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Checkups at 18 Months

What Can Your Toddler Do?

  • She walks up the stairs with her hand held.
  • He sits in a chair by himself.
  • She throws and kicks a ball.
  • He stacks several cubes.
  • She says about 15-20 words. She may combine 2-word phrases such as "What's that?"
  • He is able to run much better than he did at 15 months. He can walk backwards. He will pull a toy along the ground.
  • She likes to have someone read to her.
  • He can turn a single page in a book.
  • She may use imagination in her play.
  • He is able to feed himself with a spoon.
  • She can imitate crayon strokes and scribble.
  • He can pucker and kiss with his lips.
  • She will often hold and hug her stuffed animal or her doll.
  • He should drink from the cup and be weaned from the bottle completely.
  • She will play more complicated games compared to 15 months of age.

What Can Your Toddler Eat?

  • Your toddler should have no bottles since bottle drinking may cause severe cavities at this age.
  • Do not give your toddler hard foods such as nuts, raw carrots, or popcorn since he might choke on them. Avoid giving large pieces of hot dogs to him since he is less than 3 years of age. Hot dogs are the most common serious cause of choking because the slick skin allows the hot dog to slip down into his breathing passages.
  • Your child may be a picky eater especially compared to her first year. Offer her a balanced meal, but do not force her to eat. However, do not let her dictate to you what is served.
  • A multivitamin once a day may be a good idea if he is a picky eater.
  • If your home does not have fluoride in the water, a fluoride vitamin will be prescribed for her.


  • The following immunizations may be given in the second year of life:
  • Measles- along with polio, measles is probably the most dangerous of the childhood diseases. This is a viral infection that causes high fever, an impressive rash, extensive cough, and brain inflammation. Your child may have a rash and mild fever about 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine.
  • Mumps- a mild disease in children that causes swelling of the salivary glands, but is also a frequent cause of brain inflammation. Adults can also have joint swelling and painful inflammation of the ovaries or testicles.
  • Rubella- also called the 3-day measles, it is a very mild illness of limited importance except that it causes severe birth defects if acquired in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Chickenpox- a viral illness that causes a rash of tiny vesicles (blisters) all over the body. Severe cases also lead to pneumonia and brain swelling. The vaccine may cause a few vesicles to appear around the site of injection or other places a few days to three weeks after the vaccine is given.
  • Polio- a viral infection that caused paralysis in thousands of children yearly in the 1950's. Your child may receive the oral form this year assuming that she has previously received the killed vaccine.
  • Diphtheria- a respiratory and heart disease that use to kill thousands every year.
  • Tetanus- a bacterial infection of dirty wounds that can be life-threatening.
  • Pertussis- also known as whooping cough, this respiratory illness is particularly dangerous for young babies and is always in the community in a small number of cases.
  • Hemophilus- the bacteria that was the most frequent cause of meningitis and other serious infections of the blood and lungs until the widespread use of this vaccine.
  • These vaccines are usually combined together to reduce the number of injections. Improvements in the vaccines have reduced the fever and other side effects that children had before.

Blood Test:

Your baby needs a lead test if:

  1. He lives or regularly visits a house built before 1960, an old house with peeling or chipping paint, a home with lead plumbing, a home on a major highway, or one near a lead-producing or battery recycling plant.
  2. You have given her any home remedies that contain lead.
  3. Any of his friends or brothers or sisters have had lead poisoning or he eats paint chips or dirt.
  4. She is around an adult who works with lead in construction, welding, pottery, bullets, fishing weights, a firing range, stained glass, refinishing furniture, or car repair.

Accident Prevention

  • Storage batteries for toys and games can cause terrible problems if swallowed by your toddler. Keep them away from him and call immediately if he swallows one.
  • You should directly supervise your toddler on the playground at all times to avoid injuries to her.
  • Do not leave him alone with plastic bags or balloons.
  • Use a car restraint with her. Do not place young children in the front seat of a car with airbags.
  • Stairs should have gates as a protection for him.
  • Keep a screen over your fireplace. Keep matches and lighters locked away. Be very watchful when she is around space heaters or in your kitchen during cooking.
  • Keep guns and sharp objects locked away.
  • Protect him from common household poisons such as liquor, mothballs, furniture polish, drain cleaners, weed killers, insect and rat poisons, kerosene, bleach, cosmetics, and dishwasher detergents.
  • Iron vitamins are a very common cause of death by poisoning in children.
  • Remember that 25% of childhood poisonings occur at the grandparent's house.
  • The number for Poison Control is 1-800-POISON 1 (1-800- 764-7661). Keep Ipecac in your home.

Emotional and Social Development

  • Keep family outings short, matching the attention span of your toddler.
  • Temper tantrums are common at this age.
  • Your child at this age may become more independent and want to do things for herself.
  • Toddlers do not like to share toys.
  • He will enjoy puzzles and toys that have to be put together.
  • She should have a regular bedtime with a short bedtime ritual.
  • Toddlers can have nightmares and night fears. Be careful what kind of television or movies he watches since scary programs may upset him.
  • For most children of this age, it is still too early to toilet train, but buy a potty seat soon. Your child will show you when she is ready. Girls usually train before boys. Always encourage and praise. Never punish. Let her see an example of another female going to the "potty."
  • Read simple stories regularly to him. He will like to see a familiar book and story.
  • She will likely suck her thumb or fingers which is normal and should not be discouraged by you.
  • Consistent discipline in love from both parents is very important. Try to give more praise to him than criticism.
  • She may occasionally wake up at night. A night-light might help her to sleep.
  • It is normal for him to have a favorite security object such as a blanket or stuffed animal.


Height ________ percentile ________

Weight ________ percentile ________

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The information contained within this website is no substitution for timely medical care.

Feel free to copy the information on this web site and give to friends and family. Contact Dr. Glenn Wood at Carousel Pediatrics (512) 744-6000
We are located at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., #100 - Austin, TX 78723

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