One Year Visit
The baby's first birthday is a very emotional time. Learning to walk allows the baby to become so much more autonomous - and more able to explore. One of the most important milestones is pointing. The baby will see something, wonder what it is and point as if to ask 'what is it?". The baby's babbling will be more melodious and complex. As babies listen to language around them, their comprehension is greater than many people realize. Babies have an innate ability to discriminate the noun and verb of sentences, and this explains why they can learn a "foreign" language so much faster than older children and adults, who are more 'settled in their ways'.
Singing helps babies learn language. Let the baby play with simple, sound-making toys such as a xylophone helps develop a better sense of pitch. Also letting a child initiate sounds with a simple musical instrument, such as a xylophone. If you have a piano, let the baby sit on your lap and touch the chords.
It is recommended that you rotate toys, so that there new things for the baby to analyze "figure out'.
As the baby starts to walk, parents have to be extremely vigilant at other people's houses. Don't let them wander around a house without you. They can find an ungated open window, a penny on a coffee table or other choking hazard on a coffee table, or danging cord with an iron on top of an ironing board. When visiting relatives, bring your own electrical outlet covers and masking tape to cover sharp edges on coffee tablles.
Burns become more of a hazard at this age. When carrying a cup of coffee or other hot food, make sure the baby is not underfoot. Keep them away from hot food being placed on a table. Years ago, a toddler got a severe hand burn by putting her hand on a pan of lasagna. Its best to keep them completely out of the kitchen when pulling things in an out of a stove or draining hot water from pasta. In the bath room, don' t let the baby play with any faucets, and cover the bathtub faucet.
When having a party, or other large gathering, it's a good idea to hire a professional babysitter for toddlers, and keep them cordoned off in a baby-proof area. You can also put "bells" on their shoes. As babies start to walk, they can quickly "slip out of sight" while the parents or relatives are talking and greeting guests. They also won't answer when you call out their names.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has an excellent safety check list. You can probably find it on its website.
Babies often have a high fever around the first birthday. This is because they are crawling all over the floor and putting a wide range of objects into their mouths. If you watch a baby long enough, he or she might actually chew on the sole of someone's shoe. Babies at this age often put their hands in the garbage. Keep them far away from raw egg shells which can harbor salmonella.
As the baby masters walking, he/she is able to stand up and be in the "direct line" of a cough from a playmate or cousin with a cold. One way to minimize illness is to wash the baby's hands frequently with an alcohol based 'sanitizer' after birthday parties and other gatherings.
Making the Switch from Formula:
The baby can switch from formula to whole milk. If a baby has been on a cow milk based formula, such as Enfamil or Similac, you can make the switch over a couple of days. One year olds are supposed to have a minimum of 16 ounces of dairy products, and a maximum of 32 ounces. Yogurt and cheese are included in this dairy amount. One ounce of cheese is similar to a 8 ounce glass of milk.
Switching from Soy or Hypoallergenic formula
If the baby has been on soy or a hypo-allergenic formula like Alimentum, any transitioning has to be done very slowly. Kids who have ezcema or loose stools with milk can often, but not always, start tolerating it after the age of 15 months. It's OK to keep the baby on the low allergy or soy formula until 15 months, while introducing small amounts of yogurt or pizza cheese. Progress slowly and look for any appearance of eczema or diarrhea after the cheese or yogurt.
Even though milk is very nutritious for toddlers and young children, too much can deplete their appetite for other foods. Also, if a baby has milk products throughout the day and bedtime, the calcium of milk with compete for absorption with iron. Iron in the diet will not be sufficiently absorbed, leading to anemia. This is a common problem with big milk drinkers who don't like eggs, beans. iron fortified cereals, meat and other sources of iron. Good ways of increasing iron in the diet is adding some Product 19 or Special K to baby cereal or meat loaf. Many old fashioned cereals such as Corn Flakes, which were popular during the Depression (1930s), have iron fortification. This was done to counteract the abysmal diet many families had. When serving a high iron food like eggs, don't give milk at the same time. Another way of enhancing iron intake is heating up tomato sauce (which contains Vit C) in a cast iron skillet. You can give toddlers eggs several times a week, even daily. The cholesterol is not a problem (in fact, cholesterol is a major component of the brain). Try to introduce beans at this age. They are a great source of iron,. but are one of those foods that young children might reject if not introduced early enough. Lentil soup and lima beans are popular to children in some countries while many American children consider them 'yucky'.
One year olds receive the Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccines, and Varicella. They can also receive their 4th booster of Prevnar (pneumococcal).