12 Month - Longwood Pediatrics Page 2


Your child should be sleeping 10-12 hours per night now. If your baby wakes at night, allow him to fuss for five
minutes or so to see if he can settle himself down. If he cannot, check on him and comfort him briefly (no more than
60 seconds), then leave the room again for five or ten minutes and see if he can settle himself; if not, go back in
briefly to check on him. Repeating this pattern a few times helps teach most babies to comfort themselves and sleep
better through the night. If you need more tips on helping your child sleep well, read Solve Your Child's Sleep
Problems by Richard Ferber or Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth.
Food Safety
To avoid choking, make sure any foods you give your child are soft, easy to swallow, and cut into small pieces. Avoid
high-risk choking foods such as nuts, popcorn, raw vegetables, whole grapes, hard candies, and hot dogs.
Home Safety (see the home safety handout given at the four-month visit and available on our website for more detail)
Infant walkers with wheels are NOT recommended because they can be dangerous. Stationary playstations without
wheels are okay.
Poisonings are an important health hazard for children.
Keep all medications, cleaning products, and other
potentially poisonous substances high up out of reach. Post this phone number for the poison control center near
your phone: 1-800-222-1222.
As your child begins to move around, it will be very important to make your home safe. Put a hook outside the
bathroom door or install toilet locks. Use caution with all hot liquids and hot surfaces. Place a barrier in front of hot
radiators. Place gates at the top and bottom of all stairways. Keep plastic bags, wrappers, and latex balloons out of
reach. Move dangling electric cords. Use safety plugs in outlets. Remove house plants from reach, as many are
Install safety guards on windows (screens are NOT strong enough to prevent a child from falling
Car Safety
Your child should be in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible (check the sticker on the care seat to see its size
limits). It’s the best way to keep him safe. Your child should stay in a rear-facing car seat until he reaches the top
height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your
child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. For forward-facing car seats, the shoulder straps
should be at or above the level of your child’s shoulders. The straps should fit snugly—you should only be able to get
only one finger between the straps and your child. In winter, it is safer to put warm layers on top of your child after
strapping him into the car seat; securing the straps on top of bulky clothing can reduce the effectiveness of the car
seat. If you would like further information on child car safety or would like to find a certified car seat inspector who
can check the installation of your car seat, please consult the National Highway Traffic Administration website at
Sun Safety
Avoid the midday sun between 10 am and 3 pm as much as possible. Use a hat or canopy and light clothing that
covers as much skin as possible. Sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) should be used on exposed areas of skin during
periods of sun exposure.
Your child's next routine visit will be at 15 months of age and she will receive the following vaccines at that visit:
Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTaP) and Haemophilus influenza B (HIB).


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