Toddler Development - The 15th Month

Entering what could be called the "milestone period", toddlers will be quickly advancing their skills and developing a range of abilities, steadily working their way to becoming more independent and capable little human beings. Be sure to offer your little ones lots of opportunities and space to practice walking and moving around, and try to converse with them often to encourage them to expand their vocabulary and interact with others.


Mental Development

The majority of 15-month-olds have a limited but growing vocabulary of a handful of words, and will understand basic instructions and orders. Encourage your little one to talk by being an attentive listener and making eye contact when your toddler is trying to communicate with you. Make sure to acknowledge what your child is saying – even if you don't understand them – and respond to their comments and questions as best you can. Reading to your child is a great way of teaching it new words, as you can point out familiar objects and name them until they sink in and your child remembers them. Your toddler will likely be showing greater interest in leafing through picture books, and might begin doing so alone without your help.

At this age children understand better the purpose of certain common objects and will begin to use them correctly. For example, instead of dragging a broom behind them like he or she used to when they were 12 months old, children will actually begin to try to sweep the floor with it. This newfound understanding will enhance your child's ability to express ideas and use words, as it will be able to think ahead about how things work and what the results of its actions will be.

Nurture your toddler's imagination by playing a pretend scenario with it, such as a pretend mealtime, where your child is the chef and you are the customer. Offer your child a plastic mixing bowl, a manual eggbeater, spoon and strainer. Such playacting activities are great for teaching your child about the world around it and how to become an adult.

 

Physical Development

The greater majority of babies will be able to walk by now and as a result become more active. You'll be hard pressed to keep things out of your child's reach, so make sure you home is childproofed. Even if your toddler doesn’t have total confidence on its feet, it will still be keen to experiment with different ways of moving, such as climbing, trotting, running, and jumping. Your tot will also want to try carrying objects while it walks, and you should let it; all of this is necessary practice. A great idea to let your child practice in a safe environment is taking your toddler to a grassy park, as falling over would be less of a problem. Also consider getting it a large inflatable ball for your child to carry around. Your little one might also enjoy using a push toy or a walker toy.
 

Eating Habits

Your little one's ability to feed itself will be improving as it gains better control over using the spoon. Allow them to feed independently even if that means a messier outcome; the important thing is that your children are learning. Continue to feed them the same types of food that you have up till now, and don't worry about the amount of food they eat; as long as your child isn't losing weight and continues to be active, it should be fine. If you feel that your beloved one is not eating enough, consult your pediatrician on what you need to do.

Sleeping Habits

Bedtime is an important time in your child's day. Make sure you give your little one the opportunity to wind down before you tuck it into bed. A bedtime routine would be ideal for this purpose, so if you haven't already established one, now is the time to do so. Don't wait until your child is exhausted to put it to bed, as an overtired child has more trouble falling asleep.