12 Month Well-Child Visit

General: Learning to walk is the most significant milestone for children around 1 year of age. Although most children begin walking between 12 and 13 months, the age range for normal is really quite broad from 9-17 months. The ability to walk changes the way your child views and interacts with her world and represents a milestone in personality development as well as physical development.Height____________ Weight____________General: Learning to walk is the most significant milestone for children around 1 year of age. Although most children begin walking between 12 and 13 months, the age range for normal is really quite broad from 9-17 months. The ability to walk changes the way your child views and interacts with her world and represents a milestone in personality development as well as physical development.

  • Feeding: Children generally display a decreased appetite in the second year of life. Your baby should be eating a variety of table foods at this age and is starting to learn to feed herself with a spoon. She should be able to lift a cup to her mouth and drink. Weaning from the bottle is appropriate between the ages of 12-15 months. Your child may enjoy fruit juices, but total amount of fruit juice should not exceed 6 ounces per day. This is an appropriate time to switch from formula to 2% or whole milk. Do not offer low fat milk at this age because your child’s brain development depends on fat for building blocks.
  • Sleep: Your child may continue to have separation issues that disrupt her sleep patterns at this age. Providing a “transition object” to assist in comforting your baby when she is going to sleep or when she awakens in the night can be very helpful. A bottle should not be a “transition object” at this or any other age. A night-light can also help. It is important for your child to master separation experiences at this age, but is normal for both of you to feel some anxiety around this issue. If you are experiencing difficulty, please ask your doctor for suggestions.

Development:

  • Motor Skills: As previously mentioned, the most notable motor skill achievement at this age is walking without help. Other wonderful changes include giving kisses and hugs, standing without support, stacking blocks, and feeding herself.
  • Communication/Socialization: At this age your baby will recognize her name, and should turn and try to connect with you when she is called. She should say 2-3 words besides “mama” and “dada”, imitate familiar words and recognize words as symbols for objects – points to the cat when asked, “where is the kitty?”

Safety:

  • Keep your child rear-facing in the car seat until they reach maximum height and weight for that model or until age 2 years.
  • Remember to keep your children in the back seat of your car.
  • Have the Poison Control number by your phone (1-800-222-1222).
  • Do not give your baby food that might be easily choked on like peanuts, hot dogs, popcorn, grapes, raisins, raw carrot sticks or celery, and never allow your child to walk around with food.
  • Protect your baby from hot liquids especially in the kitchen. Turn handles on pots and pans away from her reach. Remember to turn your water heater down to 120 degrees.
  • Put latches on doors and cabinets. Put cleaning supplies, medicines and vitamins in high, locked cabinets.
  • Continue to use gates around stairs and keep doors to siblings’ rooms and bathrooms closed.
  • Continue to protect your child from tobacco smoke exposure.

Parenting: This can be a very trying, but very delightful age. Try to see your baby’s emerging independent behaviors as part of normal development and not as opposition to your authority. Give your baby clear and consistent messages about acceptable and unacceptable behavior: if your child is not allowed to touch a plant, it is important to be consistent and never allow that behavior. Remove her from the plant and repeat, “no, this plant is not safe for you to touch.” Praise your baby for desired behaviors. Continue to encourage speech development by naming objects and point out body parts. Talk to your baby during all of your daily activities including feeding, bathing, dressing, and walking. Encourage your baby to play alone as well as to interact with parents and siblings.

Play: Reading remains one of the most important activities that you can share with your baby. Brightly colored picture books are great fun, as are social games like pat-a- cake and peek-a-boo. Babies this age enjoy stacking things and because they have developed the sense of object permanence they will look for hidden toys.

Next visit is at 15 months of age.