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Growth & Development



Bright Futures Parent Handout: 12 Month Visit

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Here are some suggestions from Bright Futures experts that may be of value to your family.

Family Support

  • Try not to hit, spank, or yell at your child.

  • Keep rules for your child short and simple.

  • Use short time-outs when your child is behaving poorly.

  • Praise your child for good behavior.

  • Distract your child with something he likes during bad behavior.

  • Play with and read to your child often.

  • Make sure everyone who cares for your child gives healthy foods, avoids sweets, and uses the same rules for discipline.

  • Make sure places your child stays are safe.

  • Think about joining a toddler playgroup or taking a parenting class.

  • Take time for yourself and your partner.

  • Keep in contact with family and friends.

Establishing Routines

  • Your child should have at least one nap. Space it to make sure your child is tired for bed.

  • Make the hour before bedtime loving and calm.

  • Have a simple bedtime routine that includes a book.

  • Avoid having your child watch TV and videos, and never watch anything scary.

  • Be aware that fear of strangers is normal and peaks at this age.

  • Respect your child’s fears and have strangers approach slowly.

  • Avoid watching TV during family time.

  • Start family traditions such as reading or going for a walk together.

Feeding Your Child

  • Have your child eat during family mealtime.

  • Be patient with your child as she learns to eat without help.

  • Encourage your child to feed herself.

  • Give 3 meals and 2–3 snacks spaced evenly over the day to avoid tantrums.

  • Make sure caregivers follow the same ideas and routines for feeding.

  • Use a small plate and cup for eating and drinking.

  • Provide healthy foods for meals and snacks.

  • Let your child decide what and how much to eat.

  • End the feeding when the child stops eating.

  • Avoid small, hard foods that can cause choking—nuts, popcorn, hot dogs, grapes, and hard, raw veggies.

Safety

  • Have your child’s car safety seat rear-facing until your child is 2 years of age or until she reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the car safety seat’s manufacturer.

  • Lock away poisons, medications, and lawn and cleaning supplies. Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) if your child eats nonfoods.

  • Keep small objects, balloons, and plastic bags away from your child.

  • Place gates at the top and bottom of stairs and guards on windows on the second floor and higher. Keep furniture away from windows.

  • Lock away knives and scissors.

  • Only leave your toddler with a mature adult.

  • Near or in water, keep your child close enough to touch.

  • Make sure to empty buckets, pools, and tubs when done.

  • Never have a gun in the home. If you must have a gun, store it unloaded and locked with the ammunition locked separately from the gun.

Finding a Dentist

  • Take your child for a first dental visit either by 12 months or as soon as you can after the first tooth erupts.

  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice).

  • If using a bottle, offer only water.

What to Expect at Your Child’s 15 Month

Visit We will talk about

  • Your child’s speech and feelings

  • Getting a good night’s sleep

  • Keeping your home safe for your child

  • Temper tantrums and discipline

  • Caring for your child’s teeth

Poison Help: 1-800-222-1222

Child safety seat inspection: 1-866-SEATCHECK; seatcheck.org

Listing of resources does not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of external resources. Information was current at the time of publication.

The information contained in this publication should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

© 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 05/2017. All rights reserved.

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