12th Month

Your Child’s Checkup: 1 Year (12 Months)

What to Expect During This Visit Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:

1. Check your toddler’s weight, length, and head circumference and plot the measurements on a growth chart.

2. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about how your child is:

Eating. By 12 months, toddlers are ready to switch from formula to cow’s milk. Children may be breastfed beyond 1 year of age, if desired. Your child might move away from baby foods and be more interested in table foods. Offer a variety of soft table foods and avoid choking hazards.

Pooping. As you introduce more foods and whole milk, the look of your child’s poop (and how often they go) may change. Let your doctor know if your child has diarrhea, is constipated, or has poop that’s hard to pass.

Sleeping. One-year-olds need about 11–14 hours of sleep a day, including 1–2 naps.

Developing. By 1 year, it’s common for many children to: say “mama” and “dada” and 1–2 other words follow a 1-step command with gestures (such as pointing as you ask for a ball) imitate gestures stand alone walk with one hand held and possibly take a few steps precisely pick up object with thumb and forefinger feed self with hands enjoy peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, and other social games

3. Do an exam with your child undressed while you are present.

4. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect kids from serious childhood illnesses, so it’s important that your child receive them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.

5. Order tests. Your doctor may check for lead, anemia, or tuberculosis, if needed.

Looking Ahead

Here are some things to keep in mind until your child’s next checkup at 15 months:

Feeding

  • Give whole milk (not low-fat or skim milk, unless the doctor says to) until your child is 2 years old.
  • Limit the amount of cow’s milk to about 16–24 ounces (480–720 ml) a day. Move from a bottle to a cup. If you’re breastfeeding, you can offer pumped breast milk in a cup.
  • Serve 100% juice in a cup and limit it to no more than 4 ounces (120 ml) a day. Avoid sugary drinks like soda.
  • Include iron-fortified cereal and iron-rich foods (such as meat, tofu, sweet potatoes, and beans) in your child’s diet.
  • Encourage self-feeding. Let your child practice with a spoon and a cup.
  • Have your child seated in a high chair or booster seat at the table when drinking and eating.
  • Serve 3 meals and 2–3 scheduled healthy snacks a day. Don’t be alarmed if your child seems to eat less than before. Growth slows during the second year and appetites tend to decrease. Let your child decide how much to eat. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried.
  • Avoid foods that can cause choking, such as whole grapes, raisins, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, hot dogs, sausages, chunks of meat, hard cheese, raw veggies, or hard fruits.
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat and low in nutrition.

Learning

  • Babies learn best by interacting with people. Make time to talk, sing, read, and play with your child every day.
  • TV viewing (or other screen time, including computers) is not recommended for kids under 18 months old. Video chatting is OK.
  • Have a safe play area and allow plenty of time for exploring.

Routine Care & Safety

  • Brush your child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and a tiny bit of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) twice a day. Schedule a dentist visit soon after the first tooth appears or by 1 year of age. To help prevent cavities, the doctor or dentist may brush fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth 2–4 times a year.
  • Never spank or hit your child. When unwanted behaviors happen, say “no” and help your child move on to another activity. You can use a brief time-out instead.
  • Continue to keep your baby in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat until your child reaches the weight or height limit set by the car-seat manufacturer.
  • Avoid sun exposure by keeping your baby covered and in the shade when possible. You may use sunscreen (SPF 30) if shade and clothing are not protecting your baby from direct sun exposure.

Keep up with childproofing:

  • Install safety gates and tie up drapes, blinds, and cords.
  • Keep locked up/out of reach: choking hazards; medicines; toxic substances; items that are hot, sharp, or breakable.
  • Keep emergency numbers, including the Poison Control Help Line number at 1-800-222-1222, near the phone.
  • To prevent drowning, close bathroom doors, keep toilet seats down, and always supervise your child around water (including baths).
  • Protect your child from secondhand smoke, which increases the risk of heart and lung disease. Secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes is also harmful.
  • Protect your child from gun injuries by not keeping a gun in the home. If you do have a gun, keep it unloaded and locked away. Ammunition should be locked up separately. Make sure kids can’t get to the keys.
  • Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your living situation. Do you have the things that you need to take care of your child? Do you have enough food, a safe place to live, and health insurance? Your doctor can tell you about community resources or refer you to a social worker.

The 12-Month Well-Baby Visit

Here’s what will happen at the 12-month well-baby visit, including the physical checkup, developmental milestones and shots.

Happy birthday, baby — and welcome to toddlerhood!

Time sure flew, and now the teensy newborn you cradled in your arms just yesterday may be walking, talking or on the brink of either or both. Happily, your fledgling toddler won’t have to brake for as many regular checkups in the second year — but each one will be an important opportunity to make sure everything’s on track, and will be a welcome chance for you to ask the questions you’ll collect in between visits!

The physical checkup

The doctor will once again complete a full physical examination and probably do a quick finger prick to test for lead and hemoglobin levels in your baby’s blood. He or she will also ask your toddler to show off that dazzling smile to see how many teeth she has — typically between two and eight — and also to check for signs of decay. Keep in mind: A few little ones are still sporting an all-gums grin and that’s fine, too.

Developmental milestones

Many little ones crawl their way well into their second year — not taking those first momentous unassisted steps until 14 months or later — while some start walking solo weeks or even months earlier. Some have a handful of meaningful words, while others haven’t said an intelligible word.

The doctor will try to observe some of these skills, but if your newly independent toddler refuses to show them off, you’ll have to tell all:

  • Pulling herself up to stand
  • Cruising — walking while holding onto furniture — or even walking without support
  • Using a few gestures to get what she needs (such as pointing, showing, reaching and waving)
  • Using fingers to feed herself
  • Responding to her name, or to words like “no” or “bye-bye”
  • Saying a word or two or even several with meaning; though many don’t say a first word before 10 to 14 months
  • Trying to imitate words you say
  • Playing games like peek-a-boo or patty-cake
  • Banging two objects together, putting objects into a container and then taking them out
  • Don’t forget, every baby is one-of-a-kind — and there’s a wide range of normal when it comes to development. Still, if you have any concerns about your little one’s milestones, make sure you check with your baby’s doctor.

12-month vaccines

Depending on how the doctor likes to space vaccines, your toddler might get a few new ones today, or they may come at the next visit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • HepA (hepatitis A)
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

Now may also be the time for another dose of these vaccines. Remember, your little one needs all the recommended doses to be fully protected:

  • HepB (hepatitis B)
  • Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • PCV 13 (pneumococcal disease)
  • IPV (polio)

Questions to ask your doctor

Baby’s no longer putty in your hands? That’s because she’s no longer a baby. You’re probably starting to glimpse some signs of independence, like suddenly rejecting favorite foods, refusing boots on a rainy day or even hitting and biting.

What does it all mean, and how should you deal with it? Feel free to ask the doctor:

  • Is it okay that my toddler is so attached to her blanket?
  • Can I start putting a pillow in her crib? What about bumpers?
  • My toddler is still breastfeeding to sleep, even during the night. Is that okay?
  • When should I start my toddler on cow’s milk? What kind?
  • When should I wean my child off the bottle?
  • My toddler is suddenly becoming a picky eater. How do I make sure she’s getting the right nutrition?
  • When should I schedule my toddler’s first dental checkup?
  • She loves playing with my phone. Is that okay?

Recognizing the signs of a delay

You’ve heard it over and over again by now, and it’s true: There’s a wide range of normal when it comes to a baby’s development. And most babies who don’t make all of their milestones on a developmental timetable that’s based on averages still fall within that normal range.

But sometimes a lag or slowdown in development or a sudden loss of skills is out of the norm and needs evaluation and possibly intervention — and the earlier any necessary intervention is made, the greater the impact it will have on a child’s developmental future and lifelong success and well-being.

Experts agree that parents can be invaluable in the diagnosis of developmental disorders — and early diagnosis can lead to the kind of early intervention that can make an enormous difference in a child’s future.

That’s why it’s so important to know the signs. So don’t keep concerns about your baby’s development to yourself. Let the doctor know if you’re worried that she’s falling behind, if it seems she’s forgotten skills she had already mastered or if you’ve just got a nagging feeling something’s not right.

Also be sure to know the signs of a developmental disorder and to tell the doctor if your baby doesn’t do the following by 12 months of age — or seems to stop doing them altogether:

Exchange back-and-forth sounds with you

Babble

  • Smile socially, or smile back and forth with others
  • Make and keep eye contact with you
  • Point or use other gestures to get needs met
  • Respond when you call her name
  • Look when you point at something
  • Bear weight on her legs with support, doesn’t sit with help
  • And before you leave, don’t forget to get the next appointment scheduled, which will be the 15-month checkup.

Baby’s 12-Month Checkup: What to Expect

Your baby is a year old now! Soon they’ll be walking and talking. They may have already taken their first steps and added a few new words to “mama” or “dada.” You’re probably eager to talk to your baby’s doctor about all these new changes!

Here’s what to expect at your baby’s 12-month checkup.

You Can Expect Your Baby’s Doctor to:

  • Check your baby’s weight, length, and head circumference
  • Perform a physical exam of your baby
  • Possibly give your baby vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, or another (booster) shot of a vaccine your baby has already had
  • Recommend a flu shot if it’s fall or winter

Questions Your Baby’s Doctor May Ask

  • Is your baby pulling up?
  • Standing?
  • Walking?
  • What and how many words can your baby say?
  • Does your baby point at things and use both hands when playing?

Feeding Questions You May Have

  • Is it OK if my baby won’t eat sometimes?
  • Can I introduce whole milk now?
  • When do I need to wean my baby from a bottle?

Feeding Tips

  • Your baby may be pickier and less interested in food. This is normal at this age.
  • Give baby a variety of healthy foods. This is a good time to grow their taste buds.
  • Remember, baby may not like a particular food on the first try. But keep trying!
  • Giving fruit is ALWAYS better than juice. Limit juice to ½ cup a day. Water is even better.
  • Unless your baby’s doctor suggests 2%, your baby should start drinking whole milk now because they need the fat for growth.
  • 2 to 3 cups of whole milk a day is a good amount.
  • If you are weaning your baby from the bottle, wean gradually, first at mealtimes and finally before bed.
  • Putting just water in baby’s bottle may help with weaning.

Development Questions You May Have

  • What are good toys for babies at this age?
  • What can I do to help my baby learn?

Baby Development Tips

  • Your baby learns a lot by interacting with people.
  • Your baby may imitate what you do, like sweeping with a broom or talking on the phone.
  • Make time to read, play, and talk to your baby each day.
  • When you’re with baby, say the names of things to help their language skills.
  • Pull toys, blocks for stacking and building, and balls are good for this age.
  • TV or media is not a good idea. Try putting on music instead.
  • Make sure your home is baby-proofed for the safety of your mobile or nearly mobile baby.
  • Your baby will need to be in a rear-facing car seat until age 2. Never leave baby alone in the car. Happy travels!

Checkup Checklist: First Birthday (12 Months Old)

Happy first birthday to your baby! That little bundle you first held is now a budding toddler, soon to take their first steps (if they haven’t already). Be sure to share all your proud-parent moments with your pediatrician.

Here’s what you can expect at the 12-month checkup:

✅ Immunizations

At the 12-month visit, your baby may receive vaccines for

  • measles, mumps and rubella (MMR),
  • Hepatitis A, and Varicella (chickenpox). T

hey may also be due for a booster shot for earlier vaccines. If it’s flu season, your doctor will also recommend an influenza (flu) vaccine.

Screenings

The doctor will check your child for anemia at this visit. Based on your child’s risk, they may also test blood lead level, hearing, vision, and blood pressure. If your child may have been exposed to tuberculosis, they can do a skin test.

✅Feeding & development

Your pediatrician will measure and weigh your baby to make sure their growth is on track. They will also observe their development and behavior, and perform a physical exam.

Questions your pediatrician may ask

  • Has your baby tried to stand or take their first steps without support?
  • How is your baby doing with feeding themselves during meals and snacks?
  • If your baby is formula fed, have you started to switch to whole milk?

Questions you may have

  • Why is the best way to react to a tantrum?
  • Are time-outs OK when my child isn’t following directions?
  • How can I help my child fall asleep at bedtime?
  • How can I encourage my child to try new foods?
  • Is it normal for my baby’s appetite​ to change a lot from meal to meal?

Did you know By 12 months, your baby’s appe​tite may level off some. This is because they are not growing as quickly as they were during their first year. They may eat a lot at one meal and very little at the next. However, hunger guides them to eat enough over time.

✅Safety Questions your pediatrician may ask

  • Do you have stair guards and window guards​?
  • Where is the mattress positioned in the crib?
  • Do you apply sunscreen and put a hat on your child when they play outside?
  • Are there swimming pools or other potential water dangers near or in your home?
  • Are you thinking about starting your child in a swimming program?

Questions you may have

  • How long do I need to keep pillows and other soft objects out of the crib?
  • Should I use a baby walker?
  • Can I put the car safety seat in the front seat of my car?

✅ Communication tips

  • Never hesitate to call your pediatrician’s office with any questions or concerns—even if you know the office is closed.
  • If your pediatrician is unable to see you but believes your baby should be examined, they will advise you on the most appropriate place for your baby to receive care and how quickly your baby should be seen.

Well-Child Checkup: 12 Months

At the 12-month checkup, the healthcare provider will examine your child and ask how things are going at home. This checkup gives you a great opportunity to ask questions about your child’s emotional and physical development. Bring a list of your questions to the appointment so you can make certain all of your concerns are addressed.

This sheet describes some of what you can expect.

Development and milestones

The healthcare provider will ask questions about your child. He or she will observe your toddler to get an idea of the child’s development. By this visit, your child is likely doing some of the following:

  • Pulling up to a standing position
  • Moving around while holding on to the couch or other furniture (known as “cruising”)
  • Taking steps by themselves
  • Putting objects into and taking them out of a container
  • Using the first or pointer finger and thumb to grasp small objects
  • Starting to understand what you’re saying
  • Saying “Mama” and “Dada”

Feeding tips

At 12 months of age, it’s normal for a child to eat 3 meals and a few snacks each day. If your child doesn’t want to eat, that’s OK. Provide food at mealtime, and your child will eat if and when he or she is hungry. Don’t force the child to eat. To help your child eat well:

Gradually give the child whole milk instead of feeding breastmilk or formula. If you’re breastfeeding, continue or wean as you and your child are ready. But also start giving your child whole milk. Your child needs the dietary fat in whole milk for correct brain development. Give whole milk to toddlers from ages 1 to 2 years.

Make solids your child’s main source of nutrients. Think of milk as a beverage, not a full meal.

Begin to replace a bottle with a sippy cup for all liquids. Plan to wean your child off the bottle by 15 months of age.

Don’t give your child foods they might choke on. This is common with foods about the size and shape of the child’s throat. They include sections of hot dogs and sausages, hard candies, nuts, whole grapes, and raw vegetables. Ask the healthcare provider about other foods to stay away from.

At 12 months of age it’s OK to give your child honey.

Ask the healthcare provider if your baby needs fluoride supplements.

Hygiene tips

If your child has teeth, gently brush them at least twice a day such as after breakfast and before bed. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. Use a baby’s toothbrush with soft bristles.

Ask the healthcare provider when your child should have his or her first dental visit. Most pediatric dentists recommend that the first dental visit should happen within 6 months after the first tooth appears above the gums, but no later than the child’s first birthday.

Sleeping tips

At this age, your child will likely nap around 1 to 3 hours each day, and sleep 10 to 12 hours at night. If your child sleeps more or less than this but seems healthy, it is not a concern. To help your child sleep:

Get the child used to doing the same things each night before bed. Having a bedtime routine helps your child learn when it’s time to go to sleep. Try to stick to the same bedtime and routine each night. Don’t put your child to bed with anything to drink.

Put the crib mattress on the lowest setting. This helps keep your child from pulling up and climbing or falling out of the crib. If your child is still able to climb out of the crib, use a crib tent, put the mattress on the floor, or switch to a toddler bed.

If getting the child to sleep through the night is a problem, ask the healthcare provider for tips.

Safety tips

As your child becomes more mobile, it’s important to keep a close eye on them. Always be aware of what your child is doing. An accident can happen in a split second. To keep your baby safe:

Childproof your house. If your toddler is pulling up on furniture or cruising (moving around while holding on to objects), check that big pieces such as cabinets and TVs are tied down or secured to the wall. Otherwise they may be pulled down on top of the child. Move any items that might hurt the child out of his or her reach. Be aware of items like tablecloths or cords that your baby might pull on. Do a safety check of any area your baby spends time in.

Protect your toddler from falls. Use sturdy screens on windows. Put gates at the tops and bottoms of staircases. Supervise your child on the stairs.

Don’t let your baby get hold of anything small enough to choke on. This includes toys, solid foods, and items on the floor that the child may find while crawling or cruising. As a rule, an item small enough to fit inside a toilet paper tube can cause a child to choke.

In the car, always put your child in a car seat in the back seat.. Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat for as long as possible. That means until they reach the top weight or height allowed by their seat. Check your safety seat instructions. Most convertible safety seats have height and weight limits that will allow children to ride rear-facing for 2 years or more.

Teach animal safety. At this age many children become curious around dogs, cats, and other animals. Teach your child to be gentle and cautious with animals. Always supervise the child around animals, even familiar family pets. Never let your child approach a strange dog or cat.

Keep this Poison Control phone number in an easy-to-see place, such as on the refrigerator: 800-222-1222.

Vaccines

Based on recommendations from the CDC, at this visit your child may get the following vaccines:

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pneumococcus
  • Polio
  • Chickenpox (varicella)

Choosing shoes

Your 1-year-old may be walking. Now is the time to buy a good pair of shoes. Here are some tips:

  • Get the right size. Ask a clerk for help measuring your child’s feet.
  • Don’t buy shoes that are too big, for your child to “grow into.” Walking is harder when shoes don’t fit. Look for shoes with soft, flexible soles.
  • Don’t buy shoes with high ankles and stiff leather. These can be uncomfortable. They can make it harder for your child to walk.
  • Choose shoes that are easy to get on and off, but won’t slide off your child’s feet by accident. Moccasins or sneakers with Velcro closures are good choices.

Baby’s 1st birthday: Your child’s 12-month check-up

Your little one is having a big birthday. It’s hard to believe your baby is already one! That first year goes so fast and is accompanied by so many changes. All of a sudden, it’s time for your toddler’s one-year check-up.

What can you expect at this check-up?

Your doctor will likely check weight, length and head circumference to compare with growth charts for normal development. Your doctor will also do a physical examination, update immunizations and, if warranted, order tests if your child appears to be at risk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines, tests may include a hemoglobin, lead level in blood, and, in high-risk populations, TB screening. This check-up is also the optimal time for both you and your doctor to ask questions and address any concerns you may have.

Developmental milestones

At 12 months of age, your doctor will ask about the following developmental milestones.

  • Says “mama” and “dada” plus one or two other words
  • Points at objects
  • Able to stand alone
  • Walks with one hand and possibly walk alone
  • Picks up a small object between the thumb and index or middle finger
  • Feeds self with hands
  • Enjoys peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake and social games

Do not panic if your baby is not doing all these things. Every baby develops at different stages and at his or her own pace. Feel free to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about development in any of these areas at any time.

Advice on daily routines

Feeding:

  • Give your child whole milk until 2 years of age Limit cow milk to 16 ounces daily Juice in cup and limit up to 4 ounces
  • Serve iron-fortified food like cereal, sweet potatoes, strawberries
  • Encourage self-feeding
  • Serve three meals and two to three nutritious snacks a day
  • Avoids food with choking hazard such as whole grapes, seeds, raisins, popcorn, nuts, hot dogs, meat chunks, hard fruits

Learning:

  • Make time to talk, read and interact with them
  • Maintain good eye contact TV viewing and other screen time should be very limited until after 2 years

Sleeping:

  • Have a regular bed time and make it a routine for your baby
  • Put your baby to bed while they are still awake, so that they will learn to sleep in their own bed

Dental hygiene:

  • Use soft tooth brush to brush once or twice daily
  • Make a dentist appointment at 1 year of age or when first tooth erupts

Safety near water:

  • Never leave the child unattended
  • Close the bathroom doors
  • Keep toilet seats down
  • Empty small tubs, buckets if not needed

Household precautions:

  • No active or passive smoke exposure at home
  • Block the stairs with stair gates
  • Put socket plugs in electrical outlets
  • Secure furniture, TV and shelves to floor to avoid risk of falling
  • Pad sharp corners of furniture, counters and fireplace hearths
  • Drapes, blinds and cords tied up and out of reach

Drugs and guns:

  • Common medications and liquids should be properly stored and locked with baby safety locks
  • Children should not have any access to drugs, chemicals or liquids in the garage, basement or bathrooms
  • Guns should be stored safely and unloaded with ammunition stored separately
  • Keep emergency contact numbers in speed dial like poison control (800) 222-1222, nurse, doctor, nearby relatives and friends

Red flags:

  • Does not use any single words, like “mama,” “dada”
  • Does not maintain eye contact
  • Does not point at objects
  • Does not babble
  • Has difficulty crawling or walking
  • Has single hand preference

If you notice any of these red flags by your child’s first birthday, talk to your pediatrician to set up an evaluation. You are embarking on the next phase, moving from having a dependent baby to having an independent toddler whose new accomplishments will delight you daily and whose constant activity will keep you on your toes. Enjoy!

What Happens at Baby’s 12-Month Checkup?

Baby’s 12-month checkup is coming up. What questions, procedures and immunizations should I expect?

You’ve made it to one year! This milestone calls for exciting, toddler things like real milk and sippy cups, and it also means a checkup with another round of immunizations, says Preeti Parikh, MD.

Here’s what else:

Questions the doctor will ask

  • Is baby crawling, walking and pulling himself up? (It’s completely okay if he’s not walking yet.)
  • Has baby made the transition to solids?
  • How many teeth does baby have? (It could be anywhere from zero to eight.)
  • How are baby’s motor skills? Does he use both hands to pick things up?
  • Does baby follow moving objects with his eyes?
  • What is baby saying? It should be at least one word beyond “mama” and “dada.”

Procedures the doctor will do

Weight check. The doctor or nurse will measure and weigh baby and plot weight, height, and head circumference on a growth chart that indicates the average height and weight for boys and girls. Baby should stay within the same percentile range from checkup to checkup.

Physical. The doctor will check baby’s heart, lungs, genitals, reflexes, joints, eyes, ears and mouth. She’ll also check the shape of baby’s head and check his soft spots (fontanels) to make sure they’re developing properly.

Blood test. Baby’s blood will be screened for anemia and checked for lead.

Vaccines baby may get

  • MMR
  • Chickenpox
  • Hepatitis A (But it can also wait until 15 months.)

Recommendations the doctor will make

• Introduce real milk, but no more than 24 ounces per day, since most calories should be coming from solids. Some babies don’t really like regular milk, so yogurt and cheese are good alternatives.

• Let baby play and feed himself with cereal to work on fine motor skills.

• Look baby in the eyes while you’re talking to work on communication development.

• Wean him off the bottle and on to sippy cups. Parikh says cups with straws are best for mouth development.

• Start weaning baby off of the pacifier. Start by taking it away during naps.

• Keep brushing baby’s new teeth.

Expert: Preeti Parikh, MD, is a pediatrician in New York City and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Doctor visit: The 12-month checkup

To prepare for your baby’s 12-month checkup, learn what will happen at the visit. You may also want to consider the questions the doctor is likely to ask and jot down answers beforehand.

What the doctor will do

Weigh and measure your baby

You’ll need to undress your baby completely for weighing. The doctor weighs your baby, measures length and head circumference, and plots the numbers on a growth chart. The chart enables you and your doctor to track your baby’s rate of growth.

Do a complete physical

  • Heart and lungs: Uses a stethoscope to listen for any abnormal heart rhythms or breathing problems.
  • Eyes: Checks for signs of congenital eye conditions and other problems. May also check for blocked tear ducts and discharge.
  • Ears: Looks for signs of infection and observes how your baby responds to sound.
  • Mouth: Looks for signs of infection and any new teeth, among other things.
  • Head: Checks the soft spots (fontanels) and the shape of your baby’s head.
  • Body: Checks your baby’s reflexes and muscle tone, and examines his skin for rashes and paleness. Pale skin is a sign of iron-deficiency anemia which babies are at high risk for between 9 and 24 months.
  • Belly: Presses gently on the abdomen to check for a hernia or enlarged organs.
  • Genitals: Opens your baby’s diaper and checks for signs of infection.
  • Hips and legs: Moves your baby’s legs around to look for problems in the hip joints.

Give your baby her shots Your baby will receive the Hib, pneumococcal, chicken pox (varicella), MMR, and hepatitis A vaccines (combined into two or three shots). Also: hepatitis B, and polio (if she hasn’t had the third doses yet). An assistant may administer the vaccines. This is usually done at the end of the appointment so you can have some privacy afterward to comfort your baby.

Address any other concerns

The doctor will order a blood test for iron-deficiency anemia and assess your child’s risk of lead exposure and order a blood test to screen for it, if necessary. The doctor will address any other concerns (such as questions about vitamins and treating falls, cuts and scrapes), ask you some questions (see below), and help you understand what’s normal at this age.

You can expect your baby’s doctor to:

  • Weigh and measure your child to make sure he’s growing at a healthy, steady rate.
  • Check your child’s heart and breathing.
  • Check your child’s eyes and ears.
  • Measure your baby’s head size to keep track of her brain growth.
  • Answer any questions you have about vitamins, if you want your child to take them.
  • Address any of your concerns about your 12-month-old’s health, including how to treat colds, coughs, cuts, and bumps and falls.
  • Offer information on how (and how not) to discipline your child.
  • Make sure your child is continuing to learn new skills and not losing old ones.
  • Offer insight into your child’s development, temperament, and behavior.
  • Assess your child’s risk of lead exposure and order a blood test to screen for it, if necessary.
  • Order a blood test to screen for iron-deficiency anemia.

Questions the doctor may ask:

How does your child sleep? Your 12-month-old may be waking up often at night. He may miss the fun and companionship of daytime and be reluctant to go back to sleep. The doctor may have helpful suggestions, especially if you can provide details on how much your child sleeps and when. Most 12-month-olds sleep a little more than 11 hours at night and just under three hours during the day.

How is your child eating? Twelve-month-olds can feed themselves with their hands and drink from a sippy cup. Most kids have tripled their birth weight by their first birthday. Don’t worry if yours is a little ahead of or behind that marker.

How many teeth does your child have? Many 12-month-olds have as many as eight teeth. Others still have none. Your child may suffer from red, swollen, and tender gums when her teeth are erupting, and your doctor can suggest ways to soothe them. As soon as teeth emerge, start brushing them once a day.

Is your child pulling up? Standing? Walking? By now your child is probably an experienced cruiser and can stand on his own. He may even have taken his first steps. If not, don’t worry – many children don’t walk until they’re 14 or 15 months old. But if your child can’t bear his own weight on his legs, tell the doctor. In addition to pulling up and standing, your child should also be crawling or getting around some other way. If he’s not, let the doctor know.

Does your child point at objects? Between 9 and 12 months, most children start pointing at things that catch their attention, such as dogs and toys. It’s a nonverbal way of trying to communicate with you and an important step in language development.

What does your child say? At this age most kids can join syllables together and jabber wordlike sounds, say “mama” and “dada,” and maybe say a couple of other words as well. Let the doctor know what your child understands. Your child should know and respond to her own name and other familiar words and show an interest in others’ conversations. If she’s not making any sounds or is making fewer than she was before, tell the doctor.

How are your child’s social skills? Most 1-year-olds enjoy playing games with others, including peekaboo and patty-cake. Your child will imitate everyday actions such as sweeping the floor or brushing his hair and will be exuberant and curious most of the time. He’ll probably seek out interaction with familiar people but will be anxious when separated from you or around strangers.

How are your child’s fine motor skills? Twelve-month-olds like to point at things and can use both hands together when playing with objects. If your child isn’t using both hands equally, tell the doctor.

Have you noticed anything unusual about your child’s eyes or the way she looks at things? At every well-baby visit, the doctor should check the structure and alignment of the eyes and your child’s ability to move them correctly.

How’s your child’s hearing? If your 12-month-old doesn’t turn toward sounds, be sure to tell his doctor. The sooner potential hearing problems are investigated, the sooner they can be treated.

The 12-Month Well-Baby Visit

Here’s what will happen at the 12-month well-baby visit, including the physical checkup, developmental milestones and shots.

Happy birthday, baby — and welcome to toddlerhood! Time sure flew, and now the teensy newborn you cradled in your arms just yesterday may be walking, talking or on the brink of either or both.

Happily, your fledgling toddler won’t have to brake for as many regular checkups in the second year — but each one will be an important opportunity to make sure everything’s on track, and will be a welcome chance for you to ask the questions you’ll collect in between visits!

The physical checkup

The doctor will once again complete a full physical examination and probably do a quick finger prick to test for lead and hemoglobin levels in your baby’s blood.

He or she will also ask your toddler to show off that dazzling smile to see how many teeth she has — typically between two and eight — and also to check for signs of decay.

Keep in mind: A few little ones are still sporting an all-gums grin and that’s fine, too.

Developmental milestones

Many little ones crawl their way well into their second year — not taking those first momentous unassisted steps until 14 months or later — while some start walking solo weeks or even months earlier. Some have a handful of meaningful words, while others haven’t said an intelligible word.

The doctor will try to observe some of these skills, but if your newly independent toddler refuses to show them off, you’ll have to tell all:

  • Pulling herself up to stand
  • Cruising — walking while holding onto furniture — or even walking without support
  • Using a few gestures to get what she needs (such as pointing, showing, reaching and waving)
  • Using fingers to feed herself Responding to her name, or to words like “no” or “bye-bye”
  • Saying a word or two or even several with meaning; though many don’t say a first word before 10 to 14 months
  • Trying to imitate words you say
  • Playing games like peek-a-boo or patty-cake
  • Banging two objects together, putting objects into a container and then taking them out

Don’t forget, every baby is one-of-a-kind — and there’s a wide range of normal when it comes to development. Still, if you have any concerns about your little one’s milestones, make sure you check with your baby’s doctor.

12-month vaccines

Depending on how the doctor likes to space vaccines, your toddler might get a few new ones today, or they may come at the next visit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • HepA (hepatitis A)
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

Now may also be the time for another dose of these vaccines. Remember, your little one needs all the recommended doses to be fully protected:

  • HepB (hepatitis B)
  • Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • PCV 13 (pneumococcal disease)
  • IPV (polio)

Questions to ask your doctor

Baby’s no longer putty in your hands? That’s because she’s no longer a baby. You’re probably starting to glimpse some signs of independence, like suddenly rejecting favorite foods, refusing boots on a rainy day or even hitting and biting.

What does it all mean, and how should you deal with it?

Feel free to ask the doctor:

  • Is it okay that my toddler is so attached to her blanket?
  • Can I start putting a pillow in her crib?
  • What about bumpers?
  • My toddler is still breastfeeding to sleep, even during the night. Is that okay?
  • When should I start my toddler on cow’s milk? What kind?
  • When should I wean my child off the bottle?
  • My toddler is suddenly becoming a picky eater. How do I make sure she’s getting the right nutrition?
  • When should I schedule my toddler’s first dental checkup?
  • She loves playing with my phone. Is that okay?

Recognizing the signs of a delay You’ve heard it over and over again by now, and it’s true: There’s a wide range of normal when it comes to a baby’s development. And most babies who don’t make all of their milestones on a developmental timetable that’s based on averages still fall within that normal range.

But sometimes a lag or slowdown in development or a sudden loss of skills is out of the norm and needs evaluation and possibly intervention — and the earlier any necessary intervention is made, the greater the impact it will have on a child’s developmental future and lifelong success and well-being.

Experts agree that parents can be invaluable in the diagnosis of developmental disorders — and early diagnosis can lead to the kind of early intervention that can make an enormous difference in a child’s future.

That’s why it’s so important to know the signs. So don’t keep concerns about your baby’s development to yourself. Let the doctor know if you’re worried that she’s falling behind, if it seems she’s forgotten skills she had already mastered or if you’ve just got a nagging feeling something’s not right.

Also be sure to know the signs of a developmental disorder and to tell the doctor if your baby doesn’t do the following by 12 months of age — or seems to stop doing them altogether:

  • Exchange back-and-forth sounds with you Babble
  • Smile socially, or smile back and forth with others
  • Make and keep eye contact with you
  • Point or use other gestures to get needs met
  • Respond when you call her name Look when you point at something
  • Bear weight on her legs with support, doesn’t sit with help
  • And before you leave, don’t forget to get the next appointment scheduled, which will be the 15-month checkup.

Baby’s 12-Month Checkup: What to Expect

Your baby is a year old now! Soon they’ll be walking and talking. They may have already taken their first steps and added a few new words to “mama” or “dada.” You’re probably eager to talk to your baby’s doctor about all these new changes!

Here’s what to expect at your baby’s 12-month checkup. You Can Expect Your Baby’s Doctor to:

  • Check your baby’s weight, length, and head circumference
  • Perform a physical exam of your baby
  • Possibly give your baby vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, or another (booster) shot of a vaccine your baby has already had
  • Recommend a flu shot if it’s fall or winter

Questions Your Baby’s Doctor May Ask

  • Is your baby pulling up?
  • Standing?
  • Walking?
  • What and how many words can your baby say?
  • Does your baby point at things and use both hands when playing?

Feeding Questions You May Have

  • Is it OK if my baby won’t eat sometimes?
  • Can I introduce whole milk now?
  • When do I need to wean my baby from a bottle?

Feeding Tips

  • Your baby may be pickier and less interested in food. This is normal at this age.
  • Give baby a variety of healthy foods. This is a good time to grow their taste buds.
  • Remember, baby may not like a particular food on the first try. But keep trying!
  • Giving fruit is ALWAYS better than juice. Limit juice to ½ cup a day.
  • Water is even better. Unless your baby’s doctor suggests 2%, your baby should start drinking whole milk now because they need the fat for growth.
  • 2 to 3 cups of whole milk a day is a good amount. If you are weaning your baby from the bottle, wean gradually, first at mealtimes and finally before bed.
  • Putting just water in baby’s bottle may help with weaning.

Development Questions You May Have

  • What are good toys for babies at this age?
  • What can I do to help my baby learn?

Baby Development Tips

  • Your baby learns a lot by interacting with people.
  • Your baby may imitate what you do, like sweeping with a broom or talking on the phone.
  • Make time to read, play, and talk to your baby each day.
  • When you’re with baby, say the names of things to help their language skills.
  • Pull toys, blocks for stacking and building, and balls are good for this age.
  • TV or media is not a good idea. Try putting on music instead.
  • Make sure your home is baby-proofed for the safety of your mobile or nearly mobile baby.
  • Your baby will need to be in a rear-facing car seat until age 2.
  • Never leave baby alone in the car. Happy travels!

View Sources

Your Child’s Checkup: 1 Year (12 Months)

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/checkup-1-yr.html

The 12-Month Well-Baby Visit

https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/health-and-safety/12-month-well-baby-visit/

Baby’s 12-Month Checkup: What to Expect

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/babys-12-month-checkup-what-to-expect

Checkup Checklist: First Birthday (12 Months Old)

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/Your-Childs-Checkups/Pages/Your-Checkup-Checklist-12-Months-Old.aspx

Well-Child Checkup: 12 Months

https://www.fairview.org/patient-education/40873

Baby’s 1st birthday: Your child’s 12-month check-up

https://news.sanfordhealth.org/childrens/your-childs-checkup-12-months/

What Happens at Baby’s 12-Month Checkup?

https://www.thebump.com/a/babys-first-year-checkup

The 12-Month Well-Baby Visit

https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/health-and-safety/12-month-well-baby-visit/

Baby’s 12-Month Checkup: What to Expect

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/babys-12-month-checkup-what-to-expect