Is your baby's first birthday coming up? But a balloon-filled bash isn't the only thing you need to plan right now. Along with the first-year festivities, you also need to make your baby's 12-month pediatricians office visit. If you're not sure what to expect from this check-up, take a look at what new parents need to know about your infant's next appointment.
Does A Baby Really Need A 12-Month Check-Up?
Your almost one-year-old seems healthy and happy. Do they really need to visit the doctor right now? Even though your baby isn't sick, they still need this check-up. The 12-month visit is part of your baby's well-check schedule, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Why Does A Baby Need This Doctor's Office Visit?
There isn't just one single reason why your baby needs a pediatrics practice visit at one-year. This visit gives the pediatrician the chance to examine your baby, assess their development, and answer your questions. Your baby will also get immunizations and have specific screenings during their one-year visit. The screenings may include an anemia check, blood lead level, a vision test, and a hearing test. The doctor will also weigh your child and measure their length.
How Should You Prepare For This Office Visit?
The one-year visit is similar to other well-check appointments. Like the other visits, you may want to prepare a list of questions before the check-up. These could include questions or concerns about your infant's general development, specific milestones (such as walking unassisted or speaking), feeding and nutrition, size (height and weight), sleep/naps, and behavioral issues.
You may also have specific health-related questions for the doctor. If your baby has recently struggled with a series of ear infections, respiratory illnesses, or GI issues, you can discuss treatments and tips to prevent repeated problems with the pediatrician. These types of infant illnesses are common—especially if your child goes to daycare or is in another group setting.
Along with a list of questions, you may also need to prepare a folder of documents or records. If your infant will start daycare soon, the program or school may require the pediatrician to complete a physical form. Bring this with you to the one-year appointment. Other documents could include test results, an immunization record (if your child is new to the practice), or notes that you have taken/journals that you keep about your baby's feeding or sleeping habits.