This month you will spend quite a bit of time planning baby’s first birthday party. Take some time to look back on the past 12 months. You brought a tiny human being home from the hospital – completely dependent on you for everything. This month that little bundle of joy is a curious, talking, mobile little person with a unique personality and a desire for independence. This can be an emotional time for first-time mothers, but it is also a time for celebration. Baby is sleeping through the night and he can keep himself occupied for a small amount of time while you read a few sentences of your favorite novel.

Your Baby’s Development
Conversation is extremely important for baby at this point. When baby talks to you, even if not all the words sound like real words, respond both verbally and with interest. He is listening intently to the things you say and he is reading your face. This back and forth conversation helps develop his language skills.

Though he may not get your instructions at first, help him learn basic skills like cleaning up his toys or picking up the sippy cup he just dropped through repetition. Remember to say please and thank you. He will eventually learn to use these words with you and others.

He will start to walk any time now. Don’t get too anxious as some babies wait up to 18 months to walk, while others walk as early as nine or 10 months of age. Those first few weeks of walking will be stressful as his legs look shaky and unstable.

Your Baby’s Food
You will likely talk with your pediatrician about feeding at the one-year checkup. Infants can continue drinking formula and breast milk well beyond 12 months, but some parents choose to wean baby around this time. Your pediatrician can use length, weight and other information to help you determine the nutritional needs of your baby in the coming months.

Your Baby’s Health Issues

Baby’s one-year checkup is this month. On the agenda are more vaccinations, including the flu vaccine (if applicable), HepB (if not given at the six-month checkup), PCV, Polio, MMR, Varicella and HepA. Your pediatrician will likely ask about separation anxiety, mobility and speech. He may talk to baby and wave at baby.

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