1. Check your child's weight, length, and head circumference and
plot the measurements on the growth
2. Ask questions, address concerns, and provide guidance about
how your toddler is:
Eating. By 15 months, most toddlers
are eating a variety of foods and are better able to handle textures. Offer your
toddler three meals and two or three scheduled nutritious snacks a day. Growth slows
down in the second year of life so don't be surprised if your child's appetite has
decreased. Your child can drink from a cup and may be able to use a spoon but probably
prefers to finger-feed.
Pooping. As you introduce new foods and whole milk, the appearance
and frequency of your child's poopy diapers may change from day to day. Let your doctor
know if your child has diarrhea, is constipated, or has poop that's hard to pass.
Sleeping. There's a wide range of normal, but generally toddlers
need about 12 to 14 hours
of sleep a day, including one or two daytime naps.
Developing. By 15 months, it's common for many toddlers to:
3. Do aphysical
exam with your child undressed while you are present. This will include
an eye exam, tooth exam, listening to the heart and lungs, and paying attention to
your toddler's motor skills and behavior.
4. Update immunizations.Immunizations
can protect kids from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your child
receive them on time. Immunization
schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child's next checkup at 18
Give your child whole milk (not low-fat or skim milk, unless
your doctor recommends it) until 2 years of age.
Limit your child's intake of cow's milk to about 16–24
ounces (480–720 ml) a day.
Serve iron-fortified cereal and iron-rich foods, including meat,
poultry, well-cooked leafy greens, beans (white, black, and kidney), and tofu.
Serve a variety of foods, but let your child decide what to eat
and when he or she has had enough.
Transition from the bottle to a
cup. If you're nursing, offer milk in a cup.
Serve juice in a cup and limit it to no more than 4 ounces (120
ml) a day. Avoid sugary drinks like soda.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat and low in nutrients.
Avoid foods that may cause choking, such as hot dogs, whole grapes,
raw veggies, nuts, and hard fruits or candy.
Toddlers learn best by interacting with people. Make time to
talk, read, sing, and play with your child every day.
Consider limiting your child's screen
time. TV, videos, phones, tablets, and other media are not recommended
for children younger than 18 months old.
Brush your child's
teeth with a small toothbrush and a small bit of toothpaste (about the
size of a grain of rice). Schedule a dentist visit if you haven't already done so.
Have a regular bedtime routine. If your child wakes up at
night and doesn't settle back down, comfort your child but keep interactions brief.
are common at this age, and tend to be worse when children are tired or hungry. Try
to head off tantrums before they happen — find a distraction or remove your
child from frustrating situations.
Give your child that much-wanted feeling of independance by offering two
choices between acceptable options.
Praise good behavior and ignore behavior you don't like.
Don't spank your child. Children don't make the connection between spanking
and the behavior you're trying to correct. You can use a brief time-out to discipline
Continue to keep your child in a rear-facingcar
seat in the back seat until age 2 or whenever your child reaches the
weight or height limit set by the car-seat manufacturer.
of SPF 30 or higher on your child's skin at least 15 minutes before going outside
to play and reapply about every 2 hours.
Protect your child fromsecondhand
smoke, which increases the risk of heart and lung disease. Secondhand
vapor from e-cigarettes
is also harmful.
Keep out of reach: choking hazards; cords; hot, sharp, and breakable
items; and toxic substances (lock away medicine and household chemicals).
Keep emergency numbers,
including the Poison Control Help Line number at 1-800-222-1222,
near the phone.
Use safety gates and watch your toddler closely when on
drowning, close bathroom doors, keep toilet seats down, and always supervise
your child around water (including baths).
Protect your child from gun
injuries by not keeping a gun in the home. If you do have a gun, keep
it unloaded and locked away. Ammunition should be locked up separately. Make sure
kids cannot access the keys.
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.