Toddler Month by Month: 15
- February 8, 2022
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hi everyone and welcome to Month 15 with your baby and Month 15 with my baby, Bracey. As I’ve discussed in prior months, Bracey was born 10 weeks prematurely. So in terms of his corrected age, he’s closer to a 12 1/2 month old baby than a 15 month old.
The average 15-month-old baby boy weighs 22 pounds 7 ounces (10.3 kilos) and the average baby girl weighs 21 pounds 2 ounces (9.6 kilos). At his 15 month checkup, Bracey weighed approximately 9.9 kilos (21.78 pounds), up from 1.490 kilos (3.278 pounds) at birth, so he has gained a little over 8.4 kilos or nearly 18.5 pounds since birth. He gained 800 grams (1.76 pounds) from the month before, and his doctor was thrilled. So Bracey’s weight moved significantly up the scale. He continued to move up on the charts for head circumference and his height held steady. During his 15 month appointment, Bracey’s doctor checked all the things he had checked in prior months and Mom was thrilled to see that things were on track.
15-Month-Old Doctor’s Appointments
Your baby will have a doctor’s appointment at 15 months and as was the case with Bracey, your doctor will check their weight, height, head circumferences, breathing, eyes, and ears. Your doctor will assess how your baby is doing with their gross motor skills and ask if they are crawling, cruising or walking.
Vaccines at 15-Month-Old Doctor’s Appointment
At their month 15 month doctor’s appointment, your baby will in all likelihood be getting the following vaccines:
- DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus & Acellular Pertussis) – 4th dose
- Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b) – 3rd or 4th dose
- PCV 13 (Pneumococcal Conjugate) – 4th dose
Your baby (depending on the schedule your doctor has followed) may or may not be receiving the first dose of the following two vaccines:
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) – 1st dose
- Varicella (chicken pox) (VAR) – 1st dose
Growth and Development of 15-Month-Old Baby
What should my 15 month old be doing? Your 15 month old likely is out in the world exploring how everything works. I’ve noticed a big change in Bracey over the past month, although he is of course a premie so his corrected age is 12.5 months. He is just into everything. Drawers, the kitchen, the bathroom. He is taking down everything from the shelves, touching everything, and trying to see how things work. My doctor has emphasised that this is how babies learn and encouraged me to allow Bracey to explore as much as possible.
How Much Should my 15-Month-Old be Talking
Many 15-month-olds have a vocabulary consisting of “mama” and “dada” plus around 3 other words such as ball, dog, and no. Many 15-month-olds can follow simple commands such as “no” or “come here”. Bracey is not doing these things yet and I would not worry if your baby is not because many children don’t do these things still for a few more months. What is important to look for, according to my doctor, is interaction and communication. Bracey, for example, is indicating what he wants by pointing, pulling on things, or moving his arms and legs in an excited fashion. Also, according to my doctor, you want to look for changes and developments in your baby’s speech. Bracey is babbling a lot more and there is a wider variety of sounds, both consonants and vowels, coming out of his mouth. A few months ago, he was uttering single syllable sounds.
How Should my 15-Month-Old be Moving
In terms of gross motor skills, many 15 month olds are walking stiffly. They can get into and out of a chair. They can squat down and reach for something and pick it up. In terms of fine motor skills, they can drink from a cup (although clumsily, spilling alot of the liquid). They can begin to pick up and hit blocks against each other, and even stack a few. And they can likely scribble onto a piece of paper.
Your 15-Month-Old’s Social and Emotional Development
Your baby’s relationship with you and others should continue to mature. Your baby should enjoy hugs, kisses, and jokes and games, such as hiding balls or balloons, playing hide and seek, and kicking a ball. Your baby should reach for you with their arms and show love and affection. Meanwhile, they likely want to make their own independent decisions about things. Bracey reaches for me one minute, I pick him up, and then he turns away and wants to get back down.
Intellectual Activities for a 15 Month Old Toddler
At this point, you want to continue to involve your baby in regular life as much as possible. Sing, dance, play blocks, read books, and explain things to your baby as much as possible. Narrate what you do. Try to get out and meet as many people as you can. Take your baby with you as much as possible explaining what you are doing, such as going to the store, the doctor, or the beach. The more your baby is stimulated and out in the world, the more they will learn. The number one thing is language so you want to keep a steady, constant flow of words (any and all adult words) coming at your baby.
In terms of cognitive abilities, many 15 month old babies can imitate you doing things, such as sweeping, so encourage them to do this because babies learn a lot through imitation. You might notice them following simple commands such as “bring me that.” And you might observe that your baby may start to resolve certain simple problems, such as putting a block into the right size hole, or placing block-shaped puzzle pieces into a puzzle.
Physical Activities for a 15 Month Old Toddler
For gross motor skills, practice walking as much as you can (if your baby is not yet walking), trying to get to one hand. Leave your baby out on the floor as much as possible, exploring the world. For fine motor skills, play with blocks, give finger foods, and encourage your baby to turn the pages of books. Allow your baby to rummage through your kitchen pots, pans or bowls, which is great for their fine motor skills and also teaches them about objects and how they work.
What Kind of Solid Foods for a 15 Month Old Toddler
At this stage, most experts advise three meals, two snacks and two naps: a long morning nap and a shorter afternoon nap after lunch. They also advise not having your baby sleep past 3pm so that they go to sleep by 8pm. This is the schedule I followed with my older babies at this point, who were far less premature than Bracey. I don’t always do the snacks. Rather, I give varied, healthy, robust meals. If you are concerned with how much your baby is eating, look for guidelines regarding quantities of protein, vegetables, fruit, grains and dairy. My doctor said that as long as my baby has a varied diet of fresh, pure food, he is fine.
In terms of diet, you can now really start migrating to giving your child more ground up and easier-to-eat versions of the food you and your family are eating. Bracey is pretty much eating our lunches and dinners: rice with pieces of mixed up veggies and meat, spaghetti bolognese, mashed potatoes.
Breastfeeding, Solids and Sleep Schedule for 15 Month Old Toddler
Stay on this schedule if your baby is not sleeping through the night because the extra feeding during the day and later feed in the evening will help. You also might want to consider a later evening “top off” feed at around 10 or 11pm to help your child make it through until morning if they continue to wake up. Because this helps me with the breastfeeding, I am still doing this with Bracey.
- 7am — breastmilk then multigrain cereal mixed w/ breastmilk or formula. Can add soft fruits. Sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am – breastmilk then finger foods from protein (fish, chicken, meat), vegetables, fruits, cheese or yogurt. Can also give legumes, rice, pasta and pieces of soft toast with protein-based spreads. Give versions of family meals. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm — breastmilk then soft fruit finger foods, yogurt or dairy-rich snacks. Sleep 6-7pm.
- 7pm — breastmilk then finger foods from protein (fish, chicken, meat), vegetables, fruits, cheese or yogurt. Can also give legumes, rice, or pasta. Give versions of family meals.
If your baby is full term, sleeping through the night, and you are not worried about early morning wake ups, eliminate the 6-7pm nap and give dinner instead, a final milk feeding and then it’s time for night night. Try giving a healthy snack after the 3pm milk feeding. Do not let your baby sleep after 3pm if you plan to put them down for the night at 8pm.
Formula Feeding, Foods and Sleeping Schedule for an 15 Month Old Toddler
If your baby is at a healthy weight and sleeping through the night, you can migrate to a three meals and two naps schedule. So eliminate the third nap, and push your dinner slightly earlier. If your baby (like mine) is on the smaller side, or is not sleeping through the night, stick with three naps and four meals (and consider still throwing in a top-off feed). You might not need to still give the milk first. I am still doing this with Bracey still since he really is only an 12.5 month old in terms of his corrected age, but see what seems to be working with your baby.
- 7am — bottle then multigrain cereal. Can add soft fruits. Sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am – bottle then finger foods from protein (fish, chicken, meat), vegetables, fruits, cheese or yogurt. Can also give rice, pasta and pieces of soft toast with protein-rich spreads. Give versions of family meals. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm — bottle then soft fresh fruits, cheese or yogurt. Sleep 6-7pm.
- 7pm — bottle then finger foods from protein (fish, chicken, meat), vegetables, fruits, cheese or yogurt. Can also give rice, pasta and legumes. Give versions of family meals.
Bracey is pointing right and left. He is wandering all over the place: opening and closing closets and doors, biting into whole apples, and exploring everywhere. There is never a dull moment and no rest for the weary. On a recent plane flight, he was non-stop and would not stay in his seat. No magazine time for mom.
He is blabbering and saying the occasional word such as “mama” and “bebe.”
He is joking around alot. He likes to laugh, play, and even tease me. One of his favorite pastimes is pulling my hair. We are working on that.
He waves, points all the time, and nods his head no. He is eating a ton and loves his meals.
Hugs from his older siblings are the favorite part of Bracey’s day.
Thanks for watching and see you back next soon for Month 16.