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Are you curious about 12-month-old baby development? The first year is over, but your baby continues to develop rapidly. Let’s take a look at development milestones, possible learning activities and fun toys for your 1-year-old.


12-month-old baby developmentPin

1 year old and the baby year is over… Well, a 12-month-old baby/toddler is still quite young.

Our daughter celebrated her first birthday by sleeping through the night for the first time ever. She must have felt that she was no longer a baby…

Five days later, she walked a few steps for the first time. So happy!

1-year-old babies are fantastic! So able yet so young. With the first baby, it is easy to believe that development will now slow down. Not so!

Growth will slow down, but by 2 years, your young toddler will be able to talk, run, jump, maybe use the potty, use a fork, sing a little bit, draw, and a lot more. And say “no” and “no” again.

(But I don’t quite agree on the “terrible twos”. I think 3 years old is actually worse) :-)

Anyway, the next year will be a fantastic one too!

The 12-Month-Old Baby

12-Month-Old Baby Development Milestones

Here are the development milestones to look for when your baby is 12 months old:

Physical Development

Weight and Length

By the time they are 1 year old, most babies triple their birth weight. The average weight for a 12-month-old baby boy is 21 pounds and 3 ounces (9.6 kg), and for a baby girl, 19 pounds and 10 ounces (8.9 kg).
The average length/height of a 1-year-old baby boy is 29.75 inches (75.7 cm) and a 1-year-old baby girl 29 inches (74 cm).
As always emphasized, all babies grow at their own pace, and these are only rough measures. Don’t panic if your baby’s measures differ. The most important thing is that your baby grows and gains weight at a healthy rate.


At this point, your baby’s vision is as good as the vision of an adult, and she sees as sharp and clear as you do.

Motor skills

First steps

Some babies take their first steps when they are around 1 year old and start walking more and more, while others need more time.

Most babies are still walking while holding onto furniture or by holding someone’s hand.

In either case, most 1-year-old babies crawl when they need to get somewhere fast. Our oldest boy didn’t walk until he was well over 18 months, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with him!

Check out this parents’ poll on when their baby started to walk.


Your baby now has well-developed hand-eye coordination and understanding to open cupboard doors and drawers that open easily.

At 12 months, it is a good idea to let your baby start feeding himself with a spoon if he is interested in it. It is very messy initially, but so convenient after a while when you don’t have to feed your baby anymore.

Cognitive, Social and Emotional Development

Problem-solving skills

A baby’s brain is developing, and a 12-month-old can solve simple problems like opening a container or pulling a string to move a toy closer to herself.


When it comes to using the language, the same can be applied as to walking. Many children seem to be either “more advanced” with their motoric skills or with the language. Some sit and talk, others run around and say more or less nothing. But they do understand a lot!

A 1-year-old baby can communicate what he wants by using basic words or by pointing or pulling you in a certain direction while simultaneously babbling and using different sounds.
He also uses gestures as a way of communicating, such as waving “bye,” clapping his hands, shaking his head for “no,” or showing something is “gone/not there anymore.”

Communication is starting to be more two-way now. Your baby knows how to express his wants and needs and responds to your simple commands. He will practice more and more sounds and eventually try to communicate by using real words.


It is recommended that a 1-year-old baby sleeps somewhere between 11 and 14 hours a day. That includes both night sleep and naps.

Although you might ask yourself if it is normal if your baby still doesn’t sleep through the night, there is no need to worry. Even now, some babies still don’t sleep through the night.

Some 12-month-olds lose the morning nap and only nap once in the afternoon or have a longer nap in the middle of the day. But many babies still nap twice a day.


Your 1-year-old is probably eating a variety of foods. As well as before, you should feed your baby a balanced diet that includes various food groups, such as fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, grains, and dairy.

After your baby turns 1, cow’s milk, a reasonable amount of salt, and honey are now considered safe to introduce into your child’s diet. Make sure to still watch out for allergy signs when introducing a new food.

Since your baby is now eating more table foods and can pick up food and feed herself, be even more alert regarding choking hazards.

Warning signs of developmental delay

Although babies develop on their own timeline and might be more advanced in certain aspects and need more time in others, there are some red flags you should watch for.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should talk to your child’s doctor if your 1-year-old baby:

  • Doesn’t crawl
  • Can’t stand when supported
  • Doesn’t search for things that she sees you hide
  • Doesn’t say single words like “mama” or “dada”
  • Doesn’t learn gestures like waving or shaking head
  • Doesn’t point to things
  • Loses skills she once had

Games To Play

12-month-old baby activitiesPinFor a 12-month-old baby, building towers or knocking them down is fun. You build, and he knocks them down again and again.

Look into a mirror and point at the nose, the mouth, etc. Soon enough, your baby will do the pointing.

Draw together using thick crayons or finger paint. I personally like sitting in the bathtub (or at least putting my baby there when using finger paint. Dress him off except for the diaper, and have some fun.

When using crayons, drawing is much easier if you tape the paper onto the table or floor.

Seeing other children both of the same age and older are good at this age. Your child is likely to imitate what other children do, although he is too young to actually play together with another child.

Singing songs or saying nursery rhymes with movements are great fun.

Hide and seek is becoming easy to play now when your baby is able to move around a bit.

Hunting each other is also probably a favorite.

Toy Tips

Toy tips this month is, of course, birthday tips! But my very first tip is to not overdo it. A baby that gets too many presents and too much attention may end up crying rather than laughing.

I once got a wise piece of advice to invite as many friends to a child’s birthday as the number of years he is.

1-year-old = 1 friend At least not 10 babies!

Now to the toy tips…

Push toys are great, especially if they are steady enough to help your baby walk.

Pull toys, the ones you pull in a string are fun if your baby already was well. Otherwise, they are too difficult.

A small play slide is great fun if you have enough space.

Sorting and nesting toys are still very popular.

Picture books, but now with short stories rather than just pictures, can be exciting for a 12-month-old.

Musical toys, like drums, are fun.

Dolls and animals, both stuffed ones and others, are also interesting.

Riders, like this one, are fun – but remember to buy one for small children!

And of course, crayons and finger paint might be very interesting for a 1-year-old. But be prepared that your baby will chew the crayons!

The 12-Month-Old Baby on Video

In this video, you can see some 12-month-old babies in action. They are playing, laughing, and crying when things don’t go their way. Many babies in this video clip are walking – if your baby doesn’t, don’t worry. Most babies start walking between 13 and 15 months. Before that, they take a few steps or walk holding in furniture. (Take a look at our poll on when your baby walks here.)

Simply Parenting- Your Twelve Month Old Toddler's Development

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  1. Lana Murpy

    First-time parents can use this blog as a checklist!! Wonderful blog.