this?” to encourage speech. 
  • Speech may not be clear at this age. About 2 out of 4 words will be understandable by 2 years of age, 3 of 4 words by 4 years of age, and 4 of 4 words by 4 years.
  • When your child wants something, encourage her to use her words, such as “more” or “milk” or “up”.
  • Toddlers should be walking independently by 15 months.
  • Toddlers climb. Allow safe climbing to encourage motor skill development.
  • Spoon and fork use is improved, but finger feeding is usually preferred by toddlers.
  • Toddlers love to help “clean” with rubbing wipes on furniture, putting objects in things (be sure it’s not a bill in the trash!) and by bringing objects to you.
  • At this age toddlers can remove their clothing. Click here for information on potty training.
  • Teach body parts. They are so proud when they can show their ears or nose!
  • Vocabulary may be 15-20 words.
  • Offer balls for play. They love to kick balls and throw overhand.
  • Sleep issues are common at this age.
  • Turn off the television! No tv is recommended. Interactive screens can be used in small amounts, but with direct supervision and help. Talking about what they're doing helps them learn.
  • See also Speech Development

Discipline

  • Ignore tantrums. Do not show that tantrums bother you. Using calm words helps get the situation under control.
  • Toddlers want to please. Reward good behavior frequently with smiles, compliments and hugs.
  • When sick or tired, expect more difficult behavior. Try to keep a regular routine for sleep and feeding times.

Safety

  • Continue keeping medications and other poisons locked and out of reach.
  • Toddlers fall frequently so watch them carefully. Cold compress reduces swelling of head bumps, etc.
  • If child loses consciousness, vomits after a head injury, pupils are different sizes (unless your child is one of the few who always has unequal pupils) or child does not recognize you, take him to the emergency room.
  • Remove sharp edged furniture or cover edges with safety bumpers.
  • If you haven't yet secured your furniture, now's the time! See this video from Charlie's House to learn what to do.
  • Avoid burns by monitoring stoves, iron, curling iron, candles, and fires. Keep all parts of hot items out of reach… don’t let them pull something hot on themselves with a cord or the handle!
  • Keep water temperature below 120° F.
  • Keep cigarettes, matches and lighters out of sight and reach. No smoking!
  • A child can drown in less than 2 inches of water. Never leave unattended around any water, including toilets and buckets.
  • Keep guns unloaded and locked up with ammunition locked up separately.
  • Use sunscreen. Apply 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 hours.
  • Continue to use car seat (never in front of an air bag). By law it must remain backwards for any child under 20 pounds. It is recommended to remain backward until the child outgrows the limit of the rear facing car seat, at least 2 years and 30 pounds. See our car seat page for more information.
  • Avoid bulky clothes including coats, sweaters and many layers in a car seat. A blanket can help with warmth more safely and comfortably.
  • Avoid lawn mowers, farm equipment, garage doors, and streets.
  • For information on how to safely dispose of unused/expired/recalled medications in an earth-friendly way, click here.
  • Click here for more over all safety information (i.e. bug safety, sun safety, internet safety, etc.)!

Diet

  • Offer a variety of food to insure 3 balanced meals daily.
  • NO bottles!
  • Continue whole or 2% milk or toddler formula.
  • All children at this age are recommended to take a supplement of Vitamin D and iron. Click here for more information on Vitamin D.
  • Bad eating habits begin now. Obesity is a major health problem. Don’t force your child to eat, it alters the body’s natural tendency to stop eating when full. Growth is slow at this age, they do not need as many calories as previously, so they seem to eat very little. Limit sugary snacks, juice and pop so they do not fill up on “junk”. Encourage a variety from all food groups. Vitamin supplements can be used to “fill in” the nutritional gaps.
  • Limit juice and minimize sugary snacks. Juice offers little nutrition and has a lot of sugar! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no fruit juice for children under 6 months of age and limiting 100% fruit juice intake to 4-6 ounces per day for children ages 1-6 years and 8-12 ounces per day for those ages 7-18 years. 
  • Click here for more age-specific feeding recommendations.

Health

  • Continue to wipe or brush child’s teeth daily.
  • We offer fluoride varnish at well visits until you establish with a pediatric dentist.
  • For more on dental care, see our dental pages.
  • Smoking in enclosed places allows smoke dust to settle on clothes and hair. When held, the child inhales the smoke dust and can develop allergies, asthma and ear infections. Never smoke around your child or in the home or car - even if the child is not present at the time.
  • If you choose to stop the pacifier, there are many methods. Some parents choose the cold turkey method. Others keep it in the crib only for a few weeks, then stop it. Some will cut off the tip, so the child loses interest. See our dental pages for more information.
  • For information on penile adhesions (when the skin sticks to the head of the penis) click here.
  • For fever, use Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen as directed. Dosing chart is on our medication page.

Immunizations

  • Fever is common after shots. If your child has fussiness with fever, you can give Acetaminophen every 4-6 hours as needed. We no longer recommend preventing the fever from vaccines with routine acetaminophen because it might decrease the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • Bring your shot record each visit.
  • Review the VIS (Vaccine Information Sheet) before visits.
  • Flu (Influenza) shots are recommended each Fall.

WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) provides nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and food to families who have needs. For more information click here.

Be sure to obtain any required health forms at your well visit!

Have you scheduled your child's 15-month well appointment? Click here to request an appointment.

Insurance

Review your insurance contract to see who is responsible for payment of specific things within your well visit. Many companies do not require a co pay for well care visits, but if additional topics are discussed (such as ill topics or refills of medications) they might require a payment from you. They might also require you to pay for all or part of any labs or testing done at well visits.

If you have questions about how your insurance handles codes performed at the time of well visits, please visit our insurance pages on patient responsibility with billing and Why am I being billed? I have insurance!

Find health information quickly in our parent toolkit.

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