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Medical Care and Your 8- to 12-Month-Old

As your baby becomes more independent and mobile, your questions for your child's doctor may have more to do with bumps, bruises, and behavior than with anything else.

You can't protect your baby from every knee-bump suffered while learning to walk. But you can make sure poisons and medicines are kept where kids can't possibly get to them and provide a safe environment for exploration.

Your baby is probably hearing "no" a lot these days while exploring boundaries; soon, you'll hear that word back from your little one! Be consistent but loving while teaching the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

When Will We See the Doctor?

Your doctor will see a baby twice for routine well baby visits during this period, once at 9 months and again at 12 months.

If you have missed any immunizations, or if a problem has been found that needs special attention, additional visits may be scheduled.

What to Expect During the Office Visit

The well-baby visits at 9 and 12 months are pretty similar to the exams that have taken place so far, although your discussions with your doctor about behavior and habits may become more frequent.

Your baby's check up will include:

At 12 months, your doctor may recommend a blood test checking for anemia and lead poisoning. Depending on where they live and the potential risk of tuberculosis, sometimes babies at about 1 year of age undergo a tuberculin skin test. You'll be given instructions on how to monitor the test and asked to return to the office for the nurse or doctor to check the results of the test.

During appointments, raise any questions or concerns you have and jot down any instructions the doctor gives you about special baby care. Keep updating your child's permanent medical record, listing information on growth and any problems or illnesses.

Immunizations Your Baby Will Receive

Immunizations recommended may include:

Your baby also may receive:

This immunization schedule can vary depending on what combined vaccines your doctor uses.

When to Call the Doctor

You should feel comfortable enough with your doctor to call with questions and concerns that can't wait until the next scheduled visit. If your questions can wait, write them down so you don't forget them. Of course, call the doctor immediately if your child has an injury or illness that needs attention.

Call the doctor if your baby has a fever, is acting sick, is refusing food or drink, is vomiting, or has diarrhea.

At this age, developmental delays may cause concern. Babies follow their own timetable for crawling, talking, and walking, so keep that in mind when checking for these signs of developmental progress by the first birthday. At the 9-month visit, the doctor will give your child a screening test to help identify any delays.

By 12 months, most children:

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your child's development.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2015

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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