Age 15-18 Months
FEEDING / GROWTH:
Your toddler should be almost entirely on table foods. Encourage self-feeding and use of a spoon/fork. Expect appetite and growth to slow down now, and your child may start getting picky. A balanced diet is usually present if you look at a 3-4 day period, rather than 24 hours. Don’t panic. It is important not to offer junk food just to fill them up.
Your baby should be off bottles and pacifiers now. Sixteen ounces of whole milk/day is adequate. Avoid foods that toddlers can choke on: grapes, hotdogs, nuts, popcorn, etc.
Your toddler should be sleeping through the night. Your baby’s sleep may become interrupted before each new developmental stage, illnesses, and teething. Naps will be shorter now. A transitional object such as a teddy bear, blanket or stuffed animal can make going to sleep easier. We encourage a regular bedtime routine. Lower the crib mattress to avoid climbing out.
Your toddler is now starting to get a mind of his (her) own, and will start testing to see what independent persons can do. Curiosity is an important thing to allow, and to encourage safely. Since they can do so much more now, try to avoid exposing them to situations where you will have to constantly say “no”. Discipline can be started now, but limit it to situations that may be dangerous. Discipline means teaching and giving clear messages to your child to understand. Examples include removing an object that your toddler is asked not to touch and removing your child from a dangerous situation. Praise your child for good behavior, and ignore most of their tantrums.
Play, talk, sing and read stories to your toddler. Name common objects, and body parts, and encourage your child to say words. Limit television. Encourage imitative behaviors such as sweeping, brushing teeth, putting on clothes, etc. Play active games such as splashing in water, throwing and kicking a ball, and building blocks.
Most babies are mouthing, gumming, tonguing, and/or chewing on this. Some may be cranky, or have a change in stools. If your child is having pain, teething rings and acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra) may help. We recommend wiping the teeth or brushing with a soft toothbrush. You will need to give fluoride drops if your town does not have Fluoride in the water.
PREVENT BURNS: Prevent burns by turning down the water heater to 120 degrees.
CAR SEAT: A car seat must be used for every journey. The seat should be rear facing until 20 pounds AND 1 year.
SMOKE EXPOSURE: Smoking is very harmful to your health, and to your child’s health. If you do smoke, talk with your doctor or other health care provider about getting help with quitting.
HANDWASHING: Wash hands to prevent infections.
CHOKING: Keep objects and foods that can cause choking away from your child, such as coins, balloons, small toy parts, peanuts, and hotdogs. If the object will fit in a toilet paper tube, it will choke a baby.
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDS: Hazards include dangling electrical cords, lamps, tablecloths, electrical outlets, bathtubs, or any bucket with more than an inch of water. Never leave the baby unattended. Put all sharp knives out of reach. Put all household detergents and liquids out of reach. Never underestimate the climbing ability of a child! Place safety caps on medications.
IPECAC: Use in case of an ingestion. Call Poison Control BEFORE using.
The next visit is around 18 months of age. Please review the immunization information.