I know I say this every time but I still can’t believe I have a 15 month old daughter. It feels so old! And boy, oh boy, is Clara growing up.

The 15 month mark seems to have brought on a massive development spurt for Clara. She had a number of unsettled days and nights where she was eating and drinking a lot more and sleep was disturbed, and then boom – she grew up overnight.

Talking at 15 months old

‘Dada’ is a firm favourite word now. As soon as she sees her Daddy it’s ‘Da da!’, or if she wants to play with a toy, first she’ll look around for ‘Dada’ and see if he wants to play with her. Daddy is a firm favourite! She says the word so precisely now, compared to a month or so ago where it was considerably less frequent and more ‘dadada’. There have been more ‘Mama’ too – again, a change from the ‘mamamamama’ I was hearing a month ago.

Whilst she isn’t saying any new words (except ‘quack quack’ which is her way of referring to a duck), she’s definitely picking up on what new words mean.

Responding to sound

You’ll know by now this has always been an area we’ve watched closely, given Clara’s initial audiology diagnosis. However, I am absolutely confident she can hear far better than we’ve ever given her credit for.

Every day, after I pick her up and we get home from the childminder, we look for birds as we walk from the car to the house. Luckily, we live in the heart of the countryside and it’s incredibly quiet – except for the birds! There’s always a couple on the roofs of our neighbours houses, or in the trees. Sometimes I ask Clara if she can see any birds and she’ll look around, sometimes she’ll sign ‘bird’ straight away as she’s heard one. She is signing confidently and well.

Music and dancing – especially to cartoon theme tunes – is very popular with Clara right now.

Responding to instructions

Clara’s also understanding spoken word incredibly well. Directions to ‘stop’ or ‘no’ or ‘come here’ are all met with the appropriate action – even if she cheekily sits still, or comes close, and then tries to crawl off again! Apparently, when I was younger, if I was told I couldn’t go into the kitchen I’d sit on the edge of the threshold and just put the tips of my toes the other side, so they were technically in the kitchen! I don’t know where Clara gets it from.

If we ask Clara to pass something, either to us or to someone else, she listens and does as we ask.

We can also ask Clara where her hands are and she’ll put them in front of her and turn them slowly. When asked where her head is, she’ll pat herself on the head too.

If you ask Clara to go and get her shoes, she’ll not only do that but she’ll try and put them on too by hooking them onto her toes. Hilarious. but genius.

Fine motor skills

Clara’s fine motor skills continue to develop well. In the last few weeks she’s mastered the art of pointing to what she wants.

She’s feeding herself well (messily, but well with a spoon), and is enjoying colouring with pens and crayons. She’s quite the artist it turns out!

Gross motor skills

Well she might not be walking independently yet but she’s learned to climb! Clara has mastered climbing onto footstools, and climbing the full set of stairs in our house. She’s also learnt to squat down whilst still leaning every so slightly against the bottom step – she thinks its hilarious as she can feel herself pushing boundaries of what she knows. It’s only recently that she’s realised she can actually bend those knees!

In the last week Clara has gone from strength to strength with her walking. From slowly walking holding two hands, to now trying to run if she has two hands to hold, she’s developing steadily. She wouldn’t entertain walking with one hand a few weeks ago but now I think she enjoys it as she realises she gets to see so much more from this view. She’s confidently walking with one hand now.

I’m actively encouraging Clara to walk more so whenever we get out of the car I’ll encourage Clara to walk a bit, or walk in the shop holding just one hand. Parents of “regular” babies think I’m crazy for encouraging it, I know, but it’s really important to us to learn if this is something she can actually do without support or not.

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