Developmental Milestones

Things are happening fast now, and you may find that you are rushing to keep up with your baby as she hones her crawling skills, and maneuvers herself around the house. Her curiosity is endless, and she now communicates with you in ways that you both understand.

By 12 months, your baby should:

  • Confidently use a sippy cup

  • Be able to maneuver her spoon to her mouth and have some success with her efforts at self-feeding

  • Pick up toys and drop them for effect

  • Use her thumb and index finger in a “pincer” grip to pick up small items

  • Crawl confidently forward and backward

  • Pull herself up from the floor to stand against the furniture, or you

  • Cruise around the furniture, supporting herself

  • Indicate what she wants—taking your hand if she wants a walk, or raising her arms if she wants to be held

  • Point her finger to draw your attention to something or show her interest

  • Notice changes in your voice—for example, firmness when you say “no”—and respond to them

  • May understand the word “no,” but probably not obey

  • Recognize a few familiar words, such as “bye-bye” or “milk”

  • Recognize her name when she is called

  • Imitate you—using her spoon, drinking from her cup, pretending to talk on her phone, or waving good-bye

  • Confidently put things in and out of containers

  • Show an interest in pictures and books

  • May use the words “mama” or “dada” appropriately

  • Cooperate in games

  • Play peekaboo or pat-a-cake

She’s now ready for …

  • Family meals, which she will enjoy, and which will encourage her to eat a more varied diet

  • A new car seat

  • Lots of outdoor play, for example on the swings or in the sandpit

  • Food with more lumps (finely chopped instead of puréed) and more exotic tastes

  • Conversations—she will babble back when you talk to her and pause for her reply

  • A birthday party … and opening presents

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