As your baby becomes more independent and mobile, your questions for your child's doctor may have more to do with bumps, bruises, and behavior than with anything else.

You can't protect your baby from every knee-bump suffered while learning to walk. But you can make sure poisons and medicines are kept where kids can't possibly get to them and provide a safe environment for exploration.

Your baby is probably hearing "no" a lot these days while exploring boundaries; soon, you'll hear that word back from your little one! Be consistent but loving while teaching the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

When Will We See the Doctor?

Your doctor will see a baby twice for routine well baby visits during this period, once at 9 months and again at 12 months.

If you have missed any immunizations, or if there's a problem that needs special attention, other visits may be scheduled.

What to Expect During the Office Visit

The well-baby visits at 9 and 12 months are pretty similar to the exams that have taken place so far, although your discussions with your doctor about behavior and habits may become more frequent.

Your baby's check up will include:

  • Measurement of your baby's length, weight, and head circumference. Growth will be plotted on the growth chart and you will be advised of your little one's progress.
  • A complete physical examination.
  • A review of your baby's development through both observation and your report: Can your baby get into a sitting position alone? Pull up on things to stand? Pick up small objects? Say mama and dada? Enjoy games like peek-a-boo? Your doctor may ask you these questions and others.
  • You may be asked how you're doing with your baby and how the rest of the family is doing. Your doctor may review safety with you: Have you babyproofed your home? Is your baby in an appropriate car seat while riding in the car?
  • A discussion of eating habits: Is your baby eating more table foods? Interested in finger foods on the tray of the highchair? Able to use a cup? Being weaned from the breast or bottle? Most doctors advise a switch from bottle to cup between 12 and 18 months.
  • Advice on what to expect in the coming months.
  • Your baby will receive immunizations during some visits.

At 12 months, your doctor may recommend a blood test checking for anemia and lead poisoning. Depending on where they live and the potential risk of tuberculosis, sometimes babies at about 1 year of age undergo a tuberculin skin test. You'll be given instructions on how to monitor the test and asked to return to the office for the nurse or doctor to check the results of the test.

During appointments, raise any questions or concerns you have and jot down any instructions the doctor gives you about special baby care. Keep updating your child's permanent medical record, listing information on growth and any problems or illnesses.

Vaccines

Immunizations recommended may include:

Your baby also may get:

This immunization schedule can vary depending on what combined vaccines your doctor uses.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

You should feel comfortable enough with your doctor to call with questions and concerns that can't wait until the next scheduled visit. If your questions can wait, write them down so you don't forget them. Of course, call the doctor right away if your child has an injury or illness that needs attention.

Call the doctor if your baby has a fever, is acting sick, is refusing food or drink, is vomiting, or has diarrhea.

At this age, developmental delays may cause concern. Babies follow their own timetable for crawling, talking, and walking. Keep that in mind when checking for signs of developmental progress by the first birthday. At the 9-month visit, the doctor will give your child a screening test to help identify any delays.

By 12 months, most children:

  • have said their first single word (mama, dada)
  • use gestures (wave bye-bye, shake head no)
  • respond to familiar pictures or toys
  • stand when supported and pull up on things to stand

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your child's development.

Back to Articles


Related Articles

Learning, Play, and Your 8- to 12-Month-Old

Your baby is learning more about the world through play and is beginning to use words. Keep those toys and games coming!

Read More

Sleep and Your 8- to 12-Month-Old

Sleep problems are common in the second half of a baby's first year. It's best to respond to your baby's needs with the right balance of concern and consistency.

Read More

Your Baby's Hearing, Vision, and Other Senses: 8 Months

Here's how you can stimulate your baby's senses and provide a safe environment for exploration.

Read More

Knowing Your Child's Medical History

In an emergency, health care professionals will have many questions about a patient's medical history. It's easy to compile this information now, and it could save critical minutes later.

Read More

Choosing Safe Baby Products

Choosing baby products can be confusing, but one consideration must never be compromised: your little one's safety.

Read More

Communication and Your 8- to 12-Month-Old

Babies this age might be about to say their first words, and communicate using body language. Read more about communicating with your baby.

Read More

What You Need to Know in an Emergency

In an emergency, it's hard to think clearly about your kids' health information. Here's what important medical information you should have handy, just in case.

Read More

Feeding Your 8- to 12-Month-Old

At this age, babies start to explore table foods.

Read More

Movement, Coordination, and Your 8- to 12-Month-Old

From scooting to crawling to cruising, during these months, babies are learning how to get around.

Read More

Your Baby's Growth: 8 Months

Your baby is growing by leaps and bounds, and may even be crawling or cruising. Here's what to expect this month.

Read More

Childproofing and Preventing Household Accidents

You might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing," but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 and under.

Read More

How Vaccines Help (Video)

Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here.

Read More

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

Search our entire site.