Child's Well Visit, 12 Months: Care Instructions

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Your baby may start showing their own personality at 12 months. They may show interest in the world around them.

Your baby may start to walk. They may point with fingers and look for hidden objects. And they may say "mama" or "dada."

Feeding your baby

  • If you breastfeed, continue for as long as it works for you and your baby.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup. Give them whole cow's milk, full-fat soy milk, or water.
  • Let your child decide how much to eat.
  • Offer healthy foods each day, including fruits and well-cooked vegetables.
  • Cut or grind your child's food into small pieces.
  • Make sure your child sits down to eat.
  • Know which foods can cause choking, such as whole grapes and hot dogs.

Practicing healthy habits

  • Brush your child's teeth every day. Use a tiny amount of toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Put sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) and a hat on your child before going outside.

Keeping your baby safe

  • Don't leave your child alone around water, including pools, hot tubs, and bathtubs.
  • Always use a rear-facing car seat. Install it in the back seat.
  • Do not let your child play with toys that have small parts that can be removed and choked on.
  • If your child can't breathe or cry, they may be choking. Call 911 right away.
  • Keep cords out of your child's reach.
  • Have child safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Save the number for Poison Control (1-800-222-1222).
  • Keep guns away from children. If you have guns, lock them up unloaded. Lock ammunition away from guns.

Keeping your baby safe while they sleep

  • Always put your baby to sleep on their back.
  • Don't put sleep positioners, bumper pads, loose bedding, or stuffed animals in the crib.
  • Don't sleep with your baby. This includes in your bed or on a couch or chair.
  • Have your baby sleep in the same room as you for at least the first 6 months and up to a year if possible.
  • Don't place your baby in a car seat, sling, swing, bouncer, or stroller to sleep.

Getting vaccines

  • Make sure your baby gets all the recommended vaccines.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.