Remember how worried you were when found out that soon your family will welcome one more member? How was it hard during the last weeks of pregnancy? The first year has been also full of the first things your baby learned to do. With all these new abilities gained before the first birthday, a lot of parents are still wondering what their baby should be able to do and if there is a 12-month-old development checklist to refer to.
The age of 12 months is remarkable for kids. This is the beginning of toddlerhood, their curiosity helps them develop new skills like walking and running, they can understand basic instructions and requests. What else should your little one be able to do at the age of one year? In the blog of The Trendy Toddlers, we are going to provide you with some basic 12-month-old milestones your child should have reached by this age.
However, we warn every parent not to treat this material, as well as any related articles on the Internet, as an obligatory checklist. Every kid is individual and the evaluation of abilities should be carried out by your pediatrician only. Even if some below-mentioned abilities have not been yet reached by your kid, calm down, and give her time. With different temperaments, skills, and abilities, every baby develops at their own pace.
How to Properly Evaluate Baby’s Development
Fundamentally, the development of a baby falls into four areas. They are physical, cognitive, social, and emotional. While the first two have more or less defined milestones and ages for reaching them, social and emotional development of a child depends on a range of factors:
- Character and temperament;
- Family social life;
- Specific peculiarities of every baby.
While evaluating the development of a one-year-old baby (or before), it is crucial to take into account if your little one was prematurely born. You have probably already heard about this from your baby health care professional, however, approaching the first birthday, this shouldn’t be forgotten.
Physical Development Milestones
Do not forget about permissible variations, type of feeding, and weight of your baby when considering every of the below milestones.
Your Baby Can Sit
By the age of 12 months, a child usually can get into a sitting position without any help from parents or without the need to use other objects for this. The muscles of the back are strong enough to keep a child in this position for a considerable amount of time while they are playing.
Your Baby Can Stand up
After your little one has mastered crawling (this usually happens at the age of 7-9 months), they learn how to grab, for example, a bar of their crib to stand up. The body weight can be supported by the muscles and joints of legs for some time. Often, chubby babies do not maintain in the standing position for a long time.
Your Baby Can Walk with Support
By support, we mean the hands of parents and furniture. When a 12-years-old is walking near the furniture holding onto it, this is also called cruising. Sometimes, they may even try running, so parents need to be careful and begin making their home a safe place for their toddler-to-be.
Your Baby Tries Taking a Few Independent Steps
However, this depends on many factors. Some kids are too careful and are afraid to walk independently until they feel confident. They can start taking the first steps without support between 13-14 months. Probably, your child tried once and fell, thus, she is more cautious now.
Your Baby Can Use Different Grips
Your child has mastered the skills of fingers’ manipulations to take and hold different objects. They can even hold small items like grains, however, if you have decided to develop fine motor skills, do not leave your child unsupervised.
Your Baby Pokes at Objects Around
You know perfectly well what your little boss wants because they master poking at objects with their point fingers.
Your Baby Has Around Six Teeth
Usually, be the age of 1, kids have three pairs of teeth (however, the sequence of their appearance can be often different, do not refer to the below as to the rule):
- lower central incisors,
- upper central incisors, and
- lower lateral incisors.
Your Baby’s Got a Better Hand-Eye Coordination
This is one of the prerequisites for crawling and walking because your child gets a better understanding of the distance at which objects they are interested in are located. This is a stimulation of their walking development. In games, you may notice that your little one throws different objects with precision. You can try passing a ball or throwing it into a basket.
As you can see, a baby at 12 months old is on the verge of the next important period of their lives - toddlerhood. Therefore, around 1-year-old-age, your child masters all the basic capabilities enabling them to improve them in the next few years.
Cognitive Development at 1 Year
Parents begin noticing the cognitive activity of the baby from the very first days. The brain has been actively working and learning within these 12 months. Therefore, your child has most probably achieved a lot. At the age of your little one usually can:
- Define objects around: Your child already knows the names of animals, fruit, vegetables, toys, and people they usually meet. If you ask your little one to show you an apple, she will pick it up from the basket.
- Search for objects: Now, your child won’t be disappointed if you cover toys with a blanket. They know it perfectly well that a blanket should be removed to see toys again.
- Remember where objects are stored: This is especially relevant to their toys. They not only remember where they should be but will also be disappointed if they don’t find a desired toy in the usual place. Visual memory has developed considerably.
- Use objects correctly: Your baby knows that a spoon is needed for eating while a comb is for brushing hair. You can even notice your interesting, and sometimes unuseful, habits in the behavior of your little one who has been observing you for 12 months and is now imitating everything.
- Repeat and imitate gestures and actions: You can ask your baby to wave a hand, and she will do this. Or you can wave your hand to her saying “Bye-bye” and she will wave back to you. The range of moves is quite wide, which is proof of considerable brain development.
- Repeat the sounds around: Hearing how a dog barks, your baby may try barking. Probably, the sounds won’t be too similar, however, these attempts are prerequisites for the development of speech. Soon, your baby will tell you how the dog barks and the cow moos.
At the age of 1 year old, your baby soaks up everything like a sponge: from sounds around to the behavior of adults. Often, due to this imitation, parents may notice the habits they have got, for example, using a cell phone during dinner. A baby becomes a so-called mirror. So, keep watching and you will notice something interesting.
Social and Emotional Development Milestones
As we have already mentioned, this development area is subjective and depends on some personal traits of your little one. Therefore, we have chosen the most typical ones to provide you with an understanding of general behavioral patterns and socio-emotional 12-month-old development.
Your Child Fulfills Simple Requests
When you ask your little one to come to you, she will do this. Besides, children know that they will be praised for fulfilling the requests of their parents, and they love this part.
Your Child Attempts to Speak
First of all, the vocabulary of your little one already has such words as “Yes, No, Mama, Dada, etc.” When you are asking your child about something, they are trying to reply and support conversation in their own cute manner. The sounds can be hardly called words, however, the intonation, gestures, and facial expressions prove that this is already a dialogue.
Your Baby Understands What Fear Is and Displays It
If a strange loud sound frightens your baby, she will immediately turn to a parent and even cry. Some kids are afraid of darkness or dogs. For parents, it is important to understand that fears are different for every child and their behavior should not impose certain fears (or their own) on their baby. What if your little one is brave enough not to be afraid of darkness? So, be always supportive when a child fears something but do not create the objects of fear for them.
Your Baby Is Different With Strangers
When a strange person approaches, some kids become shy or anxious. Some babies can even begin crying. This is a normal reaction to the appearance of a strange face. Therefore, parents should react accordingly and not push a baby to get acquainted with an unknown person.
Baby Begins to Check the Boundaries
To a certain extent, your little one is obedient and is ready to fulfill your requests. However, the toddlerhood is the time when kids begin proving their independence through testing the reaction of parents when they disobey and violate rules. Kids may throw toys out of a stroller and check how parents will react to this behavior. Your little one can refuse to eat or sleep. This is the beginning of a complicated period when the personality and traits of your baby character develop. So, learn how to stay calm and withstand all these efforts.
Your Child Has a Favorite Object
Do you remember having a teddy bear you couldn’t sleep with? Probably, your baby has already got a favorite toy, blanket, or any other object. This is a memorable item you will have to take with no matter where you go, even on vacation. This object helps your baby in the transition to independence. So, it’s not a harmful habit to get rid of.
In general, every child is different, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. And 12-month milestones are not a set of targets to reach. If you can see that your little one makes attempts but cannot manage to stand for a long time, it means that the spine and muscles of the back are not ready yet. Do not push and try teaching your baby. All the abilities will be mastered at the right time. If you have any doubts or concerns, never rely on your own estimations and evaluations, and make an appointment with your pediatrician to ask all the questions you may have.
Ways to Develop a Baby of 1 Year
As mentioned before, it is unnecessary to push your baby towards achievements. However, there are some basic tips that can help you motivate your 12-month-old baby:
- Place toys and objects at the height and distance that will make your baby stand up or crawl to them: In this way, you will train the muscles and dexterity of your baby. Do not forget to explain how to reach a desirable object.
- Talk and sing all day long: If your child is uneager to repeat the sounds, this is not the reason for concerns. Quite often, kids begin talking later than 12 months. Make sure that she hears you and accompany your actions with explanations and conversations.
- Read and look at pictures in books: Your kid will probably like listening to fairy-tales and verses. This will improve the passive vocabulary of your child. Be sure, when the time comes, she will speak even better than most peers.
- Spend more time outside on the playground: There are lots of different swings that require physical development. The interest of your baby will motivate to move and master new capabilities. Besides, there are a lot of other children on the playground and your child will be observing them that is more interesting and effective than observing adults.
No matter at which age your child learned to walk or talk, all they need is the love of their parents, care, and nourishment. They will grow at their own pace and bring love back to you. Enjoy parenthood in full instead of knocking holes in your little one.