Our doctor visit worksheet can help guide you during your child's next appointment. You may want to read through the questions and jot down answers beforehand. Download a printable version of the doctor visit worksheet to take with you.
You can expect your baby's doctor to:
- Weigh and measure your child to make sure he's growing at a healthy, steady rate.
- Answer any questions you have about vitamins, if you want your child to take them.
- Offer information on how (and how not) to discipline your child.
- Make sure your child is continuing to learn new skills and not losing old ones.
- Offer insight into your child's development, temperament, and behavior.
Questions the doctor may ask:
- How does your child sleep? (Your 12-month-old may be waking up often at night. He may miss the fun and companionship of daytime and be reluctant to go back to sleep. The doctor may have helpful suggestions, especially if you can provide details on how much your child sleeps and when. Most 12-month-olds sleep a little more than 11 hours at night and just under three hours during the day.)
- How is your child eating? (Twelve-month-olds can feed themselves with their hands and drink from a cup. Most kids have tripled their birth weight by their first birthday. If yours is a little ahead of or behind that marker, your doctor may have suggestions for adjusting what and how much he eats.)
- How many teeth does your child have? (Many 12-month-olds have as many as eight teeth. Your child may suffer from red, swollen, and tender gums when his teeth are erupting, and your doctor can suggest ways to soothe them. Brush your child's teeth, using a fluoride-free toothpaste.)
- Is your child pulling up? Standing? Walking? (By now your child is probably an experienced cruiser and can stand on his own. He may even have taken his first steps. If not, don't worry – many children don't walk until they're 14 or 15 months old. But if your child can't bear his own weight on his legs, tell the doctor. In addition to pulling up and standing, your child should also be crawling or getting around some other way. If he's not, let the doctor know.)
- Does your child point at objects? (Between 9 and 12 months, most children start pointing at things that catch their attention, such as dogs and toys. It's a nonverbal way of trying to communicate with you and an important step in language development.)
- What does your child say? (At this age most kids can join syllables together and jabber wordlike sounds, say "mama" and "dada," and maybe say a couple of other words as well. Let the doctor know what your child understands. He should know and respond to his own name and other familiar words and show an interest in others' conversations. If he's not making any sounds or is making fewer than he was before, tell the doctor.)
- How are your child's social skills? (Most 1-year-olds enjoy playing games with others, including peekaboo and patty-cake. Your child will imitate everyday actions such as sweeping the floor or brushing his hair and will be exuberant and curious most of the time. He'll probably seek out interaction with familiar people but will be anxious when separated from you or around strangers.)
- How are your child's fine motor skills? (Twelve-month-olds like to point at things and can use both hands together when playing with objects. If your child isn't using both hands equally, tell the doctor.)
- Have you noticed anything unusual about your child's eyes or the way he looks at things? (At every well-baby visit, the doctor should check the structure and alignment of the eyes and your child's ability to move them correctly.)
- How's your child's hearing? (If your 12-month-old doesn't turn toward sounds, be sure to tell his doctor. The sooner potential hearing problems are investigated, the sooner they can be treated.)