Toddler Development – Month 15 – What’s Happening This Month?

Thursday August 16, 2018


Reading Time:
3 minutes

A ‘little person’ emerges!

By 15 months, 75% of children can say a handful of words, but if yours is not one of them, don’t panic because 25% of children are still not saying any words at all!. Having said that, all toddlers of this age can communicate exactly what they would like by pointing and making certain noises – usually positive and negative – for the things they like and dislike!

By this stage, your toddler’s character is emerging, and they will start to favor certain foods, toys, and activities. Unfortunately, as many cannot express exactly what they want, you may experience the first temper tantrums too. This is usually accompanied by a new word in their vocabulary – NO! Try and stay calm if they start to get cross and keep talking to them – but don’t tell them off because they will not understand. Distract them swiftly with a different toy or activity or suggest a change of scenery like a few minutes in the garden.

Your toddler will definitely be getting more agile and will soon be walking and able to push something in front of them or pull something behind. Soon they will be climbing the stairs well. Spend some time teaching how to descend the stairs safely too and repeat this many times each day until they are really competent.  If they are a competent walker they will enjoy learning how to walk backwards and how to negotiate kerbstones and varying levels and surfaces. They will love getting out and about but could become a little shy of strangers and want to hold on tightly to you for reassurance.

Mealtimes will continue to be a colorful affair as they will want to feed themselves and this will often involve a change of clothing and washing the floor afterwards! They should be getting far more coordinated with using a spoon and fork and will definitely be deciding which foods they like and dislike. They will be able to eat the same foods as the rest of the family which definitely makes life easier. If you are going out for a few hours, it is a good idea to pack a few halved breadsticks wrapped in tin foil in your handbag in case your toddler gets hungry.

Playtime is still great fun as it is all about discovery.  They will be able to distinguish which lid fits which pot and post the correct shapes through the holes in the shape sorter. Try having some fun with paper and coloring pencils – short ones are best for little hands. At first, the paper will be filled with multi-colored scribbles but slowly and surely some really good single straight lines will be drawn too.

At 15 months some toddlers have problems with their sleep as they are not sure whether they need one or two bedtime naps and it will be a case of ‘trial and error’ to see if just one is enough. It is about this age that there can be problems at night time with a tearful toddler awake again a few hours after bedtime. Unfortunately, this can quickly become a difficult habit to break so it is worth dealing with speedily. If you think they could be frightened of the dark, a small plug-in night light can be a great comfort and can easily be transported wherever you go.

If you are absolutely sure that there is nothing wrong, pop in to see your toddler, lie them back down and say goodnight and promptly leave the room. The cries and yells are truly heart-breaking but you need to be firm. Wait for exactly five minutes and go back in to see them again, lie them down again, say goodnight and walk away. Believe me, it is the hardest thing to do in the world but keep repeating this exactly every five minutes and within three/four days you should have a happily sleeping toddler again and a peaceful evening to enjoy.

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Chrissie Stephen

Chrissie Stephen

Chrissie Stephen is an established writer from the UK. She now lives in the south west of France. She has three children and four grandchildren. She has worked with children much of her life as a Guider, Playgroup Leader and House Mother for an international boarding school. When she is not writing she can be found gardening, cooking or trying to improve her French.

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