There is no way around it, your fifteen month old is no longer a baby. The toddler months are well underway and your tiny wild child is now self-aware and ready to take on the world. At  this time, you might notice your child becoming particularly adept in one area. Some toddlers suddenly have a growth spurt and seem to go from taking tentative steps to running marathons in mere minutes. Others appear to become more verbal overnight!  No matter where your child falls on the developmental timetable, they are probably picking up new words, skills, and abilities every day.

At fifteen months of age, your baby may…

Crave attention. Your little one now understands that he can make other people laugh. He craves this positive attention, and will probably do anything in his power to make you giggle over and over again. You might even see him put on a little show for attention, taking breaks every few moments to make sure his audience is still entertained!

Play pretend.  Hand your fifteen month old a wooden apple, and she might pretend to eat it. Or if you ask her to go to sleep, she may close her eyes and even make snoring noises for greater effect. Your little one is now self-aware and cognizant enough to play pretend, and this new development tends to grow stronger and more fun for you to watch every day!

Have nightmares. Along with being able to imagine and pretend comes a slightly less exciting development. Some fifteen month olds will begin to have nightmares. Your child might wake up from a scary dream calling out for you, or even wake in tears. Luckily, these don’t happen often, and once your toddler has more words, they will be able to tell you more about their nightmares (and their dreams!).

Take more risks. Your fifteen month old probably takes more risks these days, especially when it comes to climbing, wandering, and touching. He is possibly more comfortable with being far away from you, and may use his newfound climbing skills to scale heights that you didn’t know were possible! At this age, many toddlers show no fear at all, and will try anything at least once.

Start teething, again. Unfortunately, the days of teething aren’t over yet. In fact, they might be even worse these days. As your fifteen month old begins to get her molars in, teething pain will hit a new level. Now that your child is older, try offering them a fruity coconut water popsicle to help with teething pain. Not only will they love helping you make these homemade treats, but they will enjoy eating them even more!

Suddenly become picky. Since your toddler is self-feeding the majority of his meals, it is possible that you may see him suddenly become a picky eater. Very picky. As your little one can make his own choices, old favorite foods might no longer be so appealing, and this is around the time that picky eaters really make themselves known!

Protest being strapped in. The car seat, the high chair, the stroller. What do they all have in common? These are all places that your child may now wildly protest! It doesn’t matter how content he used to be in, at this age it is common for your toddler to detest being strapped in. Fifteen month olds just want to climb, run, and tumble, and being placed in a seatbelt for even a minute might make them unreasonably upset.

Use most tools correctly.  Chances are, if your toddler has seen you use a tool once in the past, they will be able to pick it up and use it the same way. This goes for a broom, your lipstick, or the buttons on the dishwasher. Previously, you had to repeat or exaggerate motions over and over for your little one to understand and imitate. Not anymore! If you show them how to use a tool only once or twice they will likely figure it out now that they are fifteen months old. 

Turn pages. Books have likely been a hot commodity around your house for some time. However, you will probably notice that your toddler can now hold the book correctly and turn the pages all by herself. She might even mimic the same tones and inflection you use to read to her!

Run like the wind. Kiddos that have been walking for a month or so are probably starting to pick up the pace around this time. Your fifteen month old is likely trying to run, especially if they spend a lot of time around older children! 

Since pretend play is a fresh development for your child, you might want to introduce some new toys and games into your daily routines. Open-ended toys are an excellent choice for this age group. Loose parts that can be manipulated into different scenarios will lead to creative play like you haven’t seen before this month! Consider adding baskets of blocks, sticks, and colorful scarves to your playroom, and sit back to watch the imaginative magic happen. 

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