Age: 12 Months

One year is huge milestone. There’s usually a big party, a face full of cake, lots of pictures, and it’s well deserved. You’ve all come a long way. As you look back at the first year and all of your baby’s “firsts,” it seems like it’s all gone by in a blink. You can hardly remember a time when your baby wasn’t in your life. Life is complete.


  1. Car: Use a Convertible Car Seat (rather than an infant car seat) in the back seat of the vehicle, rear-facing.

    1. Important Note: As of 11/2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends car seats remain rear facing as long as possible, until the child reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the seat. This replaces the previous age specific milestone of 2 years and 30 lbs. The recommendations are based on scientific studies showing that rear facing is safest in a crash

    2. For help securing the seat make an appointment with a Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (to find a location nearest you visit

  2. Sleep:

    1. The crib is the safest place; slats less than 2 3/8 inches apart; place the mattress at the lowest setting of the crib

    2. You may put mesh/breathable bumpers back into the crib if your baby is a wild sleeper and arms and legs are getting stuck outside of the slats

  3. Childproofing: Get down on toddler level and see what he or she can reach

    1. Use outlet covers

    2. Place safety gates in front of stairs (they can go up the stairs but are high risk for falling down)

    3. Consider what your baby can pull down on him/herself (anything with a dangling cord)

    4. Store chemicals/medications/cleaners out of reach or locked

    5. Keep toys with small parts and sharp objects out of reach

    6. Lock guns with ammunition separate and in a gun safe

    7. Do NOT use walkers (they delay walking skills and are high risk for falling down the stairs)

  4. Water: Do not leave unattended in the bathtub and keep water heater at less than 120 degree F (to prevent scalding)

  5. Smoking: Do not smoke in the home or in your car

  6. Sun: Limit sun exposure, use sunscreen when outside

  7. Choking: Risk of choking is high at this age (foods, toys, essentially anything that goes in that mouth). Make sure you know how to do “back blows” should that happen.


  1. Transition to whole milk. Continue whole milk from 1-2 years of age. If your child doesn’t tolerate/care for whole milk just ensure your child is getting enough calcium and vitamin D from other sources (e.g., almond milk, milk products, dark leafy greens, supplements, etc.).

  2. Transition off of baby foods and just feed table foods. Any and all foods are acceptable. Only limit foods that seem to cause your child grief/allergies.

  3. Make sure diet has a good variety, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.

  4. Wean off of the bottle. Use a cup (can be sippy style) only for fluids.

  5. Ensure your child is getting plenty of water.

  6. Limit juice to no more than 4 oz. a day (no juice is the best).

  7. May need supplementation of a multivitamin (with or without iron depending on how good your child is about eating a balanced diet).


  1. Should be sleeping through the night and in a crib still

  2. Typically taking 2 naps a day (a shorter morning and a longer afternoon nap)

  3. Total sleep should be 11-15 hours in a 24 hour period (including naps)


  1. Walking (may only be cruising along furniture)

  2. One to two words

  3. Playing social games (like peek-a-boo and so-big)

  4. Points with index finger

  5. Feeding self (although messy)

  6. Can look for a hidden object


  1. Brush teeth twice daily with a non-fluoridated toothpaste

  2. May need fluoride supplementation (depending on the content of your local water source)


At this age you may treat fever and minor illnesses at home as long as your baby looks and acts ok. Bring your baby to the doctor if: symptoms are severe or prolonged (e.g., fever beyond 5 days, bad cough, etc.), your baby isn’t eating well, your baby is particularly fussy, or you are concerned.


Your baby’s next well child check is at 15 months of age. If your baby’s vaccines are up to date, then your infant may not need any vaccines at that visit. If you chose to split the 12 month shots, then the remaining shots will be at the 15 month visit. Also, depending on the time of year, your baby may qualify for a flu shot (remember, the first time your infant gets a flu shot, he or she will need a booster/2nd dose 30+ days later).

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