Baby’s First Year: Month 12 (1 Year!)
- April 22, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
- Growth and Development of a 12 Month Old Baby
- 12 Month (1 Year Old) Checkup with the Pediatrician
- Developmental Milestones for a 12 Month Old Baby
- What Vaccines will my Baby be administered at 12 Months
- When should my Baby go to the Dentist
- How do I Clean my Baby’s Teeth
- Tips for Handling a Picky Eater
- Classic Tips for Picky Eaters
- Intellectual Activities for a 12 Month Old Baby
- Physical Activities for a 12 Month Old Baby
- When Can my Baby have Cow’s Milk
- Tips for Introducing Cow’s Milk
- Breastfeeding, Solid Foods and Sleeping Schedule for a 12 Month Old Baby
- Breastfeeding, Solids and Sleep Schedule for 12 Month Old Premature Baby
- Bottle Feeding a 12 Month Old Baby
- Formula Feeding, First Foods and Sleeping Schedule for an 12 Month Old Baby
- Bracey Update
Hello, moms and dads, and welcome to Month 12 with your baby and Month 12 with my baby, Bracey. Bracey is now 52 weeks old, but only 42 weeks old in terms of his corrected age. With regard to certain baby milestones, he’s closer to a 10-month-old baby than a 12-month-old. Congrats on your baby’s birthday!
Growth and Development of a 12 Month Old Baby
Growth of a 12 Month Old Baby
The average 12-month-old baby boy weighs 21 pounds 3 ounces (9.6 kilos) and the average baby girl weighs 19 pounds 10 ounces (8.9 kilos). At his 12 month checkup, Bracey weighed approximately 8.8 kilos (19.36 pounds), up from 1.490 kilos (3.278 pounds) at birth, so he has gained a little over 7.3 kilos or 16 pounds since birth. Yippee!
12 Month (1 Year Old) Checkup with the Pediatrician
Your baby will have an appointment with their pediatrician at 12 months. Your doctor will check your baby’s ears, throat and lungs, take their weight, and measure their length and the circumference of their head. Your doctor will assess your baby’s back and neck strength and ask you whether they are crawling or walking. You doctor also will discuss your baby’s diet with you.
Developmental Milestones for a 12 Month Old Baby
At your baby’s 12 month appointment, your doctor will be assessing or asking you about how your baby is doing in terms of the following milestones. I’ve put an asterisk next to those milestones which Bracey is reading.
- *pulling up to stand
- cruising — walking while holding onto furniture
- walking without support
- *using gestures (Bracey has started to wave)
- *using fingers to self feed
- responding to name, “no” or “bye-bye”
- saying a word or two (many babies don’t until 14 months)
- trying to imitate words you say
- *playing games like peek-a-boo or patty-cake
- *banging objects together, putting objects into container and taking them out
What Vaccines will my Baby be administered at 12 Months
At 12 months, most babies will be getting the following shots:
- MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella)
- HepA (Hepatitis A)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
Or your toddler might be getting another dose of the following vaccines:
- HepB (Hepatitis B)
- Hib (Haemophilus Influenza Type B)
- PCV 13 (Pneumococcal Disease)
- IPV (Polio)
When should my Baby go to the Dentist
Your baby’s first dental visit should occur within 6 months of when they develop their first tooth or turn a year old, whichever comes first, according to the AAP. If you suspect a cavity or see white spots, mention this to your dentist. Breastfeeding your baby to sleep or having your baby fall asleep with the bottle are not great habits when it comes to keeping their teeth healthy.
How do I Clean my Baby’s Teeth
The AAP now recommends a fluoride-based toothpaste as soon as your baby’s first tooth pops up (rather than waiting until age 2 as was previously recommended). The recommended amount is tiny: the amount of toothpaste you put on the brush or gauze pad should be the size of a grain of rice. You can buy a baby finger brush or apply gauze after meals and at bedtime. Brushes should be soft and have no more than three rows of bristles. You should also gently clean your baby’s gums with a soft toothbrush, damp cloth or finger brush and a tiny bit of toothpaste to promote good dental hygiene.
Tips for Handling a Picky Eater
I’ve had my share of picky eaters. My oldest child Hedley refused to eat vegetables. He only ate sweet fruits. He is still a picky eater. For him, I tried to find healthy vegetables that were a bit more palatable, such as sweet potatoes. We used to actually cook sweet potato, puree it and mix it with milk and give it to the all our kids. I’ve read a lot about picky eaters and tried everything. In my experience, from day 1, the best thing to do is to keep introducing healthy, well-rounded family meals. I would prepare special meals for my kid. I don’t run a restaurant. I would not make a big deal over what they eat. The best eaters I’ve seen are kids from large families where you better get to the table fast or there won’t be food and no one is paying attention to what you eat. I also don’t believe in any strict rules. I give my kids a little bit of ice cream and sugar. I know some times they go and buy candy. I try not to have a lot of sugar around the house but they have some. The kids I see binging on sugar are the ones who were not allowed to eat their Halloween candy.
Classic Tips for Picky Eaters
Here are some other classic tips when it comes to picky eaters :
- family meals
- involve your kid in preparing the meal
- expose your kid to as many types of food as possible from day one
- give a lot of veggies early on
- keep introducing
- try savory spices
- limit salt
- try fun sizes and shapes (put raising for eyes, cut into triangles)
Some people say to involve the child in meal planning but I would not do that. I think you get what you get or you can end up planning many different meals which does not work in my house.
Intellectual Activities for a 12 Month Old Baby
The most important things to do with a baby this age are to play music, talk constantly, read as much as possible (try reading when they are playing), expose your baby to as many people and experiences as possible, and allow your baby to explore the world. They learn by opening and closing drawers, playing with buttons and knobs, and taking books off of shelves. They basically learn by messing up your drawers and your house generally! Narrate everything. If you speak another language well, speak that language to your baby. I will talk more about that next month. I’ve spoken French with my kids. Here are some other intellectual activities for toddlers:
- hiding and finding objects
- playing house
- playing making phone calls (don’t give them a cell phone!)
- playing with water and sand
- playing with blocks
- sorting sizes, shapes and colors
- playing with basic puzzles
- drawing and finger painting (messy!)
Most important thing with all these games is to talk and describe the activity to your baby while they are playing.
Physical Activities for a 12 Month Old Baby
Physical activities will continue to run in tandem with intellectual ones. Allow your baby the freedom to practice their newly found physical skills. Keep them on the floor as much as possible and not in a stroller, bouncey seat or swing. You want your baby gaining strength, agility, and balance.
When Can my Baby have Cow’s Milk
From around 6 months, cow’s milk can be used in cooking or mixed with food but it should not be given as a primary form of nutrition to babies because it does not have enough iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients. There is also too much protein in cow’s milk for a baby’s kidneys and digestive system to process, so switching over too early can cause issues. At 12 months, your baby can have cow’s milk. I plan to keep nursing for as long as I can so I am not going to give cow’s milk. Your milk should be whole milk because the fat is important for your baby’s brain.
Tips for Introducing Cow’s Milk
If your baby is not interested in the cow’s milk, try mixing it into other foods, heating it up, or giving it is a sippy cup.
Breastfeeding, Solid Foods and Sleeping Schedule for a 12 Month Old Baby
Breastfeeding, Solids and Sleep Schedule for 12 Month Full Term Baby
At this stage, most experts advise three meals and two naps. A long morning nap and a shorter afternoon nap after lunch. They also advise not having your baby sleep past 3pm so that they go to sleep by 8pm. This is the schedule I followed with my older babies at this point, who were far less premature. You can find it here.
Breastfeeding, Solids and Sleep Schedule for 12 Month Old Premature Baby
With Bracey, I am still following a different schedule since my doctor still wants him to have the four meals. I would advise staying on this schedule is your baby is not sleeping through the night because the extra feeding during the day and later feed in the evening will help.
- 7am — breastmilk then multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula. Sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am – breastmilk then a protein (fish, chicken, meat) mixed vegetable puree w/ egg yoke and olive oil 2x per week. Can substitute for finger foods. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm — breastmilk then a mixed fresh fruit puree. Can substitute for finger foods. Sleep 6-7pm.
- 7pm — breastmilk then 2-3 tablespoons of multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk.
Bottle Feeding a 12 Month Old Baby
How to Transition away from the Bottle
At 12 months, your baby should start transitioning away from the bottle. The AAP recommends that your baby not take the bottle after 18 months. This can be a real struggle for many parents. I have an odd piece of advice developed through having cared for Bracey since he had such horrible nipple confusion. Give your baby formula (perhaps mixed with cow’s milk if you are looking to make the transition) from a spoon. Then, try transitioning to a cup or sippy cup.
Here are some other tips for transitioning away from the bottle:
- Start early (as early as 6 months)
- start with a silicone spout
- offer diluted juice at first
- begin offering a sippy cup
- go cold turkey. Throw the bottles away, spoon feed or offer a sippy cup. Your baby will cave. This will be stressful, though.
Formula Feeding, First Foods and Sleeping Schedule for an 12 Month Old Baby
If your baby is ready to migrate to three meals and two naps, refer to the schedule I link to above. If your baby (like mine) is on the smaller side, or is not sleeping through the night, stick with the three naps and four meals.
- 7am — bottle then multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula. Sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am – bottle then a protein (fish, chicken, meat) mixed vegetable puree w/ egg yoke and olive oil 2x per week. Can add finger foods. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm — bottle then a mixed fresh fruit puree. Can substitute for finger foods. Sleep 6-7pm.
- 7pm — bottle then a multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk.
Bracey is crawling around rapidly. He’s getting into all sorts of trouble including by opening drawers and taking garbage out of the bin. Yesterday, I found him on top of the coffee table. Look out! I have to be on constant watch. This is the time when watching your baby becomes a work out.
Bracey has started waving.
Bracey went on a plane flight to Amsterdam. He had fun meeting new people on the plane and taking in the sights of a new city.
Bracey’s siblings arrived home after a trip to the US and he enjoyed seeing them.
Celebrating his birthday was a huge joy.
Sending love to all of you and see you back next month for Month 13. Yup, I’m gonna keep going.