Toddler development and milestones: your 15 month old

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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. Your task is to keep your little one safe and sound and all loved up. If only we could have eyes in the back of our heads.

Oh, look how adorable your little one 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 doesn’t know fear because he 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!

15 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Tot on Track?

Physical Development

If your busy explorer has been walking for a while, now he will up the stakes. It’s all about escaping to go on a quest for discovery during this 15 month old development and milestones stage.

Be prepared for bursts of speed while out walking, and frantic antics to free himself from his high chair. He will experiment with walking backwards and could very well fall over something in the process. Other antics include trying to climb out of his 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. He is climbing up stairs on hands and feet or standing if you help him. He might even be throwing balls!

Watch out, he still has no sense of direction, so those balls (and other toys…) could end up anywhere. So try to be more patient. His 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 might just decide to take a rest and do the bear walk. Don’t worry, soon enough he’ll be back on his feet – and running as well!

As for your toddler’s fine motor skills, he is starting to master the pincer grasp. This will allow him 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.

Activities to Boost Physical Development:

Get some vitamin D and fresh air by playing outside so that he can continue to practice throwing balls without breaking anything.

Get him bigger-sized crayons so that he can practice his grip. His artwork might not be Picasso but at least he’s working those hand muscles.

Turn on some lively children songs and dance along with him. Not only is it cute to watch, but it is also helping him to improve his balance and gross motor skills.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If your child does not attempt to walk
  • When your child keeps falling over

Cognitive Development

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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 might even be able to say “boo boo” when he has stubbed his toes.

Singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” together will provide endless fun, as he tries to match his 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 might recognise the word for book or bottle or ball and be able to find them if placed near him.

Be aware though, your little one also explores through tasting! His 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.

Activities to Boost Cognitive Development:

A lovely activity to do during this toddler development stage is touching different surfaces, furry, soft, rough. Get your toddler some lovely tactile books to explore, or use fabrics and textures 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 is playing with it, you can give him some simple direction like “twist”, “pull”, “squish”, and so on.

Aside from that, do continue playing “Mirror me” and have him 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 his environment
  • When your child is unable imitate simple body actions

Social and Emotional Development

Your little one loves attention – including attention he gives himself! Yes, as part of your toddler’s 15 month old development and milestones, he can now recognise himself 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 is among the people pictured.

Although your toddler loves company, he 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 desire. Again, nothing to worry about here, chalk the behaviour up to your toddler’s 15 month old development and milestones.

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

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

Activities to Boost Socio-Emotional Development:

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 would support their growth and development. 

You can provide regular chances for playdates to encourage him to be more sociable, but if he is not ready, do not force him.

As part of your toddler’s 15 month old development and milestones, he 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 toddler does not do anything to gain your attention
  • When he gets overly upset while transitioning from activity to activity

Speech and Language Development

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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 might prefer to use gestures and sounds rather than proper words.

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

As part of your toddler’s 15 month old development and milestones, he might already know how to say four or five words (although it might not be clear to strangers). He can follow simple instructions and might even start to ask for things. Although his asking is more commanding like “Mama carry!” 

Activities to Boost Language and Speech Development:

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 isn’t yet able to say it back. It’ll stick in his mind for later.

Continue reading to him, because it really is the best way to expose him to new words, especially their usage and meanings.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If your toddler doesn’t use consonant sounds “ba, da, ga” or other vocalisations to express his needs
  • When he doesn’t use his own name to refer to himself or follow simple instructions

Health and Nutrition

As part of your toddler’s 15 month old development and milestones, he should weigh about 9.2-11.5 kg and be about 72.0-81.7 cm tall. 

Some toddlers already feed themselves with spoons, while others messily cram food and hands into their mouth together.

Do be careful with spices and salt, and no nuts, sesame seeds or nuts, but other than that you can safely let your toddler steal bites of your food at the hawker centre.

If you have decided to introduce dairy, toddlers should always drink full-fat milk and dairy products. Don’t feed him skimmed milk – your Speedy Gonzales needs all the calories he can get!

The main liquid he should be drinking is water. Limit his intake of both milk and fruit juice (and always dilute the juice), as otherwise, it might impact his appetite. You can, however, up his intake of healthy snacks because his stomach is still small and needs constant refuelling.

Continue to give him a variety of whole grains, protein as well as fruits and vegetables. 3 servings of whole grain bread, 1 large banana, a cup of chopped veggies, 2 tablespoons of nut butter or 2 servings of meat the 1/3 the size of your palm should do the trick. 2 servings of milk would be great too.

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!

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If your child shows no interest in eating at all
  • When your child is always lethargic and not gaining any weight

*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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