15-18 Month Anticipatory Guide
- If your child has teeth, start brushing them using a soft child-size tooth brush and children's fluoride containing tooth paste. Use only a pea-sized amount of tooth paste. All children resist this at some point (some very strongly) but it is important to establish the habit twice a day.
- Your child should be weaned from the pacifier between 12-15 months. Most children will resist this, but pacifiers can interfere with dental development and speech at this critical age. Pacifiers also cause a pooling of saliva around the teeth which can encourage cavities. Find another “comfort object” your child can use, such as with a doll or stuffed animal.
- Shoes are meant only to protect the feet at this point. Expensive shoes will not help your child walk earlier, improve their arch (children are naturally flat-footed) or make them stable.
- Now is the time to replace your child's bottle with a sippy cup.
- Most children are picky eaters at some point. Some days they will eat well and other days they will not. Continue to offer a nutritious, well balanced diet. You can supplement with liquid vitamin drops (such as Poly-vi-sol or Gerber Vitamin Drops) once a day.
- This is the age where most babies are mobile, through crawling, scooting, rolling, cruising or walking. BABY PROOF YOUR HOUSE. Get on your hands and knees and crawl around to see what is at their eye-level. Keep doors closed. Put locks on cabinets and drawers that contain cleaners, beauty products, sharp objects or breakable objects. Secure furniture so it cannot tip over onto your infant. Use electric outlet covers. Adjust your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Put locks on your toilets or keep your bathroom doors closed.
- Get on your hands and knees and crawl around to see what is at their eye-level. Keep doors closed. Put locks on cabinets and drawers that contain cleaners, beauty products, sharp objects or breakable objects. Secure furniture so it cannot tip over onto your infant. Use electric outlet covers. Adjust your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Put locks on your toilets or keep your bathroom doors closed.
- Your baby will soon be moving around the house. Use gates at stairways and doors. Cover sharp-edged corners on furniture. Do not let cords or table cloths hang off of furniture. Keep small chokable objects picked up. Do not drink hot beverages while holding your child, or leave them on the table or counter edges, where they can spill onto an infant below.
- Remove crib bumpers and mobiles from the crib and lower the crib mattress as your infant will soon be crawling around and pulling up to stand.
- Even if your infant has reached 20 pounds, they must remain in a rear-facing car seat until 12 months of age.
- Never leave your infant alone in the bath tub or sink.
- Your child may ride in a forward facing car seat if they are over 20 pounds. They still must ride in the back seat.
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- At this age, your child will become more independent in expressing likes and dislikes.
- Will want to do more things for themselves.
- Will start building a vocabulary. Talk with him/her often and avoid baby talk. Repeat his/her words and phrases if you can.
- They will respond more to positive reinforcement than negative consequences.
- Can help with simple tasks, such as putting away a few toys or throwing garbage away.
- Continue to learn from being read to.
- They enjoy simple songs and nursery rhymes.
- Can start exploring playground equipment under your careful supervision.