Baby Calendar Month 12
Happy Birthday, Baby!
The average twelve-month old is living up to the name of toddler, typically taking those first solo steps. While a lot of time has been spent recently refining those fine motor skills, especially pincer grasp, now you can expect to see baby using gross motor skills in new ways. He might enjoy standing to stack towers of big blocks, soda cans or whatever can be stacked and then with apparent glee, knock them all down. Climbing, pushing, pulling and covering as much ground as possible seems to be the main priority of playtime. Expect some falls and accompanying bumps and bruises but pad sharp furniture corners, attach top heavy furniture to the walls with screws and keep rugs secure with carpet tape. And keep a bag of frozen peas at the ready to wrap in a soft towel for the unavoidable owies.
When babies are making big strides in development especially in one area, like walking, it's not unusual for them to stop progressing in another area or even regress a bit. For instance, a child will seem obsessed with standing and walking, and stop speaking as much or picking up new words as quickly as they were previously. Or their sleep might become disturbed. It's just the ebb and flow of development. It's not a straightforward on a schedule type of progress for toddlers. Only become concerned if all development stops, and if the regression seems universal in the baby's skills. If your gut feeling is something is wrong, see your pediatrician for a check up whether baby is due for one or not.
Around one year of age babies are switched from formula to cow's milk. If you are breastfeeding, you may notice baby showing signs of readiness to wean as well. When switching to dairy, make sure you offer baby whole milk, not 2 percent or skim. That can wait until baby's second birthday. Make the change a gradual one, starting with maybe 3 parts formula or breastmilk to one part cow's milk, until gradually baby is drinking straight dairy. If you have a lot of dairy allergies or lactose intolerance in the family, discuss the switch with the pediatrician first.
Well Baby Check and Immunizations
Baby will be seeing the doctor this month, with a full check up including weight, height and vitals being checked. Expect the physician to ask developmental and feeding questions. Look at baby's growth pattern as plotted on a growth chart. Ask questions if you are unsure about anything. Most likely baby will receive immunizations at this time as well.
The immunizations your baby will most likely receive include:
- Hepatitis B may cause some redness, fever and tenderness at the site of the injection.
- PCV or pneumococcal vaccine may cause the same side effects.
- DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) can cause those side effects plus crankiness, loss of appetite, swelling and fatigue.
- Hib (Haemophilus influenza) may cause redness and soreness.
- IPV or Polio will be given if third dose wasn't previously administered.
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) can cause rash, swollen cheeks, fatigue, febrile seizures, and mild joint pain.
- Varicella or chickenpox can cause tenderness, redness, fever, fatigue, and rash which may appear up to a month following the vaccine.
This will be the first time your child will receive immunizations and will be old enough to understand a bit about what is happening. To prepare your child, explain that the shots do hurt for a second but they will help keep them healthy and from getting bad sicknesses. Explain that we only have to get shots once in a while, not every time we go to the doctor. Tell your little one it's OK to cry but you know how brave she can be, too.
To help, let your child bring a favorite stuffed animal or blankie for comfort and security. At the time of the injections, distract your child with a song, story or maybe just looking at pictures on your cell. Talk to your child about a special reward for getting the vaccines. You can go for a special treat or for a special outing to the park or playground. Talk about that while the nurse is preparing to give the injections. Afterward, make sure to give your child an appropriate dose of children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
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