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12 Months of Age

What to Expect at the 12-Month Well Visit:

  • First measles / mumps / rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • First varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
  • First hepatitis A (HepA) vaccine
  • Blood test for hemoglobin level
  • Blood test for lead levels

See the full immunization schedule ›

Safety:

  • Your infant is moving more; be aware that they can fall off surfaces. Never leave the baby unattended on a bed, changing table or sofa.
  • Continue to use a rear-facing car seat secured in the backseat of the car until 2 years of age. Refer to this handout for car seat information.
  • Never drink hot liquids while holding your baby or near your baby to avoid burns from accidental spills.
  • Make sure your water heater temperature is set to a maximum of 120° F.
  • Lower the mattress to lowest level.
  • Review handouts provided at the visit in the Safety Packet, especially childproofing your home.
  • Keep the Poison Control Number in your phone or readily available: 1-800-222-1222
  • Children can drown in a few inches of water. Supervise your child in baths, buckets, pools or near toilets (consider a toilet lock).
  • Place gates at top and bottom of stairs and guards on windows. Keep furniture away from windows.
  • AAP recommends insect repellents should be less than 30% DEET and used for infants 2 months old and older. Wash off skin with soap and water when done. Wash clothes before wearing again. Do not use combination DEET and sunscreen products. Apply permethrin for ticks to clothes, not to skin.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, reapplying every 2 hours, and avoid peak sun intensity of 10 am to 3 pm.

Development:

  • Says 1 to 3 words.
  • Uses “jargon” speech (makes sounds with changes in tone).
  • Waves bye-bye and shakes his head “no.”
  • Stands alone. May take a few steps without holding on.
  • Will play “peek a boo” or “pat a cake.”
  • Cries when mom and dad leaves.
  • Shy or nervous with strangers.

Diet:

  • Offer healthy table foods cut in pieces to avoid choking hazard.
  • Introduce cow’s milk (preferably whole or 2%) in a sippy cup. Limit to maximum of 24 oz. a day.
  • Give yogurt and cheese if baby is refusing milk.
  • Give Poly-vi-sol with iron if the diet seems inadequate.
  • Avoid juice.

Other Helpful Notes:

  • Teething: Do not use ORAGEL® or similar numbing gels. The ingredients are known to cause a rare serious disorder called methemoglobinemia. Offer cool, soft teething rings or toys.
  • Brush any erupted teeth with a soft infant brush and a tiny dab of fluoride kid’s toothpaste.
  • Take your child for their first visit with a pediatric dentist.

Watch Out For:

  • Please contact your provider if your baby can’t stand with support, doesn’t point to things, doesn’t say “mama” or “dada”, or doesn’t learn gestures like waving or shaking head.