Toddler development and milestones: your 1 year and 3 month old

Toddler development and milestones: your 1 year and 3 month old

Nerve-wracking times for parents as your wee one goes off into the world without a care for danger. This stage of toddler development is all about fearlessly moving and exploring.

Oh, look how adorable your 1 year 3 month old little one is as he/she toddles off… into a busy street. This stage of toddler development is cause for many a parental heart attack.

Your sweet wee one is busy discovering the world with no sense of danger. Really, it’s a big compliment to you: He/she doesn’t know fear because he/she has not experienced pain.

But you might want to invest in some soft mats and foam tiles for your hard wooden floor, and some calming essential oils for yourself!

1 Year and 3 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Tot on Track?

Toddler development and milestones: your 1 year and 3 month oldPhysical Development

At this stage, your child’s median length and weight* should be as follows: 

  • Boys
    – Length: 79.2 cm (31.2 inches)
    – Weight: 10.3 kg (22.7 lb)
  • Girls 
    – Length: 77.7 cm (30.6 inches)
    – Weight: 9.9 kg (22 lb)

And your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 46.81 cm (18.4 inches)
  • Girls: 45.66 cm (18 inches)

If your busy explorer has been walking for a while, now he/she will up the stakes. It’s all about escaping to go on a quest for discovery during this 1 year and 3 month old development and milestones stage.

Be prepared for bursts of speed while out walking, and frantic antics to free him/herself from the high chair. Your child will experiment with walking backwards and could very well fall over something in the process. Other antics include trying to climb out of the cot, rolling off the sofa, and hiding inside cupboards and on shelves. Now you know why furniture shops recommend you nail the bookshelves to the wall!

With your little one always on the move, child-proofing is especially important. Your toddler is climbing up stairs on hands and feet or standing with your help. He/she might even be throwing balls!

Watch out, for your toddler still has no sense of direction, so those balls (and other toys…) could end up anywhere. So try to be more patient. His/her lack of aim is all part of toddler development.

It’s not unusual if your walking toddler decides to go back to crawling for a little bit during this 15 month old development and milestones stage. Walking on two feet is tiring and unstable, so he/she might just decide to take a rest and do the bear walk. Don’t worry, soon enough your child will be back on his/her feet – and running as well!

As for your toddler’s fine motor skills, he/she is starting to master the pincer grasp. This will allow him/her to begin scribbling with intent, so you might want to stow away pencils and crayons when they are not in use to preserve the colour of your walls.


  • Get some vitamin D and fresh air by playing outside so that your child can continue to practice throwing balls without breaking anything.
  • Get your child bigger-sized crayons so that he/she can practice his/her grip. Your toddler’s artwork might not be Picasso but at least he/she is working those hand muscles.
  • Turn on some lively children songs and dance along with your toddler. Not only is it cute to watch, but it is also helping your child to improve his/her balance and gross motor skills.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child,

  • Does not attempt to walk.
  • Keeps falling over.

Cognitive Development

15 month old development and milestones

The world is a wonderland of discovery for your little one.

Exciting times! Your little explorer is beginning to identify and point at body parts. He/she might even be able to say “boo boo” if he/she gets hurt. 

Singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” together will provide endless fun, as your little one tries to match his/her moves to the song. You might have to sing a little slowly the first few times. 

This really is a time of discovery, as your little one is also beginning to put names and objects together. He/she might recognise the word for “book” or “bottle” or “ball” and be able to find them if placed near him/her.

Be aware though, that your little one also explores through tasting! His/her mouth is very sensitive, so it makes perfect sense that your toddler would want to stick everything inside to get a good feel, even if it might not be very sanitary.


  • A lovely activity to do during this toddler development stage is touching different surfaces, furry, soft, rough. Get your toddler some tactile books to explore, or use fabrics and textures that you have around the home.
  • You can also count things together in books and then later go hunting for those things in your home.
  • Playdough can be really fun because it is something new and a sensory material for your toddler to experience. And as he/she is playing with it, you can give some simple direction like “twist”, “pull”, “squish”, and so on.
  • Aside from that, do continue playing “Mirror Me” and have your child point to different parts of your face when you say it.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child, 

  • Does not seem aware of any changes in routines or environment.
  • Is unable imitate simple body actions.

Social and Emotional Development

Your little one loves attention – including attention he/she gives him/herself! Yes, as part of your toddler’s 1 year and 3 month old development and milestones, he/she can now recognise him/herself in the mirror. It’s an amazing discovery! Almost as amazing as seeing familiar faces in photographs.

Some children are comforted by seeing pictures of their parents during the day, while others may get upset. Having family pictures on the wall is a great way to give a toddler a sense of belonging, especially if he/she is among the people pictured.

Although your toddler loves company, he/she does not yet have any social skills. Be prepared for a lot of shoving and pushing and crawling over playmates to get to the object of his/her desire. Again, nothing to worry about here. Chalk the behaviour up to your toddler’s 1 year and 3 month old development and milestones.

Playtime is still going to be side-by-side, but occasionally your little one will start paying attention to other people.

Keep an eye out: Your toddler might be mimicking your own actions. Yes, your tot learnt that stern look and decisive “no” from you, mummy!


  • Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all especially when it is playdate time. Remember that at times it is important to stay away rather than interfere with their activities. This will support their growth and development.
  • You can provide regular chances for playdates to encourage your child to be more sociable. But if he/she is not ready, do not force him/her.
  • As part of your toddler’s 1 year and 3 month old development and milestones, he/she is still unable to share and might even fight with other kids just to have the toy. This shouldn’t stop you from setting up playdates. Instead, when it happens, show him how to take turns.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child, 

  • Does not do anything to gain your attention.
  • Gets overly upset while transitioning from activity to activity.

Speech and Language Development

15 month old development and milestones

Who can resist a request to be carried when it comes with such a big smile and wide open arms?

In order to keep up with all this exploration and discovery, your little one might develop a shorthand for talking to you during this toddler development stage. That is, he/she might prefer to use gestures and sounds rather than proper words.

Your toddler pulls on your leg if he/she wants your attention, he/she pushes toys at you for playing, or even food if he/she refuses to eat anymore. Do react to your toddler’s attempts at communication, even if you’d prefer him/her to use words, because he/she will learn in due time, don’t worry!

As part of your toddler’s 1 year and 3 month old development and milestones, he/she might already know how to say four or five words (although it might not be clear to strangers). Your toddler can follow simple instructions and might even start to demand things: “Mama carry!” 


  • In order to encourage language skills, talk to your little one. Research has shown that the sing-song voice most parents adopt naturally is really good for children to listen to and to learn how to speak.
  • Model sentences and ways of talking that you want your little one to use (such as saying “please” and “thank you”) even if he/she isn’t yet able to say it back. It’ll stick in you child’s mind for later.
  • Continue reading to your child, because it really is the best way to expose him/her to new words, especially their usage and meanings.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child,  

  • Doesn’t use consonant sounds “ba, da, ga” or other vocalisations to express his/her needs.
  • Doesn’t use his/her own name to refer to him/herself or follow simple instructions.

Health and Nutrition

By 1 year 3 months, your child should eat four small meals per day (¾ to full cup/bowl), plus breastfeeds and/or fresh cow’s milk. You could also offer a couple of snack in between meals.   

Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:

  • Boys: 836.7 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 801.1 Kcal/day 

Your child’s nutrition should be composed of the following: 

  • Protein

A child of this age needs around 20 grams of protein per day. This approximately amounts to a piece of turkey or chicken or fish the size of a female adult’s palm, or a piece of red meat or pork the size of a child’s palm, or one or two tablespoons of lentils or black beans, or four dice-sized cubes of tofu. Some other good sources of protein are eggs and cheese. An egg a day provides a great burst of protein for your child.  

  • Fruits 

To maintain a healthy digestive system and good immunity, your child needs about three cups of fruit every day. Try to provide a mix of fruit (giving your little one fruit salad is a good way to do this) that includes avocado (for brain-building good fats), papaya (for high levels of fibre) and orange for illness-fighting antioxidants.

Ensure you prevent choking hazards by cutting the fruit into bite-sized chunks. 

  • Vegetables 

Serve your child 1.5 cups of vegetables every day as part of a balanced diet. Offering a good variety of vegetables is not just key to preventing fussy eating behaviour, but also delivers a crucial mix of nutrients needed for your toddler’s healthy development. Give your toddler a “rainbow” of vegetables daily, such as broccoli, pumpkin, spinach, beetroot, sweet potato and kale. 

  • Grains 

Grains provide your child with carbohydrate, which is an important source of energy. At this age, your little ones needs around three ounces or about 85 grams of grains per day.  You could make this up with around one and a half slices of bread, or one cup of rice, or half a cup of cooked oatmeal, or half a cup of couscous. Please avoid giving your child white, processed grains as much as possible (like white bread or pasta) and instead, provide whole-grain/wholemeal alternatives.  

  • Milk/Dairy 

Your child requires around 16 to 24 ounces of milk (approximately 400 to 700 ml) of milk every day. Well done mum, if you’re still breastfeeding. Your breastmilk is still an amazing source of nutrients and energy for your toddler. However, if you have stopped breastfeeding already, then fresh, full-cream cow’s milk is the next best choice. Or you could give your child a mix of breastmilk and cow’s milk. 

Other good sources of dairy are cheese and full-fat yoghurt.

In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):

  • Fruits: 3 cups for boys and girls
  • Vegetables: 1.5 cups for boys and girls
  • Grains: up to 3 ounces for boys and girls
  • Proteins: 20g for boys and girls 
  • Milk: 16 to 24 ounces of whole milk for boys and girls (your child does not require formula milk anymore)
  • Water: 1200 ml for boys and girls


  • Some toddlers already feed themselves with spoons, while others messily cram food and hands into their mouth together. Both ways are just fine!
  • Do be careful with spices and salt, and watch out for reaction to nuts. But other than that you can safely let your toddler steal bites of your food at the hawker centre.
  • The main liquid your child should be drinking is water. Limit his/her intake of fruit juice as these may contain a lot of sugar.
  • It’s normal for children of this age to go through fussy eating periods. Continue to offer a diverse range of healthy foods, but don’t stress if your child doesn’t eat everything you provide.

When to see a doctor

If your child, 

  • Vomits constantly after all or most meals. 
  • Breaks out in a rash or struggles to breathe after eating. 
  • Is not gaining weight within a healthy range. 

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses

These are the vaccinations your child should have got by now: 

  • BCG
  • Hepatitis​ B (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • DTaP (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • IPV (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • Hib (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate (1st and 2nd dose)
  • Diphtheria (1st dose)  
  • Meningitis C 
  • MMR – 1st dose & 2nd dose: Immunisation against Measles, Mumps & Rubella
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate – 1st booster: Immunisation against Pneumococcal Disease

Immunisations that might be due this month includes the second dose of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) along with Diphtheria. Remember that some vaccinations are compulsory by law in certain countries, so do make sure your child is on schedule!

Parents do note that following MMR vaccination, some children develop a fever and rash 1 – 2 weeks later or swelling of the glands of the neck after 3 – 4 weeks. To read more about your child’s vaccination schedule, click here.

You may feel like your child is getting sick more frequently now, especially if he/she goes to daycare or has older siblings. While it’s distressing and tiring to deal with your child’s illnesses, it’s a normal part of growing up and actually works to strengthen his/her immune system. Other than colds and coughs, your little one may contract other common childhood illnesses like chicken pox and Hand Foot Mouth disease. 

Since your toddler is still very young, it’s best not to medicate him/her yourself even for common illnesses. You should seek a doctor’s opinion instead. However, you can try gentle home remedies to ease certain symptoms in your child. For example, if your child has a blocked nose, elevate the top-end of his/her mattress to ease breathing. Or bring down your child’s fever by applying a lukewarm washcloth to his/her forehead, groin and armpits. 


  • During any illness, ensure your child stays well-hydrated. Water, light broths, fresh juices and of course, breast milk are good options. 
  • If your child is vomiting a lot, it’s important to make sure he/she doesn’t get dehydrated. You could speak to a pharmacist or doctor about giving your child an oral rehydration solution. 
  • Keep a first-aid kit in your home and consider taking a basic first-aid course. Any frequent caregivers of your child should also know basic first-aid. 

When to see a doctor

If your child, 

  • Has a fever of or over 38 degrees Celsius. 
  • Is vomiting non-stop or has very frequent diarrhea. 
  • Is listless and is not even drinking any water. 

*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards.

*Please note that development milestones vary from child to child. If you have any concerns regarding your little one’s growth, do not hesitate to consult your paediatrician. 

Source: WebMD

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