Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 5 Month Old

Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 5 Month Old

Your toddler's physical and emotional abilities are growing stronger day by day, amongst other developments. Find out how you can help him on his journey!

Open and close, on and off, zip and unzip, your 1 year 5 months old toddler loves to make things happen! And what better than to do it over and over again. Get ready, because, at this stage of your toddler’s 1 year 5 months old development and milestones phase, it is all about getting into the nitty-gritty of things.

1 Year and 5 Months Old Child Development and Milestones: Is Your Tot on Track?

Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 5 Month Old

Physical Development

As your tot’s gross motor skills development gallops ahead, his/her fine motor skills are also catching up. Your child’s little fingers are getting more and more dexterous, and his/her pincer grip is growing stronger.

This means it’s time to get out pen and paper and watch your toddler draw a (squiggly) line and even an arc. He/she is also able to hold on to a large zipper and do it up or down – as long as you hold down the fabric for him/her.

Even turning doorknobs and opening drawers are no mean feat if your child is tall enough. He/she might have even figured out how to undo his/her diaper, so keep a close watch! At the same time, doing this  could signal the start of potty training readiness. But most children don’t gain reliable control over their bladder until after they turn two years old. Instead, they rely on their mummy, daddy or auntie to remind them when to go.

As part of your toddler’s 1 year 5 months development, he/she will be up and running by now but his/her movements are not yet fully-coordinated. Don’t worry if your little one is constantly bumping into the sofa and the coffee table – this is completely normal (and also why you need to childproof those sharp edges).

Dancing is another favourite activity, albeit clumsily and with two left feet! But then the most exciting thing that parents can expect to see this month is signs of hand preference. Is your tot going to be right-handed or a leftie?

17 month old development and milestones

1 year and 5 month old development and milestones: Such a cute age!


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

  • Boys
    – Length: 81.2 cm (32.0 inches)
    – Weight: 10.7 kg (23.7 lb)
  • Girls 
    – Length: 79.7 cm (31.4 inches)
    – Weight: 10.4 kg (23.0 lb)

Your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 47.2 cm (18.6 inches)
  • Girls: 46.1 cm (18.1 inches)


  • Try spending more time playing outdoors in safe places. There you would have more space to practice running and kicking balls. 
  • Have fun indoors—turn on some music or sing songs together and just dance! It might seem like a super easy activity, but it does help your toddler to learn coordination, rhythm and motion.
  • Bring on the crayons and let your tot draw squiggly lines. Not only is this great for learning colours, it helps him/her to practice his/her pincer grip as well as learn hand control.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

  • Is unable to pick up small objects or pieces of food.
  • Cannot walk without assistance.

Cognitive Development

A stronger pincer grip also means your little one is ready for the next phase of toys for toddler development: sorting games! Now is the time to break out those shape-sorting cubes, the colourful stacking cups and the wooden puzzles with the knobs on pieces for lifting and putting back into place.

When teaching him/her about shapes, it’s good to also mention colours. Although some toddlers quickly develop a preference for one colour (yellow is a firm favourite), don’t worry if your toddler doesn’t seem interested. Recognising colours is only just beginning!

Your toddler will still be putting things in his/her mouth. This is completely normal because he/she is using all senses to learn about the world – that includes tasting! Your task is to make sure all toys are clean. Give them a quick rinse every few days, and always after taking them outside.

As part of his/her 1 year 5 months development and milestones, your toddler will begin to show the results of all earlier explorations. He/she will let you know he/she recognises places and people, demonstrating his/her power of memory. Even switching your furniture around might gain you a surprised look on your child’s face!


  • Continue to give simple instructions like asking your tot to clean up after playing.
  • Talk about an event or about people that your child might remember.
  • Get your child to point to different things every time you read to him/her.
  • Lay out colourful blocks and shapes and see if he/she remembers which is which. Show your toddler how to group them according to shape and colours.
  • Your toddler is probably more interested in everyday things, so there is really no need to splurge on expensive toys. Sometimes, even just a simple empty cereal box can occupy his/her time. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child,

  • Is unable to build a tower of at least three blocks.
  • Cannot follow simple instructions.

Social and Emotional Development

Your toddler is growing emotionally as well physically. He/she is experiencing a wide range of emotions, from joy and delight to sadness, anger and frustration.

You can help your toddler by naming emotions so he/she knows what he/she is feeling: “I see you are feeling sad,” or “I see you are feeling angry.” Keep it simple. By naming emotions like this, you also show your toddler you care and understand.

Through learning about his/her own feelings, your bub also begins to understand that other people might be feeling the same. This is the basis for empathy.

As part of your toddler’s 1 year 5 months old development and milestones, he/she still doesn’t know how to handle big emotions and can easily feel overwhelmed by them. Other children might have a favourite toy to cuddle, a pacifier or other means to self-soothe. As your child grows older, he/she will learn new ways of dealing with emotions, and let go of these habits.

Boundaries, routines and consistency give your toddler a sense of security. Also, he/she will respond better to being told what to do instead of what not to do. However, be realistic in your expectations because no doubt his/her brain is hard at work. It is still very hard for your toddler to remember all the rules.

You are still the most important person in your little one’s universe, and your tot would do a lot to gain your attention and approval. So any praise from you will lift his/her heart. Be sure to always let him/her know when he/she is doing something right, and shower him/her with kisses and cuddles.


  • Do play with your toddler and teach him/her about sharing.
  • When setting limits and boundaries, use the instructions like “yes” and “no” clearly. The important part is to be consistent and keep your explanations brief.
  • When reading to your child, try to point out pictures that focus on emotions and briefly talk about them.
  • Remember that all children develop at their own pace. Some process their emotions by sitting quietly in a corner, and some need to scream from the top of their lungs.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child, 

  • Displays overly erratic emotions from one activity to another.
  • Shows no emotions at all towards people he/she is close with.

Speech and Language Development

17 month old development and milestones

1 year and 5 month old development and milestones: What words does your tot say?

Speech is all about sound, and your little one is trying out all ways of making sounds! He/she might be whispering one moment, screaming the next, babbling all morning and growling in the afternoon.

This part of toddler speech development is training the mouth, tongue and vocal cords to move in different ways in order to form specific sounds and words.

During his/her 1 year 5 months old development and milestones, you can begin introducing descriptive words because he/she can understand better now. Before, communication was simple: noun and verb. Now you can add in adjectives, like: “Look, there’s a white flower” and “Do you see the big doggie?” Very soon you will hear him/her describing things back to you!

Similarly, instructions can become slightly more complicated, although it’s still a good idea to take things one step at the time. Your toddler can probably say about seven words pretty clearly. But to help him/her improve, you can enunciate the words clearly when talking and he/she will follow your cue. Besides, you are your child’s most important role model. Reading definitely helps a lot, but so does everyday one-to-one conversations.


  • You can encourage your child by playing games, such as a whispering contest. You can pretend to be monsters and growl at each other, or engage in a singing match to see who can sing the loudest. And once he/she gets all his/her voice exercise with you, your toddler will be less prone to screaming indoors.
  • When talking to your toddler, try a combination of words and actions. However much he/she might comprehend, seeing what you mean helps him/her work out what you want done. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child, 

  • Is not saying anything or trying to communicate in any way.
  • Does not respond consistently if his/her name is called.

Health and Nutrition


These are the typical daily calories requirements for children of this age: 

  • Boys: 872.3 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 845.6 Kcal/day 

To meet your child’s daily nutrition needs, his/her daily diet should be composed of the following:

  • Protein

Introduce sources of protein such as poultry, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts and seeds, eggs, and tofu. Your toddler needs around 20 grams of protein every day. This amounts to one to three tablespoons of lean meat, chicken, or fish, four to five tablespoons of dry beans and peas, or one egg. Introduce two servings of fish or meat 1/3 the size of your palm. 

  • Fruits 

Your child needs about three cups (100g/cup) of fruits every day. Three cups of fruit equals two of fresh or frozen fruit, half cup of dried fruit and half of a large apple, cut into small pieces. You could also throw fruits like fresh berries, bananas and avocados. 

  • Vegetables 

At this stage, your child requires 1.5 cups (25g each) of vegetables every day. This amount of vegetables equals to 1.5 cups cooked, mashed or finely chopped vegetables, 1/4 large tomato and/or 1/4 a medium carrot.

Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including those coloured dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and others, each week. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium or avoid altogether if you can. 

  • Grains 

Introduce up to 3 ounces of grains in your child’s meals. One ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, one cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta, rice or cooked cereal.

Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit or avoid refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.

  • Milk/Dairy 

Your child should drink a minimum of 400-700ml of milk; he/she needs two cups of dairy, whether in the form of yoghurt or milk. Low-sodium cheese is also a good source of calcium. 

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

  • Fruits: 3 cups for boys; 3 cups for girls 
  • Vegetables: 1.5 cups for boys; 1.5 cups for girls
  • Grains: 3 ounces for boys; 3 ounces for girls
  • Proteins: 20g for boys; 20g for girls  
  • Milk: 16 to 24 ounces for boys; 16 to 24 ounces for girls
  • Water: 1200 ml for boys; 1200 ml for girls


  • Eating habits can be erratic at this age especially now that your child can express likes and dislikes when it comes to certain food. He/she might decide to eat a lot today, then only take a couple of spoonfuls the next day.
  • Don’t worry too much about your child’s food. Our job is to provide our kids with a variety of wholesome, nutritious foods at meals and snacks in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Whether to eat it or not is really entirely up to them, to be honest. By allowing your child to respond to his/her own internal cues of hunger, this will help him/her develop a healthy attitude toward food and eating. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child,

  • Isn’t eating a balanced diet
  • Is not active and not maintaining a healthy weight

Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 5 Month Old

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses

This is the age-wise vaccination schedule for kids aged 15 – 18 months:

  • MMR – 2nd dose: Immunisation against Measles, Mumps & Rubella

The 2nd dose of MMR can be given between 15-18 months.

  • Immunisations due this month include DTaP and any other vaccines that he/she hasn’t taken since turning 12 months. Read up on how to handle common colds and ear infections as these are two health issues commonly found in toddlers.

To find out what vaccinations your child should have gotten up to now, and check if this schedule is up-to-date, click here. 

Even with a complete vaccination record, your child might still catch colds, the flu and other common illnesses like hand, foot and mouth disease. This is a normal part of toddler development and serves to strengthen your child’s immune system. 

You should always consult a doctor when your child is ill, even with common illnesses, and get advice on how to best ease your little one’s symptoms. However, you can do simple and gentle home remedies, such as sponging to bring down fever, or giving your child warm chicken broth to ease congestion. If your child has a blocked nose, try placing a humidifier near his/her bed. 


  • Never give a child aspirin that could lead to Reye’s syndrome—a life-threatening illness that affects the liver and brain.
  • It is important to teach and encourage your child to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing which can help prevent the spread of illnesses.  
  • Remember not to neglect your child’s dental hygiene. He/she should be brushing his/her teeth twice a day by now. 
  • Enroll in a first aid course. You never know when your learnings will come handy. 

When To See a Doctor

  • When your child is not eating or drinking, with signs of dehydration (such as decreased urination).
  • Your child experiences excessive crankiness or sleepiness.
  • When your child experiences persistent ear pain.
  • If your child’s cough lasts for more than three weeks.
  • If your child shows signs of severe discomfort, including vomiting, diarrhoea or very high fever (over 38°C/100.4°F).

*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. 

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

Source: Kids Health

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Next month: Toddler development and milestones: your 1-year-and-6-month-old

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