As you baby gets older, you’re discovering a whole new set of parenting questions. You’ve started thinking about socializing your baby and how the next stage — talking, walking, and fierce independence — might look. Here are eight common questions parents of almost-toddlers have.
1. Is it OK if my baby sees us naked? Definitely! At this age, your child has no concept of modesty. Your child will not feel funny about it and neither should you!
2. What if my child isn’t walking yet? Is that OK? There is a wide range of normal when it comes to your child’s development. Some children may walk at 9 months, while others wait until 15 months, and both are completely within the range of normal. If your child isn’t walking by this age, he or she will most likely be mobile in other ways, whether it’s crawling all over the house or cruising around the coffee table. If you have any concerns, be sure to bring it up to your pediatrician at the 12-month checkup.
3. Should my baby be using fluoride toothpaste? Fluoridated toothpaste should be used as soon as your baby’s first tooth breaks through. You should only use a tiny amount, about the size of a grain of rice. This will help protect your baby from developing tooth decay, which is the most common chronic disease of childhood.
4. What can I do to help my baby start talking? Around 12 months, your baby may be saying “Mama,” “Dada,” and a couple other words. You can further enhance his or her vocabulary simply by interacting as much as possible on a daily basis. By talking to your baby about everything you are doing, you expose him or her to a variety of words. Reading to your baby every day is also a great way to encourage your baby to start talking.
5. My baby is in a really high percentile for height and a low one for weight. Is something wrong? Don’t worry, that may just be your baby’s body type. As long as your baby is growing well and healthy in other ways, you have no need to worry. Your child’s pediatrician will plot him or her on the growth chart at each visit. As long as the growth is not falling off the curves, your baby may just be tall and thin!
6. My baby doesn’t respond to his/her name. Is something wrong? By 12 months old, most babies will respond to their names. If yours is not, you should bring it up to your child’s pediatrician at the next visit. The first step will likely be a hearing evaluation to make sure there are no problems. Your doctor will probably also ask you questions about your baby’s behavior and development to took for any red flags for autism.
7. Am I letting him/her watch too much TV or screen time? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children this age should have no screen time, with the exception of video chatting. The AAP also recommends that you don’t leave televisions on in the background and that you establish “media free” zones, including bedrooms and around mealtimes.
8. How and when do I wean my baby off a bottle? Both the AAP and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend weaning your baby off a bottle at a year of age to prevent early tooth decay. Consider changing the daytime bottles to sippy cups as the first birthday approaches. Once your baby takes milk well during the day, you can take away the nighttime bottle after the first birthday and replace it with a new routine prior to going to bed, such as a bath and story time. By this age, your baby will transition to a more mature eating pattern (3 meals per day) and won’t need that night bottle anymore.