Children & Adolescents Clinic

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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
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Well Child Care at 15 Months


Your baby should be learning to feed himself. He will use his fingers and maybe start using a spoon. This will be messy. Make sure to cut the food up into small pieces so your baby won't choke. Babies still need nutritious snacks like cheese, fruit, and vegetables. Some nutritious desserts are baked apples or fresh fruit. Do not use food as a reward.

By now, most babies should be using a cup only. If your baby is still using a bottle, this may start to cause problems with his teeth and might cause ear infections.


Toddlers start to have temper tantrums at about this age. Trying to reason with or punish your child may actually make the tantrum last longer. It is best to make sure your toddler is in a safe place and then ignore the tantrum. You can best ignore by not looking directly at him and not speaking to him or about him to others when he can hear what you are saying.

Toddlers are very curious and want to be the boss. This is normal. If they are safe, this is a time to let your child explore new things. As long as you are there to protect your child, let him satisfy his curiosity. Stuffed animals, toys for pounding, pots, pans, measuring cups, empty boxes, and Nerf balls are some examples of toys your child may enjoy.

Toddlers may want to imitate what you are doing. Sweeping, dusting, or washing play dishes can be fun for children.

For more information see: Normal Development: 15 Months

Safety Tips

Avoid Choking and Suffocation

  • Keep plastic bags, balloons, and small hard objects out of reach.
  • Use only unbreakable toys without sharp edges or small parts that can come loose.
  • Cut foods into small pieces. Avoid foods on which a child might choke (popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs, chewing gum).

Prevent Burns and Fires

  • Keep lighters and matches out of reach.
  • Don't let your child play near the stove.
  • Use the back burners on the stove with the pan handles out of reach.
  • Turn the water heater down to 120 degrees F (49 degrees C).

Car Safety

  • Never leave your child alone in the car.
  • Use an approved toddler car seat correctly.
  • Parents should wear seat belts.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Hold onto your child when you are around traffic.
  • Supervise outside play areas.

Prevent Drowning

  • Continuously watch your child around any water, including toilets and buckets. Keep toilet seats down and store buckets upside down.


  • Keep all medicines, vitamins, cleaning fluids, etc. locked away.
  • Put the poison center number on all phones. The poison control number is ___________________.
  • Ask your doctor about syrup of Ipecac. Use it only if you are told to do so.
  • Purchase all medicines in containers with safety caps.
  • Do not store poisons in drink bottles, glasses, or jars.


At the 15-month visit, your baby may receive shots. Your baby may run a fever and be irritable for about 1 day after the shots. Your baby may also have some soreness, redness, and swelling in the area where the shots were given. You may give acetaminophen drops (1 dropperful, or 0.8 ml, every 4 to 6 hours) to prevent fever and irritability. For swelling or soreness, put a wet, warm washcloth on the area of the shots as often and as long as needed to provide comfort.

Call your child's physician if:

  • Your child has a rash or any other reaction to the shots besides fever and mild irritability.
  • Your child has a fever that lasts more than 36 hours.

If your child just got the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, please note the following: A small number of children get a rash and fever 7 to 14 days after the MMR shot. This pink rash usually occurs on the main body area and lasts for 2 to 3 days.

Call your child's physician immediately if:

  • The rash changes to purple spots.

Call your physician within 24 hours if:

  • The rash becomes itchy.
  • The rash lasts more than 3 days.

Next Visit

Your child's next visit should be at the age of 18 months. Please be sure to bring your child's shot card at that time.

Written by Robert Brayden, M.D.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems