15 – 18-Month Guidelines

Toddler (1-2 year old) Diet

In general, your child needs 3 meals/day and 2-3 snacks/day. 4 basic food groups: dairy products, meats, fruits and vegetable, bread (pasta, potatoes, rice). Vary diet and feed him/her what the rest of the family is eating. Avoid substitutes (i.e. Sandwich) on a regular basis. He/she may be picky now but will begin to try new foods once they become familiar.

Your child should be drinking 12 to 20 ounces of milk/day and less than 8 oz. Of juice/day!
Limit sweet tea, soft drinks, and “kool aid” as these contain large amounts of sugar.
Your child should be drinking all his liquids from a cup.

Choking hazards

Whole peanuts, whole grapes, carrot “coins”, hot dogs, meat sticks, hard candy. Eating on the run increases the risk of choking. Your child should be seated and supervised while eating.

Safety Checklist

  • Car seat until 5 years or 40 pounds
  • Set water heater to 120of
  • Never leave your child alone around containers of water – bath, toilet, bucket, pool
  • Poison control number: 1.800.848.6946
  • Syrup of ipecac
  • If your child climbs out of a crib, move him/her to a low bed
  • Avoid motorized riding toys
  • Guns should not be kept in a home with children. If you must have a gun in the house, store it unloaded and locked up out of sight. Store ammunition separately.

Development By 2 Years

Speech: your child should have a vocabulary of 150-500 words with 2 word sentences. For example, “daddy work”, “mommy go”, “more milk”. Strangers will understand only about 25% of what he/she says.

Motor: your child can run, go up and down 1 step at a time, and sometimes jump.

Cognitive: he/she can identify body parts, but may only name one or two. He/she can say “2” but cannot yet count. He can follow 1 step commands. Although your child may show interest in toilet training, he/she is not physically ready to toilet train until two years or older.

Behavior: discipline questions, sleep problems, and tantrums may arise at this time. We will be happy to send handouts or offer advice on any concern that may arise.


Cool mist humidifiers are very helpful to keep your child comfortable. Over the counter medicines such as Sudafed and Pediacare may be used if your child is uncomfortably congested. As a rule, cough suppressants should only be used at night. Tylenol may be given for discomfort. If the cold has lasted longer than a week and is associated with green nasal discharge, please make an appointment to be seen.

Vomiting And Diarrhea

After your child vomits, allow his/her stomach to rest 2 hours before beginning small frequent feeding of a clear liquid (Pedialyte, Ricelyte, Gatorade). Usually start with 1 ounce or less every 15 minutes. You may double the volume every hour. Once there has been no vomiting for 8 hours, you may begin a bland diet.

Ear Infections

If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, he/she will need an appointment for an office visit. Symptoms include fever, poor sleep, poor appetite, and increased crying. Until the time of the appointment, please keep him/her comfortable with Tylenol or Motrin for the pain and fever.