bouncing red ball


Your toddler is 15 months old!

Your little one is now a fabulous sidekick. You can start to ask for your 15-month-old's help carrying (small) things, throwing away trash and picking out books. This is great for a toddler's self-esteem and teaches him to pitch in around the house.

15-Month-Old Development

Your 15-month-old continues to grow and develop in a variety of ways, and you'll see the doctor this month to give an update on his progress.

15-Month-Old Weight & Height
How much should a 15-month-old weigh and measure? According to the World Health Organization, the median weight for a 15-month-old is 21.2 pounds for girls and 22.7 pounds for boys. Median height is 30.5 inches for girls and 31.2 inches for boys.

Your child's weight, height and head circumference will be measured at his 15-month checkup, and the doctor will check to see that his rate of growth is on track for a healthy 15-month-old. He's probably gained a pound or two since his 12-month visit.

15-Month-Old Milestones
At the checkup, the doctor will likely ask about certain milestones your child is hitting, to get a feel for how she's developing. At this age, there's a wide range of what's considered "normal"—if you have any concerns about your child's development, definitely talk them over with your pediatrician.

Walking. Your child is probably taking at least a few steps on her own. About half of 15-month-olds can walk well. A few are even running or starting to learn to walk backwards!

Speech. Most 15-month-olds say at least one word. Half can say at least two words. And some tots will have now ventured past “dada” and “mama” to form a growing vocabulary that includes words like “dog,” “juice” and— if you’re still breastfeeding—“boobies.”
Teething. First molars may be starting to erupt. For some kids, cutting teeth can be painful and bothersome. For others, you just happen to notice one day a new pearly white poking through the gums—no biggie.

Identification. Your child is starting to understand what everyday objects are used for—a broom is for sweeping and a wooden spoon is for stirring, for example. Some 15-month-olds can identify and point to a few body parts when you ask them to show you.

15-Month-Old Behavior While it's awesome to have an active and (mostly) happy toddler, they have their, er… moments. A few challenging behaviors at 15 months are:

How To Discipline A 15-Month-Old

It might seem like your child is "misbehaving" at times, but at 15 months, he probably doesn't realize he's acting up. He simply wants to see what it's like to color on the wall or to explore the couch by climbing it. Throwing things or hitting gets him attention and, sometimes, exactly what he wants. To start to teach your child good behavior, you'll want to set up some boundaries and consequences.

Here are a few tips that may work with you in disciplining your 15-month-old:

Hide things that are off-limits. You won't have to keep telling your kid "no" when she touches the remote, a magic marker or Daddy's watch if they're away from her line of sight and reach.

Set clear rules and consequences. And stick to them! If your kid sees that pulling the dog's tail gets him a time-out every time, he'll— eventually—stop it.

Distract and redirect. Dwelling on negative behavior won't really teach any lessons at this age. If your child acts out, remove her from the situation and distract her with a positive activity.

Stay calm. It's natural to want to freak out when your child does, but try to demonstrate calm behavior. Over time, he'll start to learn to not act out from you.

15-Month-Old Health
Sometimes it seems as if toddlers are sick all. The. Time. Especially if they go to day care. Parents of 15-month-olds tend to have these common health questions.

• My 15-month-old has a fever. What should I do?
• My 15-month-old has excessive drooling. Could he be teething?
• My 15-month-old is throwing up. What should I do?
• My 15-month-old has a cough. What should I do?
• My 15-month-old has a cold. What should I do?
• What should I do about diarrhea in my 15-month-old?

15-Month-Old Sleep

You've probably found that your 15-month-old is pretty settled into a daily sleep routine—though teething, occasional illness and her desire to stay up and play all day can sometimes throw the routine for a loop.

How Much Sleep Does a 15-Month-Old Need?

One- to 2-year-olds should get 11 to 14 hours of sleep total in a 24-hour day. Wondering when your kid’s going to become a one-nap-a-day tot? Her sleep schedule will usually start to shift from two naps on its own right about now. But you can nudge it along by waiting until after lunch to put her down (even if that means making lunchtime a little earlier for a while).

Here's one example of how it might go:

15-Month-Old Sleep Schedule

Image: Smart Up Visuals

15-Month-Old Sleep Regression

It's common for a 15-month-old to begin to have nightmares—and at this age, he can't really tell the difference between dreams and reality. That can lead to some pretty serious night waking. If your 15-month old was sleeping just fine and is suddenly having nightmares, you'll probably have to do some middle-of-the-night reassuring. Remind your toddler that his dreams aren't real but know that it will take some time before he can truly understand the difference.

15-Month-Old Won’t Sleep

In addition to nightmares, there are other reasons for a toddler to refuse to sleep. Sometimes they just don't want to miss a thing! Try to wind things down before bedtime—turn off the TV, music and devices; give him a soothing bath; read calming bedtime stories. And keep things consistent. If you normally read two books at bedtime, stick to two. If one night you read five, your kid might try to convince you to do that every night, even when it pushes bedtime later and later.

Food For A 15-Month-Old

You may have noticed your 15-month-old doesn't seem always seem to be interested in eating a big meal, or is becoming pickier about what kinds of foods she eats. That's totally normal at this age.

How Much Should A 15-Month-Old Eat?

Continue to give your 15-month-old three meals and two snacks per day. Give her a daily variety of foods in all food groups—vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy.

Doctors say most toddlers need approximately 1,000 calories per day—give or take—or about 40 calories for each inch of their height. But definitely don't worry about keeping track! Offer your one-year-old portions about one-fourth the size of an adult portion. Then, let her choose how much she eats based on her appetite.

Make mealtime an event when you can—having regular meals together as a family can help encourage your child to try different foods, to socialize, to learn table manners and to practice healthy eating habits.

Keep giving your 15-month-old whole milk (unless the doctor has recommended otherwise) or breast milk. A 15-month-old should get 700 mg of calcium per day. So if your kid doesn't get calcium from any other source, he'll need to drink about three 8-ounce cups of milk per day.

If you're breastfeeding, you and your child can keep it up as long as both of you enjoy the benefits. If you're interested in weaning a 15-month-old from breastfeeding, remember to do it slowly. Eliminate one daily feeding for at least three to seven days before dropping the next. If you go too fast, you could risk clogged milk ducts and infection. Remember to give your child plenty of attention during weaning and find ways to distract him during his usual breastfeeding times.

Looking for 15-month baby food ideas? Check out these ideas and recipes:

15-Month-Old Feeding Schedule

Image: Smart Up Visuals

** A toddler's serving size is about ¼ of an adult's


15-Month-Old Won’t Eat

If your 15-month-old won't eat and everything else seems normal, it's likely just a case of picky eating. Rest assured that your pediatrician is keeping tabs on your kid's growth to make sure it's on track. Continue to offer your child a variety of healthy foods for each meal and limit unhealthy treats. But don't start a power struggle over food. Here's more great advice on how to deal with picky eating.

If your child won't eat anything at all, it could be a sign of illness, and you should call the pediatrician to discuss.

Activities For A 15-Month-Old

Your upwardly mobile child is pretty fun to play with these days, huh? There are plenty of things you can do together that make for quality bonding time and help with his development.

What To Do With A 15-Month-Old

Fun activities, games and toys for a 15-month-old are:

Play ball. This is a perfect age for rolling and bouncing a ball together.
Color with crayons. Half of all 15-month-olds can scribble with a crayon. Give yours a few colors to help him channel his inner Picasso. He may even start to draw distinct lines.
Story time. Your toddler is probably learning to turn the pages in her favorite books and point to the pictures when you ask her to identify the objects in them.

15-Month-Old Checklist/Tips

• Take your toddler to his 15-month checkup.
• Your child may be due for a booster shot for the DTaP or another one of the immunizations he received as an infant.
• Schedule your toddler's 18-month checkup.
• Create a safe ( childproofed) playzone and let your toddler explore tactile toys at his own.

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