12-Month-Old Baby: Milestones & Development

12-Month-Old Baby: Milestones & Development

Can you believe it, mama? There’s a birthday cake with one candle on it and your 12-month-old baby is officially a toddler.
A year ago you had a tiny little bundle in your arms and now that bundle is exploring, feeding themselves, even starting to make sounds that are suspiciously like words… Give yourself a high-five – you’re doing a great job.

So what miraculous milestones can you expect as your 1-year-old baby makes the leap (or slightly shaky step) to toddlerhood? Let’s find out.

In this article 📝

  • 12 month milestones
  • 12 month development
  • 12-month-old baby weight
  • 12-month-old baby food
  • 12-month-old baby toys
  • You and your 12-month-old baby

12 month milestones

What should a 12-month-old be doing? Actually, as long as they’re happy and healthy, and your walls aren’t covered in mashed potato, it doesn’t matter too much what they should be doing.

Every 12-month-old baby is different, so don’t worry if social media seems to be filled with 1-year-olds doing ballet while your little one is still crawling. They’ll get there when they’re ready.

Here are some 12-month milestones that your baby may be hitting around this time:

12 month development

  • Cruising along. Your baby might feel confident walking while they’re holding onto you or a piece of furniture (AKA cruising). You can encourage them to move around with push toys, such as toy cars or strollers.
  • First steps (maybe!). Some babies start walking independently at this point, but most don’t get there until 13-14 months or older. If your little one does take their first steps, it’s time to get them measured for their first pair of proper shoes!
  • Sleeping beauty. Many babies are sleeping through the night now (about 11 hours) and their two daily naps may have combined into one longer afternoon nap. But don’t be disheartened if your babe is going through a 12-month sleep regression. It happens.
  • Communication. You may be hearing some recognizable syllables or even short words from your baby – particularly “mama”, “dada”, and the classic “no!”. They’ll also communicate effectively through gestures, such as pointing to something they want.

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  • Hearing and vision. Your baby’s senses are now fully equipped for taking in the world around them. They have excellent hearing and their eyesight is as clear as an adult’s.
  • Feeding themselves. Your little gourmand is able to feed themselves using their hands and fingers, and they’re getting much more interested in the tastes and textures of different foods.
  • Making connections. They may not be able to say many words yet, but your baby is already beginning to link words and their meanings. So if you ask where the “dog” is, for example, they might be able to point to it.

12-month-old baby weight

A baby at 12 months is coming to the end of a truly epic growth spurt. At 20-21 pounds in weight (on average), they’re now about triple what they weighed at birth. They’ve also grown 10 whole inches since coming into the world, meaning that they’re about 29.5-30 inches tall.

After their first birthday, your baby will start to put on weight more gradually. That’s because their calorie intake will begin to be balanced out by their increasing activity levels, as they find imaginative ways to get from A to B.

12-month-old baby food

What to feed a 12-month-old baby?

Well, milk (of the breast or bottle variety) is still a favorite, but now is the time to let your baby explore a variety of foods and see what fires up those 1-year-old taste buds.

  • Breastfeeding your 12-month-old baby: Right now you’re probably doing 3-5 feeds a day (up to about 24 ounces of milk). If you and your baby are happy with the situation, there’s no reason not to carry on breastfeeding after the 1-year mark. About half your baby’s daily calories should come from milk and half from solid food.

  • Bottle feeding your 12-month-old baby: As with breastfeeding, you’re looking at up to 24 ounces of milk in a day, or 2-3 bottles of 8 ounces each. About now you may start weaning your baby off the bottle and give them a sippy cup instead. You can also begin to gradually introduce cow’s milk at 12 months. Unless your healthcare provider says otherwise, whole milk is the best option – baby needs the fat to keep growing!

  • Solid food for your 12-month-old baby: Aim for a regular meal schedule of 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. Your baby can now eat pretty much what you eat, as long as it’s soft enough, it’s served in a small portion, and it doesn’t include tiny pieces that they could choke on (such as whole grapes). You’ll also want to avoid adding salt or sugar to their food.

Don’t worry if your 12-month-old baby wants to play with their food, squish it between their fingers, or spread it around – it may be messy, but this is their way of learning! And if they reject a particular food the first time, don’t give up straight away. Sometimes a baby takes 10-15 attempts to work out if they like a flavor or texture.

12-month-old baby toys

What toys to choose for a 1-year-old baby? Stacking blocks, shape sorters, and wooden puzzles are great for developing fine motor skills. As are chunky crayons and chalk sticks if you want to encourage their artistic side!

Toys that can be pushed and pulled will get babies moving around, while they also love anything that makes a noise – a toy xylophone or a musical nursery rhyme book, for example.

Avoid toys with any small parts that can be pulled off and find their way into a curious little mouth or up the nose… It happens.

Don’t miss: 16 Fun Activities for 1-Year-Olds

You and your 12-month-old baby

Being the mama of a 12-month-old baby can be a lot of fun. Learning to see the world through their eyes can give you a whole new perspective on life. And who doesn’t love crawling around on the floor, blowing bubbles at bath time, and singing “Old MacDonald” over and over again?

But it’s also hard work raising a small human, and it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes. Try to give yourself a break if you can: let your partner or a neighbor babysit while you meet a new friend from Peanut, or reach out to your support system during your baby’s afternoon nap.

Do what you need to do to replenish your energy – the toddler phase is just getting started!

🤰 Read next: 13-Month-Old Baby: Milestones & Development

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