Now that your little one is a toddler, the doctor visits may slow down a bit. Some pediatricians see their patients at 15, 18 and then 24 months, while others just see their smallest patients at 18 and 24 months. Either way, your pediatrician will communicate his or her preference.
Because each pediatrician is different, I’m combining the 15 and 18 month milestones and immunizations. These are just generalizations and, of course, there is a range into which most children fall. Don’t worry if you don’t see all the milestones listed below.
Your Baby’s 15-18 Month Check-up
What to Expect at Baby’s 15-18 Month Doctor Visit
Like all other previous visits, your child is weighed and measured, as well as given a full body exam. Throughout the exam, the doctor will likely ask you all sorts of questions about your toddler’s growth and development.
Here are some milestones the doctor may be looking for in your child:
- Hands things to others to play
- Points to get attention or to communicate
- Plays pretend, like feeding a doll or holding a phone up to ear
- Says 4-8 single words around 15 months
- Says 10-20 single words around 18 months
- Scribbles on his own
- Points to one body part
- Follows 1-step instructions like “sit down” or “kick the ball”
- Imitates activities of others
- Walks alone
- May run
- May walk up steps one foot at a time
- Climbs on furniture
- Helps to undress herself
- Drinks from a cup
- Eats with a spoon
- May have temper tantrums
- May be afraid of strangers
- Shows affection to familiar people
- May cling to parents in new situations
The pediatrician might have your child on a specific vaccination schedule, so not all of these will necessarily be given at this time. Most are given in multiple doses over several months.
Possible immunizations include:
- DTaP (pertussis - whooping cough)
- IPV (polio)
- Yearly Influenza
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
- Varicela (chicken pox)
Questions to Ask the Doctor
- How much milk should my toddler be drinking?
- Should she be drinking whole milk?
- How do I make sure my picky eater is getting proper nutrition?
- How much sleep should my toddler be getting in a 24-hour period?
- How and when do I transition to one nap a day?
- When should I start thinking about potty training?
- What about teething and dentist visits?
- When do the back molars come in?
What’s Next for Your Baby’s Well-Visit Schedule
You are nearing the end of the frequent well-visits. Your next visit with the pediatrician may be at 18 months or 24 months. After 24 months you will be taking your growing child for a check-up only once a year.
At 2 years old, your toddler’s vocabulary may expand to over 50 words and she will start to speak in 2-4 word sentences. She’ll be able to follow simple 2-step directions like “pick up the book and put it on the shelf.” She may even be ready to start potty training.
Schedule the next appointment and keep watching for all your big kid can do!