15 months

Are you ready for Baby’s next well-child visit? The three months since the last checkup may have flown by, with all the things Baby is working on learning how to do in the meantime. This visit is a great time to check in with Baby’s pediatrician if you have any concerns about his growth, movement, or language development, but many children really don’t start walking on their own or talking as their main way of communicating for a few more months.

Another important part of this visit is Baby’s shots – depending on what vaccines he has gotten already, there’s a good chance that this is going to be a busy visit in terms of vaccinations. Depending on your child’s vaccination schedule, he might be ready for any combination of Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, DTaP, Varicella (chicken pox), and MMR.

Baby may not be too chatty at the doctor’s office, but outside of his appointment, he is hard at work learning a whole new language – his very first!

Children Baby’s age don’t just have to learn vocabulary words, but they also have to figure out the context for what those words mean. Baby hears you say “cat” and he may connect that with Mister Whiskers, but it may take a while for him to figure out that the word “cat” is attached to every one of those pointy-eared, four-legged meow-ers. On the other hand, he might not know that not all of his four-legged friends are cats, so don’t be alarmed if a dog or two gets called a cat, too, for a little while.

Researchers believe that the way that toddlers learn language means that they generally start by figuring out larger groups, and then narrowing down to specifics. It’s for this reason, and not because Baby thinks people are interchangable, that every woman he meets might be “mama” for a little while. A lot of learning language for toddlers comes down to categorizing the world as they learn about it, which is why toddlers can be such big sticklers for rules, once they learn them.

Milestones

  • Helps you put on his clothes: Unless you have one of those toddlers who thinks he’s allergic to clothes, this might be right around the time he starts to help you get him dressed, mostly by holding out his arms, legs, and feet for you.
  • Hugs you: The more you hug, kiss, and snuggle Baby the better he knows that that’s how you show affection, and he is reaching the age where he might be ready to start showing affection to you right back!

Sources
  • T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition, Joshua D. Sparrow, M.D., De Capo Press. 2006. Print.
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