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Well checkup: 12 months

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At this age, your child may:

  • pull himself to a stand and walk with help
  • take a few steps alone
  • use a pincer grasp to get something
  • point or bang two objects together
  • put one object inside another
  • say one to three meaningful words (besides "mama" and "dad") correctly
  • start to understand that an object hidden by a cloth is still there (object permanence)
  • play games like "peek-a-boo," "pat-a-cake" and "so-big"
  • wave bye-bye

Feeding tips

  • Weaning your child from the bottle will protect his dental health and promote speech. You can wean your child from the bottle.
    Once your child can handle a cup, you can start taking him off the bottle. Start with the least important time he gets a bottle. Take away one bottle each week. You may be able to stop bottle feedings "cold turkey."
  • Your child may refuse to eat foods he used to like.
  • Your child can become very picky about what he will eat. Offer other foods, but do not make your child eat them.
  • Give your child soft foods.
  • Give your child a sippy cup.
  • You may give your child whole milk. She may drink 16 to 24 ounces each day. Or, you may offer three servings of dairy such as six ounces of milk, three to four ounces of yogurt, eight ounces of cottage cheese, one ounce of cheese or two breastfeedings.
  • Limit the amount of 100 percent fruit juice your child drinks to less than four ounces each day.
  • Your child needs at least 400 IU of vitamin D each day.


  • Your child may only take one nap each day over the next six months.
  • Your child may need about 13 hours of sleep each day.
  • Continue your regular nighttime routine: bath, brushing teeth and reading.


  • Use an approved car seat for the height and weight of your child every time he rides in a vehicle.
  • The safest way for your child to ride is in a rear-facing car seat properly secured in the back seat. You are strongly encouraged to keep your child rear-facing until age 2.
  • Be a good role model for your child. Do not talk or text on your cellphone while driving.
  • Falls at this age are common. Keep gates on all stairways and doors to dangerous areas.
  • Your child will likely explore by putting many things in his mouth. Keep all medicines, cleaning supplies and poisons out of your child's reach.
    Call the poison control center (1-800-222-1222) or your health care provider for directions in case your baby swallows poison. Have these numbers handy by your telephone or program them into your cell phone.
  • Keep electrical cords and harmful objects out of your child's reach.
  • Do not give your child small foods (such as peanuts, pieces of hot dog or grapes) that could cause choking.
  • Turn your hot water heater to less than 120 degrees F.
  • Never put hot liquids near table or countertop edges. Keep your child away from a hot stove, oven and furnace.
  • When cooking on the stove, turn pot handles to the inside and use the back burners. When grilling, be sure to keep your child away from the grill.
  • Do not let your child be near running machines, lawn mowers or cars.
  • Never leave your child alone in the bathtub or near water. "Knowing how to swim" does not mean your child will be safe in the water.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of more than 15 when your child is outside.

What your child needs

  • Your child can understand almost everything you say. She will respond to simple directions. Do not swear or fight with your partner or other adults. Your child will repeat what you say.
  • Show your child picture books. Point to objects and name them.
  • Hold and cuddle your child as often as he will allow.
  • Encourage your child to play alone as well as with you and siblings.
  • Your child will become more independent. He will say "I do" or "I can do it." Let your child do as much as is possible. Let him make decisions as long as they are reasonable.
  • You will need to teach your child through discipline. Teach and praise positive behaviors. Distract and prevent negative or dangerous behaviors. Temper tantrums are common and should be ignored.
    Make sure the child is safe during the tantrum. If you give in, your child will throw more tantrums. Call a friend or call the Crisis Nursery if necessary.

Dental care

  • Brush your child's teeth one to two times each day. You do not need to use toothpaste. If you do, use a very small amount. Let your child play with the toothbrush after brushing.
  • Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups starting when your child's first tooth appears. (Your child may need fluoride tablets if you have well water.) Lab work

Lab tests

Your child may have his hemoglobin and lead levels checked.

  • Hemoglobin: This is a blood test to check for anemia (low iron in the blood).
  • Lead: This is a blood test to look for high levels of lead in the blood. Lead is a metal that can get into a child's body from many things. Evidence shows that lead can be harmful to a child if the level is too high.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic