Your Baby At 12 Months

Happy birthday to your little one! Don’t worry, they will always be your “baby,” but their 1st birthday is a development — a milestone that transforms him or her into a toddler and offers all the delights of toddlerhood.

This guide shows the milestone of a 12-month-old baby with ideas on how you can support your child’s development.

Motor or physical development

Your one-year-old should:

  • Sit without help
  • Start taking a step alone
  • Start standing alone
  • Language and communication development
  • Use signs like waving or shaking their head
  • Say “dada” and “mama”
  • Responds to easy requests like nodding his when asked a simple question
  • Try to utter some words

Emotional and social development

  • Prefer some people to others
  • Copies gestures, sounds or actions
  • Extend his or her leg or arm to help with dressing
  • Feel uncomfortable around strangers and happy around familiar people
  • Love playing games such as “pat-a-cake” and “peek-a-boo.”

Cognitive Development

Your one-year-old should:

  • Bang objects together
  • Place things in and out of boxes
  • Point at the right picture when you name it
  • Start using common objects the right way, such as drinking from a cup and more
  • Explores things by banging or throwing
  • Poke you with his or her index finger


At 12 months old, your baby should receive the following immunizations:

1st dose – Measles, mumps, rubella, and Varicella

2nd dose – Hepatitis A immunization

3rd dose – Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza type b, and inactivated poliovirus

Parenting Tip

The ideal way to help your 1-year-old improve verbal skills is to speak to them consistently. For example, while dressing your baby, say something about the colour of the fabric and name any area you touch.

Name the objects around the house such as dolls, cups, towels, car, toys, and many more. Labelling objects will help them learn the names and actions of the objects.

When to worry

Although babies grow at different rates, you might want to speak with your doctor if your baby doesn’t meet specific milestones.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises talking to your paediatrician if your child:

  • Doesn’t interact with you
  • Can’t walk
  • Doesn’t imitate others
  • Doesn’t learn new words
  • Doesn’t mind if you leave or when a caregiver returns

Your new toddler may want to help you as you feed them or want to wash their own hands. Yes, they’ll want to engage in the things you do eagerly. So be conscious of what you’re role-modelling since your baby will copy what they see.

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