1 year old
By now your baby book is riddled with milestone dates and developmental achievements, but in your eyes, one of the biggest milestones is now here: the one-year mark. The day your little one crosses the threshold into toddlerhood. It might feel as though this jump came suddenly – and it did, because these months just flew by – but your baby has been preparing and steadily developing from the moment he or she was born. From unfocused eyes to first steps, your helpless baby is now finding independence and a sense of self.
However, you should know that the one-year mark is only a glimpse into the exciting developments that you’ll see in the next few years. We’ve been tracking your baby’s milestones for the past 12 months, but there’s so much more ahead; there’s so much to look forward to.
Although all babies develop at a different rate, one thing is for sure: your little one has come a long way in a single year. Here’s what you might expect your 12 month old to do:
- Pull up to a standing position
- Cruise holding onto furniture
- Clap his or her hands
- Wave hi or bye
- Drink from a cup and self-feed
- Stand alone, if only for a few seconds
- Master the pincer grasp – which is picking up small objects with his or her thumb and pointer finger
- Say “mama” or “dada”, often to the correct person
- Say their first word other than “mama” or “dada” (In rare cases, babies will say three or more words other than “mama” or “dada”)
- Follow commands (“Get the book,” “Give that to me,” etc.)
- Point and gesture
- Babble in strings of gibberish, almost like a foreign language
Keep in mind that some of these might not be accomplished until 13 – 16 months.
Your toddler will learn to play in more complex and creative ways throughout the first year:
- Toys to increase mobility. Your baby will love push and pull toys while he’s mastering the skill of walking. Ride-on toys, which require kids to use their feet to move forward, are also good for developing walkers.
- Climbing. Sometime during the next year, your toddler will discover an obsession with climbing, whether it’s up stairs, a slide or onto the couch. Make sure that your baby has a safe, supervised place to practice.
- Arts and Crafts. While your baby won’t be able to do real craft projects for a couple of years now, your toddler will love scribbling with crayons, drawing with sidewalk chalk and dabbling in some messy paint.
- Musical play instruments. Shaking and banging now takes the form of tambourines, drums and xylophones.
- Imaginative play. While your little one will still love vroom cars and tote around a doll, the play with get more complex and imaginative as the year goes on. Your toddler will soon be ready for toys like a play kitchen, pretend cell phone, and miniature animals and people – although a cardboard box and blankets is all you need for a killer fort.
- Books. As your baby’s attention span expands, add new non-board books to the bookshelves. Looking for some good options? Here are some of our favorites.
- Interactive singing. Your baby will rediscover a love for songs like “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Twinkle, Twinkle” and “The Wheels on the Bus” – especially as he or she can now mimic the movements.
- Simple puzzles and shape sorters.
- Talk, talk, talk. Read our advice on encouraging talking during playtime.
- Find more age-appropriate toys here.