Your Baby and Family

  • Tell your baby in a nice way what to do (“Time to eat”), rather than what not to do.
  • Be consistent.
  • At this age, sometimes you can change what your baby is doing by offering something else like a favorite toy.
  • Do things the way you want your baby to do them—you are your baby’s role model.
  • Make your home and yard safe so that you do not have to say “No!” often.
  • Use “No!” only when your baby is going to get hurt or hurt others.
  • Take time for yourself and with your partner.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family.
  • Invite friends over or join a parent group.
  • If you feel alone, we can help with resources.
  • Use only mature, trustworthy babysitters.
  • If you feel unsafe in your home or have been hurt by someone, let us know; we can help.

Feeding Your Baby

  • Be patient with your baby as he learns to eat without help.
  • Being messy is normal.
  • Give 3 meals and 2–3 snacks each day.
  • Vary the thickness and lumpiness of your baby’s food.
  • Start giving more table foods.
  • Give only healthful foods.
  • Do not give your baby soft drinks, tea, coffee, and flavored drinks.
  • Avoid forcing the baby to eat.
  • Babies may say no to a food 10–12 times before they will try it.
  • Help your baby to use a cup.
  • Continue to breastfeed or bottle-feed until 1 year; do not change to cow’s milk.
  • No foods need to be withheld except for raw honey and chunks that could cause choking.

Your Changing and Developing Baby

  • Keep daily routines for your baby.
  • Make the hour before bedtime loving and calm.
  • Check on, but do not pick up, the baby if she wakes at night.
  • Watch over your baby as she explores inside and outside the home.
  • Crying when you leave is normal; stay calm.
  • Give the baby balls, toys that roll, blocks, and containers to play with.
  • Avoid the use of TV, videos, and computers.
  • Show and tell your baby in simple words what you want her to do.
  • Avoid scaring or yelling at your baby.
  • Help your baby when she needs it.
  • Talk, sing, and read daily.


  • Use a rear-facing car safety seat in the back seat in all vehicles.
  • Have your child’s car safety seat rear-facing until your baby is 2 years of age or until she reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the car safety seat’s manufacturer.
  • Never put your baby in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger air bag.
  • Always wear your own seat belt and do not drive after using alcohol or drugs.
  • Empty buckets, pools, and tubs right after you use them.
  • Place gates on stairs; do not use a baby walker.
  • Do not leave heavy or hot things on tablecloths that your baby could pull over.
  • Put barriers around space heaters, and keep electrical cords out of your baby’s reach.
  • Never leave your baby alone in or near water, even in a bath seat or ring. Be within arm’s reach at all times.
  • Keep poisons, medications, and cleaning supplies locked up and out of your baby’s sight and reach.
  • Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) if you are worried your child has eaten something harmful.
  • Install openable window guards on second- story and higher windows and keep furniture away from windows.
  • Never have a gun in the home. If you must have a gun, store it unloaded and locked with the ammunition locked separately from the gun.
  • Keep your baby in a high chair or playpen when in the kitchen.

What to Expect at Your Child’s 12 Month Visit

We will talk about

  • Setting rules and limits for your child
  • Creating a calming bedtime routine
  • Feeding your child
  • Supervising your child
  • Caring for your child’s teeth
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