Yesterday we had Julia’s 15-month checkup with her pediatrician. First, I just have to say that I love her pediatrician. She really makes you feel like she’s giving you her full and undivided attention. She answers all of your questions and she literally spent about 45 minutes with us yesterday. At no point did I feel like she was rushing me or she was in a hurry to get out of the room. She always is respectful, even when I ask seemingly silly questions. It’s so refreshing to have a doctor who you trust so fully with your or your child’s care. I can’t speak highly enough of her.
So let’s start, from head to toe:
First, her statistics: her head is 47 centimeters (75th percentile), she weighs 25 lbs. 3 oz. and is 32 inches tall. Her height is in the 90th percentile for girls her age and her weight is in the 80th percentile. The doctor said she was growing nicely and did not seem at all concerned. It’s a nice change from those first few doctor’s appointments we had when we were struggling with breastfeeding and were happy if she gained even a few ounces from one visit to the next!
Teeth: The doctor saw that Julia has 5 teeth that have broken the surface and one more that is about to break through. I asked her when we need to start brushing her teeth and when we need to think about taking her for a visit to the dentist. She said that provided she’s not eating junk food (which she’s not), we can wait until she’s 3 years old for a visit to the dentist. Before then she won’t have the patience or even the ability to sit still in a dentist’s chair long enough to have her teeth cleaned or examined. We do, however, need to start brushing her teeth. The doctor said at this age we should do whatever she’ll tolerate–if she’ll tolerate the toothbrush with toothpaste we can do that and try to get in there and brush or we can just let her chew on the toothbrush and use a washcloth with our finger to scrub them a little when she’s taking a bath.
This morning, after we had breakfast I decided to give her the toothbrush and see how she would do. She LOVED brushing her teeth! I sat down on the floor next to her and showed her how to do it and she just had a grand old time! She even cried when I took the toothbrush away from her since it was time to go to daycare! Here we were, having our toothbrush party this morning:
(Side note: those overalls are really cute, aren’t they?! But they were obviously designed by someone who does NOT have children since they are totally impractical. They don’t have buttons or snaps at the crotch to allow for easy diaper changing. You literally have to take the overalls all the way off in order to change the baby’s diaper. And they’re made for size 18 months. I’ve never even heard of a baby who’s potty-trained by 18 months.)
Language Development: Ken & I were both getting a little concerned about the fact that Julia still doesn’t call us Mama & Dada. She frequently says “dadada” and “mamama” but she never directs those specific words at us. So I asked the doctor about where she should be with language development at this age. She said by this age she should have 2-3 words that we know she is saying. (She definitely does–she says “nice,” “cat,” “ball,” “nose,” and a few others here and there.) And she said that more important than having actual words, is that she babbles with “communicative intent” and changing her intonation. She DEFINITELY does that. A lot. So I’m not worried!
Nutrition: The doctor said that as far as toddler nutrition is concerned, you have to look at their intake of food over the course of a week and make sure they are getting in enough protein, fruits and vegetables, Vitamin D, iron, etc. but that in one day if she eats nothing but yogurt that’s okay as long as she’s making up for it on the other days of the week by eating more fruits and vegetables and less dairy. She should be drinking 16-24 oz. of milk a day and we can also start giving her water more regularly to help with her occasional constipation. Generally these days, on daycare days she gets 3 sippy cups (so about 15 oz.) of whole milk, and she nurses 3 times in addition to that, and on non daycare days she generally nurses 5 times and gets 2 (so 10 oz. total) cups of milk.
Motor Skills: The doctor saw that Julia was walking, trying to climb up onto chairs, could use two fingers to pick up small objects on the floor, helps with getting herself dressed by extending her arm when you hold her sleeve for her, etc. and she said that over the next 3 months we should start to see more and more independence. We’ll start to see her successfully climbing up onto the couch and chairs, we’ll start to see her learn to rotate her wrist in such a way that she’ll be able to start using a fork and knife to feed herself, etc. The longer she walks and discovers how her body moves, the more graceful her movements will become, basically.
Sleep: At this age and especially with all the teething going on, it’s normal for her to be woken up in the middle of the night or even to wake up at horrible times (like 5:30 this morning) because her teeth are probably quite painful. But the doctor was pleased to hear that the average night of sleep for Julia involves her sleeping through the night from about 7:30-6 and that she normally gets a 1-2 hour nap at home or at daycare.
Overall the doctor was very pleased with how Julia is doing! She also got 3 shots yesterday: the second part of her flu shot (for babies they divide it into two parts), PCV (pneumococcal), and her first MMR shot. She screamed for about a minute after the shots but then she quickly calmed down and was back to normal by the time we left the doctor’s office!