12 Month Anticipatory Guidance
- Do not put a bottle of breast milk, formula or juice in the crib with your baby. All of these contain sugar and will cause cavities if they are in contact with the teeth while sleeping. If you must put a bottle in the crib, fill it with water only.
- If your child has teeth, start brushing them using a soft child-size tooth brush and children's fluoride containing tooth paste. Use only a pea-sized amount of tooth paste. All children resist this at some point (some very strongly) but it is important to establish the habit twice a day.
- Your child should be weaned from the pacifier between 12-15 months. Most children will resist this, but pacifiers can interfere with dental development and speech at this critical age. Pacifiers also cause a pooling of saliva around the teeth which can encourage cavities. Find another comfort object your child can use, such as with a doll or stuffed animal.
- Shoes are meant only to protect the feet at this point. Expensive shoes will not help your child walk earlier, improve their arch (children are naturally flat-footed) or make them stable.
- Many children have one or both feet that point in or point out when they walk. This is normal at this age. Mild bowing of the lower legs is also normal. All of these conditions generally improve with time, and special devices to correct them are unnecessary and not used anymore.
- You may now start giving whole milk to your child. Do not give 2%, 1% or skim-children need the fat content of whole milk to nurture continuing brain development.
- Your child should transition from a bottle to a sippy cup between 12 and 15 months. You can encourage this by only putting water in the bottle and putting milk and juice in the sippy cup.
- Most children are picky eaters at some point. Some days they will eat well and other days they will not. Continue to offer a nutritious, well balanced diet. You can supplement with liquid vitamin drops (such as Poly-vi-sol or Gerber Vitamin Drops) once a day.
- This is the age where most babies are mobile, through crawling, scooting, rolling, cruising or walking. BABY PROOF YOUR HOUSE. Get on your hands and knees and crawl around to see what is at their eye-level. Keep doors closed. Put locks on cabinets and drawers that contain cleaners, beauty products, sharp objects or breakable objects. Secure furniture so it cannot tip over onto your infant. Use electric outlet covers. Adjust your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Put locks on your toilets or keep your bathroom doors closed.
- Get on your hands and knees and crawl around to see what is at their eye-level. Keep doors closed. Put locks on cabinets and drawers that contain cleaners, beauty products, sharp objects or breakable objects. Secure furniture so it cannot tip over onto your infant. Use electric outlet covers. Adjust your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Put locks on your toilets or keep your bathroom doors closed.
- Your baby will soon be moving around the house. Use gates at stairways and doors. Cover sharp-edged corners on furniture. Do not let cords or table cloths hang off of furniture. Keep small chokable objects picked up. Do not drink hot beverages while holding your child, or leave them on the table or counter edges, where they can spill onto an infant below.
- Remove crib bumpers and mobiles from the crib and lower the crib mattress as your infant will soon be crawling around and pulling up to stand.
- Even if your infant has reached 20 pounds, they must remain in a rear-facing car seat until 12 months of age.
- Never leave your infant alone in the bath tub or sink.
- Your child may ride in a forward facing car seat if they are over 20 pounds. They still must ride in the back seat.
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- At this age your child will enjoy pushing and pulling toys and climbing stairs.
- Can follow simple commands.
- Will expand vocabulary, but may not say real words until 15-18 months. Should understand most or all of what you say. Spend time naming objects and describing things. Start to name body parts.
- Learns a great deal from books. Board books are great for this age.
- Will enjoy stacking objects and putting things into containers as well as dumping them out.
- Show a range of emotions. If they are frustrated or upset, showing them how to fix the problem or distracting them are still the most effective responses.