Your baby is now a year old! The past twelve months have likely been some of the shortest, and longest, of your life. Now that you’ve both had a year of getting to know each other, you and your little one are probably settled into a nice daily routine. However, get ready to mix things up! Walking is a game changer, and your little one is no longer a baby. They have officially reached toddler status, and the world just keeps getting bigger and more exciting every day.
At twelve months of age, your baby may…
Walk. The big day is finally here! Walking, one of the most anticipated milestones, will likely happen somewhere around 12 months. However, don’t worry if your child isn’t taking any steps just yet, as there is a very large range of what is normal in the area.
Explore in new ways. By a year old, your baby has probably found the time to explore most of your home by crawling, scooting, and rolling around. Now she may take this exploration to a deeper level. She may grab an object and examine it closely, then bang it on the wall to see what it does. Then, why not hit it on the floor, give it a quick taste, and then rub it on her hair? These new ways to learn and investigate certainly help make play time more exciting!
Use objects correctly. Up until this point, your baby probably didn’t understand how to use common household items. But now that he is watching and gaining more information each day, that has changed. If you hand your baby a hairbrush, he might actually try to brush his hair. The same goes for a cup of water, a toothbrush, or a hat. Items that used to be just thrown, chewed on, or played with now become useful.
Understand many words. When looking through a book, your baby can probably now point to different objects as you name them. Ask her to point to a car or a bunny, and you will likely see her investigate the page until she finds the correct picture!
Drop a nap. Once your child turns a year old, he may drop another nap from his schedule. If he was previously taking three a day, he may drop down to two longer naps. Or, if he was already on a double nap schedule, that might get consolidated into one longer sleep. At this point, your little one should be sleeping about 14 hours of sleep of each 24 hour period.
Recognize body parts. If you say belly and rub your own belly, your baby will probably do the same thing. Or if you ask her to point to her hair, she will! By a year old, many babies know several body parts, and can point to them when asked. To encourage this development, don’t be shy about making up silly songs (or repeating old favorites) about different body parts as you get her dressed each day!
Say three words. At a year old, many babies will say about three words. Generally, the first two will be mama and dada. After that words will quickly be added to his vocabulary during his second year.
Give high fives. And hugs, kisses, or even a silly little fist bump. Since your baby is likely exposed to these actions on a daily basis, she is beginning to understand when and how to use these common gestures. She will probably give kisses when it is time to say goodbye, or a high five when something exciting happens.
Have a major change in diet. At twelve months of age, you can begin to transition your baby onto whole milk. At this point, purees, finger foods, and table foods are a major part of his diet, and whole milk in a sippy cup can start to replace a bottle or two each day.
At twelve months old, your child now has incredible cognitive and motor abilities. They have gone from a sleepy newborn to a walking and talking toddler in just one year! It can be hard to process just how quickly these changes happen, but spending a few moments each day to write down your thoughts can be a great way to keep a record of your baby’s development. As your child eases into toddlerhood, expect a little more resistance and a few more tantrums each day. However, you can also expect amazing achievements in language, gross motor skills, and learning. Twelve month olds just want to investigate the blossoming world around them, so try to give your child time and space to discover new things each day!