Happy birthday, Baby! At your baby’s twelve month check up, the pediatrician will do a basic physical exam similar to the one at your last visit. Your baby will be weighed and measured, and the doctor will discuss her progress on the growth chart. By now, both you and your baby are probably old pros at these exams, so you can expect this visit to progress pretty much the same as the last.
After the physical exam (and sometimes during), your pediatrician will ask you about your baby’s sleeping and eating habits, and check your baby’s mouth for oral care. The doctor will most likely discuss with you things like your baby’s vocabulary and behavior, the importance of proper oral hygiene for your baby, and strategies for child-proofing your home as she becomes more mobile and curious. You will probably also discuss things like the types of solids she’s eating now, what new foods are safe at one year, and how you can help her walking progress. Your doctor will probably also get a little more in-depth than before about your baby’s behavior and might ask you to interact with her so that he can assess her reactions. This is simply a screening method to monitor for developmental delays.
Your pediatrician will address any concerns or questions that you may have at this point, and then tell you what you can expect from your baby in the next month or so, and answer questions you may have about that as well.
Immunizations: This is the biggie, and there are a ton of shots for baby on this visit, unless you’re on a delayed vaccination schedule. Baby will get her final hepatitis B dosage if she hasn’t gotten it yet, possibly the third or fourth dose of Haemophilus Influenza Type B Conjugate vaccine (Hib) between now and 15 months, a fourth dose of the Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV) between now and 15 months, and a third dose of the Polio (IPV) if she hasn’t gotten it yet. In addition, she will also get her first round of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR) between now and 15 months, the Varicella vaccine between now and 15 months, and one dose of the Hepatitis A vaccine between now and 23 months. It sounds like a lot, and it IS a lot, but if any of these can be combined into fewer individual pokes, they will be. Alternately, you may discuss with your doctor delaying some of the later vaccinations until the next visit, if your baby is playing catch-up with some of her earlier shots.