As your baby grows, their medical needs will change. At 8 to 12 months old, your baby will need a different kind of medical care than they did as a newborn. Here are some important things to keep in mind when caring for your 8- to 12-month-old.
Why Regular Check-Ups are Important?
Regular check-ups with your pediatrician are crucial to ensure that your baby is developing properly and to catch any potential issues early on. During these visits, your pediatrician will check your baby’s growth, development, and overall health. They may also administer vaccines or provide guidance on feeding and safety practices.
How Often Should Your Baby Have Check-Ups?
Most pediatricians recommend that babies have check-ups at the following ages:
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
However, your pediatrician may recommend more frequent visits depending on your baby’s individual needs.
What Should You Bring to a Check-Up?
When you schedule a check-up for your baby, be sure to bring the following:
- Your baby’s insurance card and/or medical records
- A list of any questions or concerns you may have
- A diaper bag stocked with essentials such as diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes
Why are Vaccinations Important?
Vaccinations are an important part of your baby’s medical care. They help protect your baby from serious illnesses and diseases such as measles, polio, and whooping cough. Vaccinations are typically administered during check-ups, so be sure to discuss your baby’s vaccination schedule with your pediatrician.
What Vaccinations Should Your Baby Receive?
The specific vaccinations your baby needs may vary depending on their age, health, and other factors. However, some of the most common vaccinations for babies include:
- Hepatitis B
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
Are Vaccinations Safe?
Yes, vaccinations are safe and effective. They undergo rigorous testing and are monitored by healthcare professionals to ensure their safety. While some babies may experience mild side effects such as fever or soreness at the injection site, these side effects are typically mild and go away on their own.
What Safety Precautions Should You Take?
As your baby becomes more mobile, it’s important to take steps to keep them safe. Here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Install safety gates to block off stairs and other hazardous areas
- Cover electrical outlets
- Secure furniture such as bookcases and dressers to the wall to prevent tipping
- Never leave your baby unattended on a changing table or other elevated surface
- Use a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of your car until your baby is at least 2 years old
What Should Your Baby be Eating?
At 8 to 12 months old, your baby may be ready to start eating solid foods. Some good options include:
- Soft, mashed fruits and vegetables
- Cooked and pureed meat
How Often Should Your Baby be Eating?
Your baby should be eating 3 meals per day, as well as 1 to 2 snacks. Be sure to offer a variety of healthy foods to ensure that your baby is getting all the nutrients they need.
How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need?
At 8 to 12 months old, your baby should be sleeping between 12 and 16 hours per day, including naps. It’s important to establish a regular sleep routine to help your baby sleep better at night and nap better during the day.
What Should Your Baby’s Sleep Environment Look Like?
Your baby’s sleep environment should be safe and comfortable. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use a firm, flat sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet
- Keep soft objects such as pillows, blankets, and toys out of the crib
- Place your baby on their back to sleep
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature
When should I call the doctor?
You should call your pediatrician if your baby has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, has trouble breathing, is vomiting or has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or if you have any other concerns about your baby’s health.
When should my baby start crawling?
Babies can start crawling anywhere between 6 and 10 months old.
What can I do to soothe my teething baby?
You can offer your baby a teething ring or a cold washcloth to chew on to help soothe their gums. You can also give them infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve pain.
When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they start to come in. Use a soft-bristled brush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
How can I encourage my baby to start talking?
Talk to your baby often, read to them, and sing to them. Encourage them to babble and imitate sounds.
When should my baby start walking?
Babies can start walking anywhere between 9 and 18 months old.
What should I do if my baby is constipated?
You can try offering your baby more fluids, such as water or prune juice, and adding more high-fiber foods to their diet. If the constipation persists, talk to your pediatrician.
When should I start potty training?
Most children are ready to start potty training between 18 months and 3 years old. Signs of readiness include showing an interest in the potty, staying dry for longer periods of time, and being able to follow simple instructions.
Regular medical check-ups and vaccinations can help keep your baby healthy and prevent serious illnesses. Taking safety precautions and establishing healthy sleep and feeding routines can also promote your baby’s overall well-being.
- Talk to your pediatrician about any concerns or questions you may have
- Offer a variety of healthy foods to your baby
- Establish a regular sleep routine
- Take steps to keep your baby safe, such as installing safety gates and securing furniture
Medical care for your 8- to 12-month-old involves regular check-ups, vaccinations, safety precautions, healthy feeding and sleep routines, and knowing when to call your pediatrician. By taking these steps, you can help keep your baby healthy and promote their overall well-being.