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Questions Your Pediatrician Wants You to Ask About Your Baby (1 – 2 Years)

by Dr. Sara DuMond, MD, FAAP

You and your baby successfully conquered the first 12 months of life! After several visits to the pediatrician, baby is growing and on the move. Of course, the pediatrician check-ups and questions don’t stop there. As babies enter toddlerhood, here are some questions to ask your pediatrician to ensure they are healthy and happy.

Year 1

As a 1-year-old, healthy eating patterns are established, and physical safety is a primary concern. As always, growth and developmental milestones should continue to advance.

  • Is my child tracking along the appropriate percentiles? If not, what should I be concerned about? Is it a nutritional issue, or could it be something else?
  • Are the developmental screenings for cognitive, social and speech milestones appropriate? Are there any signs of developmental delay? How can I encourage language development and enhanced communication skills?
  • What’s the best way to get my child started off on the right foot with healthy eating? How can I help facilitate a wide, varied palate? When should I start offering my baby a sippy cup or straw cup and transitioning away from the bottle?
  • When should I transition my baby off formula?
  • How can I encourage tooth-brushing with my child? When should I bring them to a dentist?
  • Is there a good time to start weaning away from pacifiers?
  • How do I help my child with pain from teething?
  • What’s an average sleeping pattern for a child this age? What should our bedtime routine look like? How can I encourage predictable sleep patterns and develop healthy skills like self-soothing?
  • What extra precautions do I need to take to keep my mobile child safe? What car seat safety tips should I know? Playground safety tips? Water safety tips?
  • When and how is it safe to give my baby medicine?
  • Is my child up-to-date with the necessary immunizations?

Year 2

In 2-year-olds, the journey toward emotional maturity begins to make itself known. Vocabulary starts to expand, and growth and development are still key factors to observe.

  • Is my child’s growth and development tracking appropriately?
  • Is my child’s sleep pattern appropriate for this age?
  • What behaviors are typical and what are not? Are emotional swings, temper tantrums and meltdowns normal? Is my child demonstrating abnormal behaviors? What are some techniques I can engage in to manage behavior?
  • How can I teach my child to understand physical and emotional limits?
  • What is the recommended amount of screen time for a child this age?
  • How extensive of a vocabulary should my child have at this age? How can I foster and encourage development for emotional and social skills?
  • Is my child up-to-date with the necessary immunizations?

Open, honest communication with your child’s doctor is critical. Bring any concerns to your pediatrician’s attention to help understand and overcome potential challenges. These discussions with your pediatrician will allow for more insight about how your child is progressing, and it will bring you both confidence in entering year 3 and beyond.

Learn more about the author, Dr. Sara DuMond, MD, FAAP 

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