Family Support

  • Try not to hit, spank, or yell at your child.
  • Keep rules for your child short and simple.
  • Use short time-outs when your child is behaving poorly
  • Praise your child for good behavior.
  • Distract your child with something he likes during bad behavior.
  • Play with and read to your child often.
  • Make sure everyone who cares for your child gives healthy foods, avoids sweets, and uses the same rules for discipline.
  • Make sure places your child stays are safe.
  • Think about joining a toddler playgroup or taking a parenting class.
  • Take time for yourself and your partner.
  • Keep in contact with family and friends.

Establishing Routines

  • Your child should have at least one nap. Space it to make sure your child is tired for bed.
  • Make the hour before bedtime loving and calm.
  • Have a simple bedtime routine that includes a book.
  • Avoid having your child watch TV and videos, and never watch anything scary.
  • Be aware that fear of strangers is normal and peaks at this age.
  • Respect your child’s fears and have strangers approach slowly.
  • Avoid watching TV during family time.
  • Start family traditions such as reading or going for a walk together.

Feeding Your Child

  • Have your child eat during family mealtime.
  • Be patient with your child as she learns to eat without help.
  • Encourage your child to feed herself.
  • Give 3 meals and 2–3 snacks spaced evenly over the day to avoid tantrums.
  • Make sure caregivers follow the same ideas and routines for feeding.
  • Use a small plate and cup for eating and drinking.
  • Provide healthy foods for meals and snacks.
  • Let your child decide what and how much to eat.
  • End the feeding when the child stops eating.
  • Avoid small, hard foods that can cause choking—nuts, popcorn, hot dogs, grapes, and hard, raw veggies.


  • Have your child’s car safety seat rear-facing until your child is 2 years of age or until she reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the car safety seat’s manufacturer.
  • Lock away poisons, medications, and lawn and cleaning supplies. Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) if your child eats nonfoods.
  • Keep small objects, balloons, and plastic bags away from your child.
  • Place gates at the top and bottom of stairs and guards on windows on the second floor and higher. Keep furniture away from windows.
  • Lock away knives and scissors.
  • Only leave your toddler with a mature adult.
  • Near or in water, keep your child close enough to touch.
  • Make sure to empty buckets, pools, and tubs when done.
  • Never have a gun in the home. If you must have a gun, store it unloaded and locked with the ammunition locked separately from the gun.
  • Keep poisons, medications, and cleaning supplies locked up and out of your baby’s sight and reach.
  • Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) if you are worried your child has eaten something harmful.
  • Install openable window guards on second- story and higher windows and keep furniture away from windows.
  • Never have a gun in the home. If you must have a gun, store it unloaded and locked with the ammunition locked separately from the gun.
  • Keep your baby in a high chair or playpen when in the kitchen.

Finding a Dentist

  • Take your child for a first dental visit either by 12 months or as soon as you can after the first tooth erupts.
  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice).
  • If using a bottle, offer only water.

What to Expect at Your Child’s 15 Month Visit

We will talk about

  • Your child’s speech and feelings
  • Getting a good night’s sleep
  • Keeping your home safe for your child
  • Temper tantrums and discipline
  • Caring for your child’s teeth
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