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Well Child Visit at 12 Months


A well child visit is when your child sees a healthcare provider to prevent health problems. It is a different type of visit than when your child sees a healthcare provider because he is sick. Well child visits are used to track your child's growth and development. It is also a time for you to ask questions and to get information on how to keep your child safe. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them. Your child should have regular well child visits from birth to 17 years.


Where to take your child for well child visits:

It is best to find a medical home for your child. A medical home is a doctor's office or clinic where your child sees the same healthcare providers every time. A medical home will also keep your child's health records. The healthcare providers will get to know your child and your family so they can give him the best care. They will also make sure he receives vaccines on the recommended immunization schedule to protect him from diseases.

What happens during a well child visit at 12 months (1 year):

Your child's healthcare provider may do the following:

  • Chart your child's head growth, weight, and height
  • Check your child's vision and hearing
  • Ask how often your child breastfeeds or drinks formula
  • Ask how well your child sleeps, and review safe ways to lay him on his back to sleep
  • Teach you about new foods you can now offer your child, such as eggs, cow's milk, and some fruits
  • Ask how often your child urinates and has bowel movements
  • Ask how long your child cries, and help you find safe ways to handle the crying or comfort him
  • Remind you never to shake a child if he will not stop crying
  • Talk to you about putting sunscreen on your child to prevent skin cancer
  • Ask how often you read to your child, and remind you to read to your child regularly
  • Review home safety and childproofing, and water safety, such as not leaving your child alone in the tub
  • Tell you never to put your child in a walker because they are not safe, and tell you to limit bouncer chair or swing time
  • Make sure you have a rear-facing child safety seat in every car, and that it is installed properly in the back seat
  • Screen your child for lead exposure
  • Give your child any vaccines he needs (hepatitis B, hepatitis A, HiB, pneumococcal, polio, MMR, and chickenpox), and any catch-up doses of previous vaccines

Milestones of development your child may reach by 12 months:

Each child develops at his own pace. Your child might have already reached the following milestones, or he may reach them later:

  • Stand by himself, walk with 1 hand held, or take a few steps on his own
  • Say words other than mama or dada
  • Repeat words he hears or name objects, such as book
  • Pick up objects with his fingers, including food he feeds himself
  • Play with others, such as rolling or throwing a ball with someone
  • Sleep for 8 to 10 hours every night and take 1 to 2 naps per day

What you need to know about your child's next well child visit:

Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when to bring him in again. The next well child visit is usually at 15 months. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about his health or care before the next visit. Your child may get the following vaccines at his next visit: hepatitis B, hepatitis A, DTaP, HiB, pneumococcal, polio, MMR, and chickenpox. Remember to take your child in for a yearly flu vaccine.

Changes that may happen before the next well child visit:

  • Your child may be able to point to a body part or imitate actions he sees others do.
  • Your child may start taking off clothing items such as his socks or shoes. He may be able to hold a crayon and make simple marks on paper.
  • Your child may want to try new foods. Ask your healthcare provider about new foods you can offer to your child. Do not give your child foods that can cause choking. Examples include hotdogs, raw vegetables, nuts, and whole grapes. Children younger than 4 years should not eat these foods.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.