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Oh my gosh, my baby is a year old. Where did the time go? This is probably what’s going through your head as you begin planning for your baby’s first birthday and scheduling baby’s 12-month well-baby visit.
When people say time flies when you have a baby- they aren’t lying.
Emory had her 12-month well-baby visit and it was such an emotional experience for her, my husband, and I that I had to type up a blog post specifically on our experience.
What To Bring To Your Baby’s 12-Month Appointment
I highly recommend bringing a few essentials I’ve learned to always bring from the previous well-baby visits.
Don’t forget to bring:
- Diaper bag with diapers, wipes, extra clothing, bottle (milk or juice), snack
- Baby blanket
- Baby’s favorite stuffed animal
Your baby is going to want what gives them comfort like their blanket or stuffed animal right after the shots.
Another great thing to bring might be your baby logbook to make sure questions you may have for your pediatrician is easily accessible and to have with you to document your baby’s growth stats.
And don’t forget to put your baby in something easy to take off and put on.
12-Month Well-Baby Visit Physical Growth And Development
Similar to all of the previous well-baby visits, the nurse measured Emory’s weight, length, and head circumference.
These were her measurements: weight was 19.2 pounds at 39%, 28 inches long at 12%, and head circumference at 46 centimeters at 79%.
The percentile means that for every 100 “normal” children of your baby’s age, that percentage is where your baby falls. For example, Emory’s weight measured at 19.2 pounds. And out of 100 babies that are 12 months old, she fell at the 39th percentile meaning she is below the “average” weight of other 12 month old babies.
But DO NOT get obsessed with percentiles. It’s so easy to compare your baby with other babies’ growth and development. However, your baby’s percentage in physical growth and development is not the area you need to focus on. And if it so happens to raise a concern- your pediatrician will most likely talk to you about it.
It’s simply a guideline for doctors to rule out any potential health or growth problems.
Physical Growth And Development Variables
There’s a lot of variables to think about in terms of your baby’s weight, height (length), and head circumference.
The big one is obviously genetics. According to Grow by WebMD, Hispanic kids are genetically more likely to be heavier. But another variable being diet seems to play a bigger role than genetics. Asian children who are fed an American diet, tend to grow faster than their parents who ate a more traditional diet.
Another variable is if your baby is walking and if they are walking, how long they’ve been walking for is something to take into account. Emory started walking at 8-months-old so it makes sense for her weight to be in the lower percentage than most babies her age (being physically active for 4 months).
Most babies take their first step between 9 to 12 months but don’t start fully walking until 14 or 15 months. Although many parents think that early walking is a sign of high intelligence- there is no clear evidence that this is linked to the baby being more intelligent or more coordinated later in life.
Other variables are gender (boy or girl) and if the baby’s birth weight. Boys tend to be heavier and taller than girls.
Once we got checked into our 12-month well-baby visit, I was given a few questionnaire forms.
One of them was basically checking off development milestones. And the other questionnaire form was a screening to assess behaviors in 12-month-olds that suggest risk for an eventual diagnosis of autism.
Whattoexpect.com goes over several 12-month developmental milestones.
Like I mentioned earlier- many babies won’t start walking unassisted until they’re 14 months or even longer. But here are 12-month developmental milestones the pediatrician will be looking for:
- Walking while holding onto furniture or even taking steps without your help
- Reaching for things they want
- Pulling themselves up from the ground
- Banging two objects together
- Playing games like peek-a-boo
- Using their fingers to feed themselves
- Responding to their name or “no”
- Saying a word or two like “ma-mam”, “da-da”, “ba-ba”
- Trying to imitate what you say
12-Month Well-Baby Vaccinations
If you choose to vaccinate you baby- they will be receiving the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Varicella (chicken pox), Prevnar (pneumococcal), and Hib (haemophilus influenza type b).
And depending on the season your baby turns 12-months-old, the nurse might ask if you want to add the flu vaccine.
I turned down the flu vaccine because I felt uncomfortable adding that vaccine with all of the other vaccinations CDC recommends. And Emory’s 12-month well-baby visit was in March with the flu season peaking around January-February.
Don’t ever feel pressured into anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. I know a lot of mamas that do not vaccinate their babies and every mother’s decision should be respected. And although I choose to vaccinate my daughter- I personally did not feel comfortable adding the flu shot at the time. I choose to vaccinate my daughter not only for the safety of my child but also for the safety of other children around her.
Vaccines prevent the spread of contagious and deadly diseases such as measles, polio, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, diphtheria, and HPV.
Blood Work For Baby
Besides the emotional toll of seeing your baby get poked by multiple needles, we have to witness our baby get poked again to get her blood drawn.
The reason for your baby’s bloodwork is to test for anemia and exposure to lead.
Next Well-Baby Visit
Depending on how your hospital works, your next well-baby visit might be in 3 months. Emory’s 15-month well-baby visit will consist of getting the DTaP and Hep A vaccinations.
Here’s the immunization schedule the hospital gave me.
Other Key Points
At your baby’s 12-month well-baby visit, your pediatrician should give you the green light to start giving your baby cow’s milk. And they should only drink WHOLE milk until the age of 2. Whole milk helps your baby maintain normal weight gain and help them absorb vitamin A and D.
If you have any concerns for your baby- now is the time to bring it up to your pediatrician. Some concerns you may have are your baby’s pooping, eating, and sleeping habits.
Lastly, don’t forget to give your baby all the snuggles, their bottle, their stuffed animal, or whatever gives them the most comfort. This visit not going to be an easy one for you or your baby.
I hope this post helped with what you can expect at your baby’s 12-month well-baby visit!