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Your Baby at 12 Months: What to Expect


Worried about what to expect from your baby as she nears that monumental first birthday? You’re not alone. Baby development and growth after a first birthday can often feel like it’s progressing at lightning speed.

Additionally, much like the first twelve months of life, it’s important to remember that every toddler is different and will progress on a unique path at his or her own specific rate. It can feel challenging to know exactly what you should expect at this special time with your baby’s development and what you shouldn’t worry about.

three moms watching their toddlers play

Baby Growth: What to Expect During This Next Developmental Phase

Fortunately, there are a few specific baby development milestones to keep in mind as your child moves past the 12-month mark. During this time, you should expect your child to start:

  • Rising to a stand without assistance
  • Taking his first unaided steps
  • Distinctive interest in and pointing to specific objects
  • Purposely dropping items and toys to “look” for them
  • Using first recognizable words (roughly 2-3)

Baby at One Year of Development: Still Shy In Social Situations

Social shyness can be a common concern of parents with a baby at one year. However, most often, a child’s reluctance to engage with other children is not something to worry about. While some children don’t mind social activities with other kids, it’s not uncommon for a one-year-old to seem naturally introverted; this type of social shyness can seem even more pronounced around new people and in new social situations.

There are ways to help your toddler transition out of social shyness. Positive encouragement from you can quickly help to make the situation less stressful. Additionally, rather than hosting large gatherings in your home, try planning a playdate with just one or two other children to ensure that your child doesn’t feel socially overwhelmed. Also, talking with your child before a gathering (who’s coming, what you’ll do) can help prepare him for what to expect to minimize any social discomfort.

Fun Ways to Help With Baby Development at This Age

There are countless fun ways to engage with your child at this age to help with baby growth and development, including:

  • Playing with stackable toys, blocks, and building bricks to encourage both gross and fine motor skills
  • Working with play dough, finger paints, and crayons for creative stimulation
  • Using various pushable toys to assist with walking development

Best of all, your baby at one year is quickly entering the “make-believe” phase. Fun games such as pretending to be different animals can help promote imaginative play and help with overall development in a wide range of areas.

Worried That Your Child Isn’t Walking Yet?

At some point, all parents feel worried that their child hasn’t yet reached a baby development milestone. It’s important to remember that every child develops at her own pace; while some children may start walking before 12 months, it’s not uncommon for toddlers to be closer to 18 months (and sometimes even later) before taking their first steps. If you’re concerned about delayed walking with your baby, consult with your pediatrician for reassurance or to schedule a developmental evaluation.

Your Baby at 18 Months 4

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