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Growth and Development, Ages 1 to 12 Months - Routine Checkups

Doctors recommend that babies have routine well-child visits every 2 to 3 months from age 1 month to 12 months. During these visits, your doctor checks your baby's growth and development to see if your baby is reaching the milestones for each specific age. During these visits, you also can discuss any concerns you have. When your baby is age 9 months, the doctor may do a developmental screening test.

At every checkup, the doctor:

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  • Looks at your baby's physical growth by measuring weight, length, and head circumference. These measurements are placed on a growth chart and are compared to previous and later markings to make sure your baby is growing as expected.
  • Asks you about your baby's motor and sensory development, vision, and hearing. Your baby receives a thorough exam and gets immunizations.
  • Assesses your baby's emotional and social development by observing his or her interactions with you. You will be asked questions about how you and the rest of the family are doing, how your baby is eating and sleeping, and whether you have noticed any changes in behavior.

The doctor will be especially interested in certain developments at specific ages. For example:

  • At 2 months:
    • Is your baby smiling yet?
    • Do you have a routine feeding schedule?
    • Are you bonding with your baby?
    • Is the rest of the family adjusting to the baby?
  • At 4 months:
    • Is your baby reaching and grasping?
    • Does your baby try to bring objects to his or her mouth?
    • Are crying spells getting shorter?
    • Is your baby settling in with the family, and is your family enjoying the baby?
  • At 6 months:
    • Is your baby able to sit?
    • How are your baby's sensory and motor development and hand-eye coordination?
  • At 9 months:
    • How is your baby eating?
    • Is your baby able to pick up objects?
    • Does your baby respond to his or her name?
  • At 12 months:
    • Does your baby walk holding on to furniture?
    • Does your baby enjoy playing peekaboo or patty-cake?

Routine checkups are a good time for parents to ask about what to expect in the weeks to come. You may find it helpful to keep a list of questions(What is a PDF document?) to ask the doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 06, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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