Well Baby Visits: Twelve Months (One Year)

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Happy Birthday to your baby! So much has happened in the past year and your baby is becoming a toddler. We will be making sure your baby is healthy and growing well. We will also continue to track developmental milestones and social interactions as your baby starts to communicate and explore more and more. There has been a lot of talk in the media about vaccines, which may bring up questions about their safety. We believe vaccines are not only safe, but they save millions of lives each year. You may have questions about your baby’s vaccines – please ask your doctor.

Growth and Development

  • Your doctor will go over your baby’s growth chart at each visit. Each point by itself is not as important as the trend over the past 2 months.

  • At 12 months, your baby should be able to stand while holding onto furniture and may be able to walk along the furniture, or even walk alone! Babies develop at different rates. It is okay if your baby is not walking alone yet.

  • Your baby should be starting to make marks with a crayon on a piece of paper.

  • Your baby should be able to say “mama” and “dada” to the right person, and may be able to say one or more other words.

  • He or she should be able to follow simple commands and start to use or pretend to use objects correctly. For example, he or she should know that people drink from a cup, use a hair brush to comb hair, etc.


At one year, babies can drink milk and juice

  • At this age, your baby can drink whole milk (Vitamin D milk) instead of formula. You may give your child some juice to drink, but only up to 1 cup per day, and only 100% juice (Picture 1).

  • Your baby should not be drinking more than 16 ounces of whole milk per day (24 hours). This may lead to iron-deficiency anemia at this age. Cow’s milk can make it hard for the body to get iron from other foods.

  • If you choose, you may continue to breastfeed. If the baby is still breastfeeding, you should give him a vitamin D supplement or a multivitamin with vitamin D (liquid multivitamins) as well.

  • Your baby is probably eating mostly table foods by now, although baby foods are still good to eat. All kinds of foods are fine, except for small, hard foods like nuts or candies and hard-to-chew foods. These may cause choking.

  • Feed your baby many different kinds of fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, and meats. Avoid giving your child junk foods, sodas, sweetened drinks, and sweets.


  • Babies should use a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years old.

  • NEVER leave your baby alone in the bathtub or on a changing table, bed, or sofa.

  • Use safety gates above and below stairs, and do not use walkers.

  • Keep small objects like hard candies, buttons, coins, pen caps, and batteries out of reach.

  • Use safety latches for cabinets and drawers within reach.

  • Keep heavy objects away from the edges of tables and counter tops.

  • Keep cords and strings out of reach.

  • Cover electrical outlets. Use irons and hair irons with caution.

  • Set your water heater’s temperature to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burns.

Other Issues

At the 12 month visit, your baby will get new vaccinations – the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella), the Varicella vaccine (chicken pox), the Hepatitis A vaccine, plus 2 or 3 booster vaccinations. Ask your doctor or read vaccine information sheets if you have any questions about your baby’s vaccinations. Most children get frequent colds. Viruses spread easily, especially in childcare. Most children get about 6 to 8 illnesses during the cold and flu season (late fall to early spring) that make a parent stay home from work. Most colds last 14 days. It is not necessary to see the doctor for colds unless your child is experiencing these serious symptoms: fever lasting more than 5 days, pain or drainage from the ears, trouble breathing or swallowing, or vomiting (not able to keep food or liquids down).

About this Helping Hand

At each visit, your doctor will talk with you about your baby’s development, growth, and safety so your baby grows up healthy. These handouts will help to remind you about the things your doctor will talk with you about at each visit. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby, please ask. We are here to help! Here are some other Helping Hands that may be useful right now: HH-IV-119, Child Passenger Safety and HH-IV-73, Home Safety for Infants and Toddlers. Ask your child’s doctor or nurse for a copy.

Well Baby Visits: Twelve Months (One Year) (PDF)

HH-IV-109 12/14 Copyright 2014, Nationwide Children's Hospital