Educational Materials for 12 Month Well-Visit

The topics listed below are based on American Academy of Pediatrics national recommendations about the kinds of things that are important to discuss or get more information about for children your child's age.

Click on the info to get education and tips from pediatric health care experts about each topic.

Your child and family:

Behaviors to expect in the next few months More Info
Behaviors to expect in the next few months
What is this and why is it important? Your 12-month old—so grown up in many ways, and yet still a baby! Every day your child learns new skills, particularly skills that help him be more mobile, and often does so faster than he learns how to use these skills safely. That means that you and other caregivers have to watch him carefully and guide him towards activities that he is developmentally able to do. It also means being ready to stop him from doing things he shouldn’t.

In the next few months, your child might begin to throw “temper tantrums” and he might be clingier at times and more independent at others. Stranger anxiety reaches a peak in the next few months. This is all a normal part of your child’s development, not a sign that your child has been spoiled. Your child may feel anxious around unfamiliar people; allow time for him to warm up. Using a consistent childcare provider will help ease his anxiety.

Your child will also become more mobile. He will pull to a stand and "cruise" along furniture. Most children walk independently at about a year, give or take a few months. He will babble and imitate sounds such as mama and dada. He will use his index finger and thumb together to pick up small objects and point at things with his index finger. He will imitate actions, come when called, and cooperate with dressing. Feeding times should become a social event and opportunity for your child to continue to learn to self-feed and use a sippy cup. Offering a sippy cup makes weaning from the bottle easier at 15-18 months.

You can talk to your health care provider about what behaviors to expect in the next few months and strategies for promoting their development and dealing with problematic behavior.
What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Is it normal that my child is______? (insert any behavior you’re curious about!)
  • What are some key things I can do to promote my child’s development?
  • How do I cope with temper tantrums?
  • My child is biting and hitting his older sister, what strategies can I use to stop this?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Becoming a Person: Your Toddler and the 12 Month Health Visit (AAP)

Cognitive Development: One-Year-Old (AAP)

Emotional Development: 1 Year Olds (AAP)

Growth Milestones: 12 Months (KidsGrowth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ways to guide and discipline your child More Info
Ways to guide and discipline your child
What is this and why is it important?

At this age toddlers usually cannot recognize what they should and shouldn’t do. However, you can help to reinforce desirable behavior and lessen or prevent undesirable behavior. 

It is important to have realistic expectations for your child’s behavior and know that he learns from trial and error.  A child at this age will respond to your redirection but will likely repeat the action. This is not an act of disobedience, just natural curiosity and exploration.  You won’t be able to force your child to act exactly as you want and you are bound to have moments that he is just plain unruly.

Discipline should be a teaching effort, not a punishing one. It should be focused on important undesirable behaviors so that your strategies are more meaningful when you use them. Below are a few tips and strategies for guiding and disciplining your child:

  • Recognize when your child is doing things you like.  You can teach him what is good behavior by saying things like "I like it when you play nicely with your sister" or "I like it when you play quietly with your toys." Give your child lots of praise for good behavior and for things you want to encourage.
  • When he’s doing things you don’t like, or that might be dangerous, try brief explanations - “Don’t pull the kitty’s tail; that hurts the kitty.” When you see your child approaching an unsafe situation, remove him , and say "NO" firmly. Give priority to enforcing the limits that keep him safe.
  • Try distracting your child away from an unwanted behavior or activity – for example, remove the item he's not allowed to play with and hand him a new toy.  Reading to your child is a great distraction. He wants to be near you and hear your voice.
  • Eliminate as many temptations as possible, he needs freedom to explore in an area that is not filled with a number of “no, no’s”.
  • If things are really getting out of hand, you might want to try a brief time-out (1 minute per year of life). Spanking, shouting, and long explanations are not ways to teach your toddler.

You can talk to your health care provider about ways to guide and discipline your child.  Your child’s health care provider can help you identify strategies that match your child’s temperament and style of learning.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether he knows what’s allowed. One day he’ll gently open and shut the cupboard door - and the next he’ll slam it hard, which isn’t allowed. What does he understand?!
  • My child is hitting and biting his older brother, how can I stop this behavior?
  • I was spanked as a child and I turned out okay, why do experts recommend no spanking?
  • My child ignores me when I say “No, don’t touch that”. How do I help him understand me better?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

How Can I Begin Setting Limits for My Child? (AAP)

Discipline, Behavioral Guidance, and Teaching (AAP)

Discipline (AAP)

Disciplining Your Child (KidsHealth)

References

Brazelton, Terry and Sparrow, Joshua. Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2006. Print.

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Why having consistent guidance and discipline strategies between parents, family members and care providers are important More Info
Why having consistent guidance and discipline strategies between parents, family members and care providers are important
What is this and why is it important?

Young children who are just “learning the rules” of behavior may be confused if different caregivers expect different things. Parents don’t always agree about how to raise children. Your own experiences growing up often affect the choices you make today. Some of what you do with your child will be the same as what your parents did; some will be much different.  Deciding the best way to raise and discipline your child is often a point of disagreement between parents. Others who care for your child will also have ideas about guidance, behavior, and discipline. However, having similar limits and strategies for dealing with unwanted behaviors is ideal for helping a child learn and can help reduce problem behaviors.

Talking about the guidance and discipline strategies to use with a child is best done before a situation arises.  A one year birthday can be a great reminder for having a discussion between parents and care providers. You can come up with similar strategies to keep your child from doing unwanted behaviors, such as distracting him with a new book, toy, or something interesting out the window.  You can also decide on effective ways of dealing with those behaviors if they do happen. You can also clarify specific strategies that you do not want used, like spanking or shouting. Raise these topics with others who care for your child – and make sure they know your parenting style and values.   

You can talk with your child’s health care provider about why consistent discipline strategies are important and about ways to assert your preferences to family members and other caregivers.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My partner was spanked as a child, but I don’t think that is a good way to discipline. How can we work out our differences?
  • Everybody does things a little bit differently – how much difference is too much for our toddler?
  • My child’s nanny firmly believes that long time-outs are often necessary, what are some tips for how I can talk to the nanny about our preferences for disciplining our child?
  • I don’t think time-outs are right. What are other strategies that we can use that use a similar approach?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Parenting Conflicts (AAP)

How Becoming Parents can Affect Your Relationship (AAP)

What To Do So Your Kids Don’t Stress You Out (KidsGrowth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Time-outs More Info
Time-outs
What is this and why is it important?

Time-outs have been shown to be very effective in reducing undesirable behavior by toddlers and young children (children 2 years and older). At 12 months, when a behavior has gotten out of hand, a brief time-out may be helpful for your child but more importantly, it might just be helpful for you.  A time-out is a “break” from the undesirable behavior and is used to break the cycle of the behavior building up. A timeout can mean putting your toddler in his crib or playpen, for a short time (1 minute per year of age).  It can remove him from whatever the activity or danger was and it gives him a moment to calm down. 

You can talk to your child’s health care provider at his next well-visit about when to use time-outs or how to improve your child’s behavior by using them.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How long is too long to be in a time-out?
  • What if my child will not stay in his time-out?
  • My toddler likes to be in his playpen – will he think this is a reward?
  • I don’t think time-outs are right. What are other strategies that we can that use that help my child get a “break” from the unwanted behavior?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

What About Punishment? (AAP)

Temper Tantrums (AAP)

Disciplining Your Child (KidsHealth)

References

Brazelton, Terry and Sparrow, Joshua. Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2006. Print.

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

How you balance taking care of yourself while being a parent More Info
How you balance taking care of yourself while being a parent
What is this and why is it important?

Parenting is a 24/7 job—even when you aren’t actually with your child, you are still responsible for his well-being. A key part to a child being happy and healthy is having a parent whose own needs are met.  Where do you and YOUR interests and other responsibilities fit in? Striking a balance between finding a way to meet the needs of your child without ignoring your own needs is important and is often a challenge.

An important part of parenting is finding a balance that ensures that the child’s needs are met, and the parent still feels like they have a life as well. Remind yourself of all the interests and things you did before your child or children were born! Schedule some time for yourself – whether to take a walk, attend a class, get together with friends – and take it seriously.  Maybe you’d like to develop some new interests and skills? Learn what’s available in your community – check at the library or in the newspaper or through adult education sources.  Also, don’t forget your own health appointments.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about how to balance taking care of yourself while being a parent. Your child’s health care provider sees many parents and may know about different strategies that other parents use to balance meeting their child’s needs while meeting their own.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • I’m a single parent and don’t have family around –where do I find safe and reliable babysitters?
  • I’m new to this community. Where can I find other parents with young children?
  • I only have time available at odd moments, and not even the same odd moments. . . How do I fit “me” time in?
  • I feel selfish going out with my friends and I miss my child when I’m away from him , is this normal? Should I try harder?
  • How do other parents find time to work-out or go out with their friends? What are some tricks you have heard about?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Surviving the Toddler Years (AAP)

Talk About Firsts: Discussing Family Support during the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

Parenting: Being supermom stressing you out? (APA)

Parenting: High expectations, dads and stress (APA)

Parenting Tip of the Week: Family Overload and How to Manage It! (KidsGrowth)

What To Do So Your Kids Don’t Stress You Out (KidsGrowth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

How to make time for other relationships More Info
How to make time for other relationships
What is this and why is it important?

Parents need time to be with other adults. Being a parent is intense, hard work. Parents need time for themselves and each other. Do your best to connect or reconnect with family, friends, and colleagues. While in-person is the best, phone calls and e-mails work, too. 

Sometimes families trade childcare so each can have some time out without a lot of expense. Schedule regular “date-nights” with your partner.  This can even be dinner together at home after the kids go to bed.  Maintaining your relationships with a spouse, partner, friends and family is healthy for you, your child and your loved ones. 

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about ways to make time for your other relationships. 

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • It hardly seems like I have time to take care of all my baby’s needs, how can I take time for other relationships?
  • My partner and I’s schedules are so busy that by the end of the day, we just want to crash. How can we make more time for each other and our friends?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Surviving the Toddler Years (AAP)

How Becoming Parents Can Affect Your Relationship (KidsHealth)

Talk About Firsts: Discussing Family Support during the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Establishing routines for your child:

Importance of your family eating meals together More Info
Importance of your family eating meals together
What is this and why is it important?

Feeding time is a social event. Include your child at family meals, and develop the habit of eating together as a family. Starting this habit now sets the stage for continuing family mealtimes as your toddler grows into a child and teen. 

Eating meals together has been shown to help parents direct their child toward positive activities and behavior, and reduce the likelihood that they will get involved with alcohol, tobacco, and/or illegal drugs.  It’s a time for the family to share their day and just be together.  The sense of belonging is important for everybody, and your 12-month old will learn to identify with your family and his special place in it. It’s a way of learning to look for common interests and to understand and appreciate differences. It can also provide a secure base for exploration and a source of comfort. Remember, mealtime at this age can be messy – and that’s ok!  Put on a bib on your child and lay down some newspapers under his high chair.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about the importance of family mealtime routines and how to “fit them in.”

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Mealtime is family time in our family, but my toddler can’t wait till everybody is home for dinner. How can I make sure she’s a part of our mealtime?
  • My child is a very fussy eater and mealtimes are stressful. How can I make this time more enjoyable for the family?
  • My child doesn’t want to stay in the high chair during dinner time. What are some strategies I can use?
  • My child is so messy at dinner time that I can’t focus on eating my food because I am constantly cleaning up food off the floor during dinner. Any tips?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

"Me Don’t Want It" – Helping Your Toddler to Eat Happy and Healthy (AAP)

Routines for Your Toddler: Just What the Doctor Ordered (AAP)

Make Mealtime a Family Time (USDA)

Tools for Healthy Family Eating (KidsGrowth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

A Family Guide to Keeping Youth Mentally Healthy and Drug Free. Get Involved: The Importance of Family Mealtime. Retrieved 1/1/10 from http://family.samhsa.gov/get/mealtime.aspx

Importance of outside family activities that involve playing, walking, running or playing chase More Info
Importance of outside family activities that involve playing, walking, running or playing chase
What is this and why is it important?

Establishing family activities and routines are important, even at this age. Family activities that everyone can join in create a sense of family fun but also emphasize the importance of physical activity.  Not only will your toddler find active family games fun, but this is also a great way for you all to get exercise. Your toddler may not need real “exercise” now but this will begin to instill the habit of active play for a lifetime.  Avoid watching TV during “family time.”   Examples of fun, active activities can be going for a hike together, playing chase, listening to music and dancing, or going to a park and playing hide and seek.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about family activities and having fun together.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Our kids are all different ages – what are some active games that can engage everyone?
  • It’s so cold where we live – it’s hard to imagine being outdoors much with a little one. What are some ideas for activities when it’s too cold to go outside?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

The Active Toddler (AAP)

Physical Activity Guidelines for your Infant and Toddler (KidsGrowth)

Set Aside Time to Exercise with your Kids (KidsGrowth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Television – why the experts say no TV More Info
Television – why the experts say no TV
What is this and why is it important?

National recommendations discourage TV, DVD and video watching for children under the age of two.  No study has shown benefits to viewing and several have found that early TV viewing is associated with delayed language and shorter attention spans. Do your best to avoid letting your child watch TV or videos. If others in your household are watching, try to move your toddler to another room or distract him with toys or games.  You can also restrict TV time for others to when your toddler is napping or in bed for the evening.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about why the experts say no TV watching for your child.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Is public television okay? What about videos that are made for toddlers to enhance their learning and development?
  • It’s very hard to keep my child from watching TV when others are watching, what are some tips to avoid this?
  • My toddler really seems to pay attention and become engaged with some of programs, isn’t this good for him ?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Where We Stand: TV Viewing Time (AAP)

How TV Affects Your Child (KidsHealth)

Treat TV as Guest, Not Resident (KidsGrowth)

Screen Time: A Weighty Topic (AAP)

References

Christakis, Dimitri and Zimmerman, Frederick. The Elephant in the Living Room. New York: Rodale Inc, 2006. Print

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

PBS Parents. TV and Kids under Age 3. Retrieved 1/1/10 from http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/article-faq.html

Ways to read to your child that promotes his language development More Info
Ways to read to your child that promotes his language development
What is this and why is it important?

Reading helps with language and speech development which will be especially important for your child over the next year.  It’s not just the story itself that’s important, but how your child becomes engaged with it.  It’s okay to read the same story many, many times.  Children this age are learning to love repetition – they love when they can anticipate what will happen next. 

A book does not necessarily need to be "read" to your child.  Discussing the pictures is okay - you can stop throughout the story to ask your child questions – “Where’s the big dog?” “See, it’s raining – does the little boy have an umbrella?” You can also see what your child is interested in and can then talk about those things, such as fire trucks or babies, and relate them to your child’s life, beyond what is in the story – “Yes, that’s a baby like Aunt Kathy’s baby, Maya.”  Often times, your child will want to jump around to different pages.  This is okay, the story doesn't need to be read exactly in order. All of this promotes language development. 

And because reading involves physical closeness, as you hold your child on your lap or sit next to her, it strengthens the bond you have with your child. Interesting things to look at, love and individual attention – what could be better!  Reading to your child has so many benefits – try to do it every day.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about ways to read to your child that promote language development.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How often should I read to my child?
  • I feel like we’re reading the same story over and over and over. Is this okay? Should I vary the stories more?
  • We don’t always make it through some of the books we read – does that matter?
  • How does reading promote language development?
  • How do I know which books are “age-appropriate” for my child?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Tips for Parents of Toddlers (Reading Rockets)

Importance of Reading Aloud (Reach Out and Read)

Reading Tips for Parents and Educators (Reach out and Read)

Developmental Milestones of Early Literacy (Reach Out and Read)

Reading and Language: Baby and Toddler (PBS)

Reading to Your Baby (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

How your child responds to new people or caregivers More Info
How your child responds to new people or caregivers
What is this and why is it important?

Children this age are very aware of who the familiar people are in their lives – and who is new or different. New people or new situations may make your child anxious.  While your child enjoys being more independent, he is not yet comfortable with the idea that he is an individual and separate from you.  Whether it’s grandmother visiting from another state or a new teacher at childcare, you can help your child become at ease with new people by being reassuring and giving him time to warm up.  Sometimes it’s helpful to say this to the new person, too, so they’ll understand what’s typical of one-year-olds. When introducing your child to someone new, even a family member, always stay close so he feels safe.  Avoid telling your child to act like a big boy as that will only make him feel and act more needy.

You can help your child learn about the world! Brief separations from you may help your toddler become more independent. He’ll still suffer from separation anxiety and perhaps put a fuss when you leave him, even if it’s just for a few minutes. But the protest will be brief. This will help your child understand that you always return and continue to love him and he’ll feel more secure.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about how your child responds to new people.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How long should it take for a new person to become accepted by my child?
  • What are some tips to help ease my child’s anxiety with new people?
  • My child is petrified of big, loud, friendly Uncle George! How can I help him warm up to people like this?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Soothing Your Child's Separation Anxiety (AAP)

Growth Milestones: 12 Months (KidsGrowth)

Social and Emotional Skills: Your Infant and Others (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Shelov, S., & Hannemann, R. (Eds.). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 ( 4th ed.). New York: Bantam Books, 2004.

Importance of your child pointing to let you know what he wants More Info
Importance of your child pointing to let you know what he wants
What is this and why is it important?

Children communicate in many ways, including pointing to things they want or things that interest them.  Pointing is an important milestone that starts around this time.  Around this age, your child’s health care provider will want to know if your child points “with intention.” This means that your child points at a specific object in order to draw your attention to it or he points to an object when it’s named for him . If he’s not, his health care provider will check for signs of communication problems. 

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about whether your child points and why pointing is a developmental milestone.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My child points all the time, but it never really seems like he is pointing for a specific reason. Is this normal?
  • My child points but I’m not sure he will do it at the doctor’s office. Is that okay?
  • My child points with his whole hand, not with just a finger. Is this the same as “pointing?”
  • Why is pointing an important developmental milestone?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Important Milestones: By the End of One Year (CDC)

New AAP Reports Help Pediatricians Identify and Manage Autism Earlier (AAP)

Developmental Milestones 12-18 Months (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Sleep routines and sleep habits More Info
Sleep routines and sleep habits
What is this and why is it important?

Among the most important daily routines for your toddler are bed and naptime routines.  A routine might include reading a story (or two!), a back rub and a song. Or at night, a bath and brushing teeth before a story. Your toddler will come to count on these routines and they’ll help organize his day and let him recognize when it’s time to rest and sleep.  Your toddler will cope with changes much better if he is well-rested.  

Even if you have a routine, your one-year old might start night waking and fussing.  Changes in routines, learning a new skill (like walking), or teething may cause night waking and fussing again.  A well-rested toddler makes for a happier toddler - and parent!  If your baby awakens during the night, check on his safety and comfort and use a favorite toy or security object. Have as little interaction as possible, and put him back to bed as soon as possible. Try to avoid offering a bottle or nursing. Children this age do not need to eat during the night.  At this age, it is OK to let him cry to sleep.  Some good news is that after walking is achieved, a child is usually ready to sleep through the night again.

A 12-month old probably still needs a nap each day, preferably at the same time of day. Many toddlers go from taking two daytime naps to only one longer afternoon nap. They should be sleeping about 12-14 hours a day, with set bed and naptime routines.  As your toddler gets bigger, he may climb out of the crib. If this happens, make sure to remove things that can be used as “steps” such as fabric bumpers, stuffed animals and pillows.  Try to lower the crib mattress further down.  Talk to your child’s health care provider for more strategies.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about sleep routines and sleep habits, how to handle night waking and if your child climbs out of the crib.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Does my child need to take his nap at the same time every day?
  • What are some tips for getting my child to sleep for his naps and for bedtime?
  • My child is crawling out of the crib. What should I do?
  • My child is starting to wake in the night again and I can’t seem to calm him down without bringing him to bed. Any tips?
  • My child has been sleeping in the bed with me and I want to transition him into his own bed. What are some tips?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Routines (AAP)

A Lullaby for Good Health (AAP)

Routines for Your Toddler: Just What the Doctor Ordered (AAP)

Growth Milestones: 12 Months (KidsGrowth)

References

Brazelton, Terry and Sparrow, Joshua. Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2006.

Brott, A. How can I keep my child in her crib at night? Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://babyparenting.about.com/od/sleeping/f/cribclimbing.htm

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Your child’s feeding and appetite changes:

Feeding time strategies, such as teaching your child to use a cup and to feed himself More Info
Feeding time strategies, such as teaching your child to use a cup and to feed himself
What is this and why is it important?

Self-feeding is a toddler’s beginning ability to eat on his own.  As your child begins to eat solid food, he learns new skills and becomes aware of other food possibilities. At this age, how much he eats and feeding himself will be his responsibility. It will be your responsibility to provide nutritious foods and to help him practice feeding himself .   First attempts at self-feeding will be messy and will require lots of stress-free practice time. Give your toddler a small amount to drink from a cup at first - and offer a spoon that’s easy for him to hold.  Give him small, bite-size portions that he can easily pick-up or put on a spoon. Unbreakable dishes, cups, and glasses are essential, since they may go flying when he is bored.

Self-feeding is an important life skill for babies to learn as they move into toddlerhood and the independence that brings. Self-feeding also allows for more choice on the part of the toddler—both in how much and what he eats.  The parents’ job is to understand and watch for your child’s cues about when he is hungry and when he wants more.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about teaching your child to feed himself .

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • I try to let my child feed himself , but it takes so much longer and then I have a big mess to clean up. Sometimes I just need meals to be quicker! Is it okay to speed him up?
  • My child can hold a spoon in his fist but then he picks up food with the other hand. How can I teach him to use the spoon?
  • When should I let him try a fork?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Feeding and Appetite Changes at 12 Months (AAP)

Teaching Toddlers to Feed Themselves (AAP)

Feeding Your 1 to 2-Year Old (KidsHealth)

Toddlers at the Table: Avoiding Power Struggles (KidsHealth)

References

Brazelton, Terry and Sparrow, Joshua. Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2006.

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Shelov, S., & Hannemann, R. (Eds.). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 ( 4th ed.). New York: Bantam Books, 2004.

Nutritious foods and how much/what kinds of food your child eats More Info
Nutritious foods and how much/what kinds of food your child eats
What is this and why is it important?

The kinds of food offered to a baby or toddler can set-up lifelong food preferences. Babies and toddlers are still growing and developing and need nutritious food.  Your toddler needs food from the same four basic nutrition groups that you do: 1) meat, fish, poultry, eggs, 2) dairy products, 3) fruits and vegetables, and 4) cereal grains, potatoes, rice, breads and pasta.  Feed your toddler 3 meals and 2 or 3 nutritious snacks each day (and be sure other caregivers also provide healthy food).  Snacks like apples, bananas, and oranges, cut in small pieces are good choices, as are applesauce, cheese, and pieces of whole-grain bread or crackers. Foods that are high in fat, high in sugar or highly processed may fill a baby’s tummy, leaving no room for the “good stuff.” 

Breastfeeding, along with appropriate solid foods, can continue as long as both you and your child want it. You can now switch to serving your child whole cow’s milk. Because your little one won’t learn how to chew with a grinding motion until he is four, avoid small, hard foods like peanuts or popcorn as they are choking hazards.

You’ll probably notice a sharp drop in your toddler’s appetite after his first birthday. It is not unusual for a child to suddenly be picky about what to eat and turn his head away after a few bites. His growth has slowed and he really doesn’t require as much food now. An average toddler needs about 1,000 calories a day.

The responsibility of what food is offered to the toddler is in the hands of the parent or caregiver – how much to eat of what you offer is up to your child. If he seems to want more, offer it, and let him stop when he’s ready to. Babies have a pretty good ability to know how much they need.  As a general rule, it’s a mistake to make mealtimes a “battle” to get him to eat a balanced diet.  As hard as it may be to believe, your child’s diet will balance out over several days if you make a range of wholesome foods available and don’t pressure him to eat a particular one at any given time.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about how much and what kinds of food your child eats.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Should I be giving my one year old juice?
  • My child is still breastfeeding. How long should we continue breastfeeding?
  • Should I breastfeed him first and then give him solid food or start with the solids and then offer the breast?
  • My child will only eat certain foods. How do I get him to eat more variety?
  • What are common choking hazards for a one year old?
  • How many times to an offer a food to my child, and he refuse it, before I give up?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

"Me Don’t Want It" – Helping Your Toddler to Eat Happy and Healthy (AAP)

Feeding and Appetite Changes at 12 Months (AAP)

Feeding and Nutrition: Your One-Year-Old (AAP)

Feeding Your 1 to 2-Year-Old (KidsHealth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Shelov, S., & Hannemann, R. (Eds.). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 ( 4th ed.). New York: Bantam Books, 2004.

Giving your child choices between 2 options More Info
Giving your child choices between 2 options
What is this and why is it important?

Learning to make good food choices is an important life skill. By providing healthy choices, your child can express independence and preference and still end up making smart choices.  One aspect of a toddler’s growing independence is the ability to make decisions about foods to eat, clothing to wear, or toys to play with. Be sure to only give your child two things to choose from because giving him more than two choices can be overwhelming.

Toddlers are often pretty picky eaters! It can be a challenge to get a toddler to eat nutritiously! Fortunately, “choice” and “preference” are not the same thing.  As parents and caregivers, you can provide a choice of healthy foods and let your toddler decide which of those he prefers.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about giving your child a choice between options.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • I offer a variety of vegetables to my child, but he will only eat carrots. How can I get him to try other vegetables?
  • My older child loves fast food and my toddler wants some of what his brother is eating. How can I get them both to want to eat good food?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

"Me Don’t Want It" – Helping Your Toddler to Eat Happy and Healthy (AAP)

Toddlers at the Table: Avoiding Power Struggles (KidsHealth)

Talking and Your Toddler: Communication and Social Development (AAP)

Picky Eaters (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

How your child’s appetite might change from day to day More Info
How your child’s appetite might change from day to day
What is this and why is it important?

A toddler’s rate of weight gain is slower than an infant’s, which means your 12-month-old may eat less now. An average toddler needs about 1,000 calories a day.

Little bodies have little stomachs and don’t need huge meals to fill them up. But that also means that a smaller meal won’t last as long.  Eating a lot one day and not much another is common for toddlers. Toddlers are constantly on the move and rarely settle down long enough to eat complete meals at regular times during the day. 

Grazing—eating little snacks or meals frequently—is both common and a useful way to refuel an on-the-go toddler.  It is a good way to make sure your toddler gets what is needed.  Having healthy snacks like cut up vegetables or fruit on hand makes these “extra meals” easy on caregivers and nutritious for the toddler. 

You can talk to your child’s health care provider if you have questions or concerns about your child’s appetite.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My toddler wants to snack all day long and then won’t eat much at meal times. Is this okay?
  • If I allow my toddler to “graze,” should I try to have snacks of all kinds—meats, grains, vegetables, fruits—available or just some kinds and have the rest at meals?
  • My child seems to eat huge amounts some days, but others he barely touches a thing. How long is too long for him to go without eating much?
  • One week my child will eat meat, the next week he won’t? Should I worry about this?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

"Me Don’t Want It" – Helping Your Toddler to Eat Happy and Healthy

Feeding and Appetite Changes at 12 Months (AAP)

Feeding and Nutrition: Your One-Year-Old (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Your child’s dental health:

Your child’s first check up with a dentist More Info
Your child’s first check up with a dentist
What is this and why is it important?

Oral health is important for healthy teeth and gums, of course, but it’s also important for a child’s overall health.  By the first year, or soon after the first tooth erupts, your toddler should have his first dental visit.  It is important to establish a “dental home” which is a consistent place a child goes to for regular visits.  Some children, even by 12-months of age, already have dental problems that need to be addressed.  

A dental home will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the dentist, your toddler and you. It will provide comprehensive dental care and will be accessible, coordinated and family-centered. It will provide information to you on ways to keep teeth and gums healthy, including advice about foods to encourage and those to avoid. The dentist will assess and plan for any special dental needs your child has. The dentist will also discuss how to handle any dental emergencies that come up and will offer referrals if needed.    

While some dentists may say that your child can come in when he is a bit older for his first dental check-up, the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all encourage families to establish a dental home by one year old. 

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about your child seeing a dentist and good oral health. 

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My toddler has only a few teeth – does he really need to go to the dentist this soon?
  • Do I need to bring my toddler to a special pediatric dentist or will my family dentist be okay?
  • My toddler is afraid of strangers. The dentist’s office and the procedures might be scary - what can I do to make it easier?
  • I called my dentist office and they said my child does not need to come in at this age, is this true and why the different recommendations?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Teeth and the 12 Month Health Visit (AAP)

Brushing Up on Oral Health: Never Too Early to Start (AAP)

A Healthy Smile for Your Baby (MCH Oral Health)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Brushing your child’s teeth, not letting them do it themselves More Info
Brushing your child’s teeth, not letting them do it themselves
What is this and why is it important?

Oral health is key to your child’s overall health.  You have the knowledge and physical ability (or dexterity) to clean your child’s teeth thoroughly.  Your child will certainly want to “help” brush and it’s good to encourage and teach, but you need to continue to be the one responsible for this task (But do reinforce your toddler’s beginning efforts!).  Habits learned early will carry over throughout your child’s lifetime.  For your 12-month-old, use a soft toothbrush with plain water to clean his teeth twice a day.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about brushing his teeth.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My child insists on grabbing the toothbrush and “helping” brush his teeth. How can I get him to let me finish the job but still encourage his efforts?
  • My toddler doesn’t like having his teeth brushed. What can I do about this?
  • Does it matter what kind of toothpaste or toothbrush I use with my toddler?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Teeth and the 12 Month Health Visit (AAP)

Caring for a Young Child's Teeth (AAP)

Brushing Up on Oral Health: Never Too Early to Start (AAP)

A Healthy Smile for Your Baby (MCH Oral Health)

A Healthy Smile for Your Young Child (MCH Oral Health)

Oral Hygiene for Babies and Toddlers (AWCH)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Finger sucking, pacifiers or use of bottles and their impact on your child’s teeth More Info
Finger sucking, pacifiers or use of bottles and their impact on your child’s teeth
What is this and why is it important?

Finger sucking, pacifiers and bottles can all negatively impact your child’s teeth and oral health.  To avoid future cavities, remember not to clean a child’s pacifier in your own mouth. The bacteria on your teeth that can cause cavities will be passed onto the pacifier and can then be transferred to your child. Also avoid cleaning the pacifier with sweet liquids or syrups. 

If your child still drinks from a bottle, offer only water in the bottle. Most pediatricians recommend that the bottle start to be weaned, or given up completely by 18 months.  Parents should avoid the habit of using a bottle to comfort a child who has trouble falling asleep, who wakes at night, or wants it as a comfort.
 
If a child sucks strongly on a pacifier, his thumb or his fingers, this habit may affect the shape of his mouth or how his teeth are lining up (his bite).  However, if a child stops using a pacifier or finger sucking by 3 years of age, his bite will most likely correct itself.

You can talk about finger sucking, pacifiers or use of bottles and their impact on your child’s teeth with your child’s health care provider. 

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My toddler likes to go to sleep with a bottle of milk. Is it okay to change it to water?
  • In my culture we put honey on our fingers and let the baby suck on them - my mother still does this. Is this okay?
  • Will finger sucking, pacifiers or bottles cause my child’s permanent teeth to be crooked?
  • Why should I limit my child’s juice intake – I thought fruits were good?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Teeth and the 12 Month Health Visit (AAP)

Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking (AAP)

A Healthy Smile for Your Baby (MCH Oral Health)

References

Brazelton, Terry and Sparrow, Joshua. Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2006.

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Shelov, S., & Hannemann, R. (Eds.). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 ( 4th ed.). New York: Bantam Books, 2004.

Your child’s safety:

Preventing injuries indoors and outdoors More Info
Preventing injuries indoors and outdoors
What is this and why is it important?

As your child gets older, he can move more quickly, climb higher and get away from you faster than you thought possible.  At 12-months, your child thinks he can do more than you will think is safe!  No matter how safe you think your house is, children this age need constant watching, unless they are in a playpen or crib.

Plan ahead to minimize potential dangers.  A 12-month-old who is able to move around on his own can get into, onto and around things that might not be safe. Parents and caregivers have to keep an eye on these toddlers, but also try to make your home and other play areas, inside and out, as safe as possible.  This includes grandparents’ homes or anywhere your child visits. Try getting down on your child’s level to see if there are dangers you may have missed.

Teach your child the meaning of the word "hot." Use the back burners on the stove, and turn handles toward the back. Anticipate that some children will climb out of a crib at this age. Lower the crib mattress. Prevent falls by using gates at the tops and bottoms of steps. Watch closely when he is going up or down the steps. To prevent your child from falling out of a window, keep furniture away from windows and install window guards that can open easily in case of a fire. In the resources listed below there is a “checklist” of things parents can do to keep their child safe.

When outside, hold on to your toddler whenever you are near streets, parking lots and driveways, even in quiet neighborhoods. Make sure there is sand, woodchips, or other soft surfaces under outdoor play equipment.  A fenced yard is preferred for outside playing.
 
There are many tips for childproofing for a toddler on the move in the resources below and you can also talk to your child’s health care provider about this.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My toddler loves to climb on furniture. I try to keep an eye on him , but I’m afraid he is going to get hurt. What can I do?
  • My parents want to take care of my toddler while I work, but their house has a lot of things that I don’t think are safe for a 12-month old. Is there a checklist I could give them?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Keeping Toddler Safe: Safety Tips for 12 to 18 Month Olds (Tufts-New England Medical Center)

Protecting Your Toddler: Safety and the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

Home Safety: Here's How (AAP)

Preventing Injuries: at home, at play and on the way (Safe Kids USA)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Shelov, S., & Hannemann, R. (Eds.). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 ( 4th ed.). New York: Bantam Books, 2004.

Why plastic bags, latex balloons or small objects such as marbles should be kept away from your child More Info
Why plastic bags, latex balloons or small objects such as marbles should be kept away from your child
What is this and why is it important?

Young children are at an especially high risk for choking. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that "children ages 4 and under, especially under age 1, are at the greatest risk for all forms of airway obstruction."  So many household objects, even some things that might be considered toys, are potential choking hazards.  According to one study, latex balloons are the nonfood item that children are most likely to choke on.
 
At this age your toddler still explores his world by putting things in his mouth.   Keep things such as balloons, coins, marbles, toys with small parts, toys that can be squeezed to fit entirely into a child's mouth, small balls and pen or marker caps out of your child’s reach.  Let older siblings know that their small toys can hurt their brother or sister and to keep them out of their brother or sister’s reach when not playing with them.

Take some time to search through the resources below.  You can talk to your child’s health care provider about why and how to keep choking hazards away from your child. 

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My baby’s older sister has so many toys with small parts – it seems impossible to keep them all out of the baby’s reach. What can I do?
  • Balloons seem like such kid-friendly toys – are they really dangerous?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Protecting Your Toddler: Safety and the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

Home Safety: Here's How (AAP)

References

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Choking Prevention. Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/Pages/Choking-Prevention.aspx

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Lindberg, M. Safety: Foods That Kids Should Not Eat. Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://www.ehow.com/facts_5553526_safety-kids-should-not-eat.html

Zanzola, L. Balloons and choking. AAP News. 1996. 12: 2-b. Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/12/2/2-b

How to secure heavy items (such as furniture or televisions) so that your child can’t pull them over More Info
How to secure heavy items (such as furniture or televisions) so that your child can’t pull them over
What is this and why is it important?

Almost 15,000 children are injured annually due to furniture that tips over, the TV being the most common.  Toddlers explore and often pull themselves to standing – make sure anything they might pull over is safely secured.  Some furniture, like standing lamps, can be tucked behind other furniture so your child can’t pull them over. Other types of furniture, such as TVs and bookshelves, can usually be secured to the wall with brackets.  Your local baby/child stores will have equipment and devices for childproofing heavy items. 

You might also decide if some things can be put away out of sight for awhile. Be especially careful of new flat-screen TVs which are much lighter than old ones and can be pulled down more easily. As children begin to pull themselves up, they might grab and pull down tablecloths on which hot or heavy containers have been placed.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about how to secure heavy furniture items in your home. 

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My baby has never expressed interest in the lamps or the television – what’s reasonable in terms of safeguards?
  • I feel like we’re living in a barricade – how long does this stage last?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Protecting Your Toddler: Safety and the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

Preventing injuries: at home, at play, and on the way (Safe Kids USA)

Home Safety: Here's How (AAP)

Baby Safety Basics: A Guide to Keeping Your Baby Safe During the First Year of Life (Safe Kids USA)

When Your Baby Begins to Explore: Furniture (OHSU)

References

Gottesman BL, McKenzie LB, Conner KA, Smith GA. Injuries From furniture tip-overs among children and adolescents in the United States, 1990-2007. Clinical Pediatrics. 2009 Oct; 48(8):851-8. Epub 2009 May 3. Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19414446?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=4

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

The danger of dangling telephone, electrical, blind or drapery cords in your home More Info
The danger of dangling telephone, electrical, blind or drapery cords in your home
What is this and why is it important?

Most households have so many cords – as adults we hardly notice them - but a toddler might.  As toddlers climb, grab and play they can so easily become dangerously tangled in common, household cords and could possibly suffocate.  Children placed in cribs near windows may be able to grasp a dangling window pull cord, pull it into the crib and unintentionally wrap it around their neck. Toddlers playing on beds or climbing on furniture near windows can also become tangled in window cords.

Parents should inspect the cords and chains of all of their window coverings and consider cordless and other alternative window coverings. Parents with window coverings purchased before 2001 are urged to repair or replace the coverings. Free repair kits are available at www.windowcoverings.org or by calling 800-506-4636.

In addition, the Window Covering Safety Council offers the following tips:

  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
  • Keep all window cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and that continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall.
  • Never tie window blind cords or chains together because the knot creates a new loop, in which a young child could become entangled.
  • Lock cords into position when lowering horizontal coverings or shades.
  • Consider installing cordless window coverings in children's bedrooms and play areas.

For more tips or to address concerns, you can bring this up with your child’s health care provider at his next well-visit.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • I don’t want to take down our blinds – is it ok to tuck the cords up over the top of the blinds?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Protecting Your Toddler: Safety and the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

Preventing injuries: at home, at play, and on the way (Safe Kids USA)

Home Safety: Here's How (AAP)

Baby Safety Basics: A Guide to Keeping Your Baby Safe During the First Year of Life (Safe Kids USA)

When Your Baby Begins to Explore: Furniture (OHSU)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Kemp, C. Keep children away from window cords. AAP News. Vol. 27 No. 10 October 2006, p. 40. Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/27/10/40-a

Installing the car seat correctly/when it can be faced forward More Info
Installing the car seat correctly/when it can be faced forward
What is this and why is it important?

Studies show that up to 80% of car safety seats are not installed or used correctly. It is best for children to ride rear-facing as long as possible to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of their car seat.  When your child has outgrown the seat rear-facing, he should use a forward-facing seat with a full harness as long he will fit in it (usually called a “convertible seat” or “forward-facing car seat”). Do not put toddler car seats in the front seat. This is especially dangerous if the car has an airbag on the passenger side.  Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats.  A two-year-old is too young and small for a booster seat and shouldn’t be using one until about 4 years old and 40 pounds.

It’s important that you insist on using the car seat every time without exception. Don’t let your child think you will let him out of the seat when driving.  Do not start your vehicle until everyone is buckled up – children watch everything their parents do.

This is a good time to double check the manufacturer’s instructions (remember, most people have the car seat installed wrong).  Contact the Child Safety Seat Inspection Station locator to find the nearest certified inspector who can check the installation and make any corrections needed.   You can find this information at www.seatcheck.org or by calling 1-866-SEAT-CHECK.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about installing the car seat correctly.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • I think our seat is installed correctly – should we have it checked anyway?
  • Our child is very big for his age and there are varying instructions to follow, how do we determine the best instructions to follow?
  • Our child has a special need and doesn’t fit in a regular safety seat – as he grows, who can help us figure out the best one to use?
  • I’m really anxious to have my baby forward-facing – I feel like I’ll be able to see him more easily and he’ll be able to see more and not get so bored. Can I turn him facing forward now that he is 1 year old?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Protecting Your Toddler: Safety and the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

Car Safety Seats: Information for Families for 2012 (AAP)

Car Seats for Your Infant (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)

Car and Booster Seats for Your Toddler (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)

Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator

References

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Car Safety Seats: Information for Families for 2010. Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families-2010.aspx

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Tombrello, S. When should my child switch from a car seat to a booster seat? Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://www.babycenter.com/404_when-should-my-child-switch-from-a-car-seat-to-a-booster-sea_1384636.bc

Bathtub, water, and pool safety More Info
Bathtub, water, and pool safety
What is this and why is it important?

Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children. Toddlers are so quick and curious – and so often attracted to water. Bathtubs, pools and lakes are obvious places to keep a close eye on your child. But you also need to be cautious when your child is near even small amounts of water - in a bucket, toilet or even a few inches in a tub. Always keep a close eye on your toddler around water – be sure you’re within arm’s reach. 

There are many strategies to maintain bathtub, water and pool safety. Parents and caregivers should never—even for a moment—leave your child alone or in the care of another young child while in bathtubs, pools, spas or wading pools or near irrigation ditches or other open standing water.  Infant bath seats or supporting rings are not a substitute for adult supervision. You should remove all water from containers, such as pails and 5-gallon buckets, immediately after use. To prevent drowning in toilets, young children should not be left alone in the bathroom even for a few seconds and unsupervised access to the bathroom should be prevented.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about bathtub, water and pool safety at your child’s next well-visit. 

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Is it okay to let my older child watch my toddler in the bathtub while I run to answer the door or the phone?
  • For safety, should I sign my toddler up for toddler swim classes?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Protecting Your Toddler: Safety and the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

Home Water Hazards for Young Children (AAP)

Bathroom Safety (AAP)

Water Safety And Young Children (AAP)

References

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. Policy Statement: Prevention of Drowning in Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Pediatrics, Vol. 112 No. 2 August 2003, pp. 437-439. Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;112/2/437

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Gun safety in your home and places where your child visits More Info
Gun safety in your home and places where your child visits
What is this and why is it important?

More than 44 million Americans own firearms and research shows guns in homes are a serious risk to families. In 2006 alone, 31 American kids under the age of 10 were killed in unintentional shootings and 187 were injured. 12-month-olds are curious creatures! If you or someone in your house does have a gun, be sure to store it unloaded under lock and key, with the ammunition stored (and locked) in a separate place.  Make sure to hide the keys to the locked boxes. 

Also make sure the places where your child visits or receives childcare do not have guns or at a minimum, that they are safely stored.  Given that over 40% of homes with children have a gun, and many of those guns are left unlocked or loaded, this a common risk to your child’s safety.  Tips for asking about guns in the home are provided in the resources below. 

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about gun safety in your home and in places where your child visits. 

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • I enjoy hunting with a gun. Where is the safest place to keep my gun so my toddler can’t get to it?
  • Our childcare provider’s husband is a police officer with a gun. It’s probably stored correctly, but should I ask?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Protecting Your Toddler: Safety and the 12 Month Visit (AAP)

Gun Safety: Keeping Children Safe (AAP)

Home Safety: Here's How (AAP)

Reduce the Risk of Gun Injury (AAP)

References

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Gun Safety: Keeping Children Safe. Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Gun-Safety-Keeping-Children-Safe.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Injury Prevention & Control: Data & Statistics (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System [WISQARSTM]). Retrieved 4/1/2010 from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

PAX / Real Solutions to Gun Violence ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Campaign. Is there a gun where your child plays? Retrieved 4/1/2010 fromhttp://www.paxusa.org/ask/index.html