12 Months Old - Baby Growth, Development, Milestones & Activities

Your 12 Months Old Baby Growth and Development

Your little bundle of joy will soon turn one, congratulations! It may be hard to believe that the year has passed so quickly, but yes, your munchkin’s birthday is almost here. Your little one is a toddler now, (sure, he will always be your baby), and their first birthday is a big milestone! In the past year, you must have witnessed your baby achieving small and big milestones, and now it’s time for more. Here’s what you should expect at 12 months!

Video: Your 12-Month-Old Baby: Growth, Development, Activities & Care Tips

Growth of the Baby at 12 Months

A one year-old baby standing next to a mirror

Your baby’s physical growth follows the same route; their own unique path and each month will bring fresh surprises and things to look forward to.

Baby Development

Your baby has reached an enormous milestone in their 12 months. At this point, they understand basic instructions and can walk about a little. They even recognise familiar faces outside of the immediate family, and they can point in delight at things they like. They are teeter-tottering about and exploring their world. Brace yourself; the milestones will keep on coming.

Your 48-Week-Old Baby’s Development

Your baby is now a toddler, and you are so excited about those changes. The babbling will soon come close to words and whole sentences. The crawling is on the verge of becoming the pitter-patter of tiny feet. Before you get ahead of yourself, here is what you can expect at eleven months. Your little one may be walking but will more likely be walking with support. If they have not shown any interest in pulling themselves up, it is okay. They will get there soon. The babbling and gurgling will get closer to sounding like questions and sentences that have elements of expression akin to adults.

Your 49-Week-Old-Baby’s Development

You have done it! Your baby has finally fit the 12-month mark, and you could not be more proud. You should now be weaning your baby off their bottle and onto more adult options. They are now reserved for sleep time, and even that should be slowly weaned out with cups and bedtime stories that make sleepy time more enjoyable.

As for the verbal, those sounds are getting close to things that sound suspiciously like words, aren’t they? Encourage any babble irrespective of how incoherent it is. Respond and encourage every single noise coming out of that little mouth.

Your 50-Week-Old Baby’s Development

It is official – your little one is nearly a toddler. They have now tripled the birth weight. They have developed the weight and muscle in their legs to really begin to take big steps on their own. The average time a baby takes to take their first steps is around 12 to 13 months. Your baby’s vocabulary should be expanding, and you should be using pronouns like “I am going out to the park.” instead of “Mommy is going out to the park.”

Your 51-Week-Old Baby’s Development

Just a week more for your child’s first birthday and you are still weaning them and encouraging them to walk and develop. Do not worry if you are having trouble getting them to bed and breaking the habit of the bottle. They may find it hard to kick the bottle, so you could try watering down their milk till it is water and then switch to a cup. Make sure bedtime is worth it, and all their energy is directed at something active during the day.

Your baby is now up and about, and this presents a whole new range of challenges. This adds to the challenge of bedtime. Your child must have now figured out that the rails on their cot can be used to swing over, and you have a jailbreak or an attempted one on your hands.

Your Baby’s Health

Your baby would have gained weight and increased the muscle tone in their legs to help support their little body. Most babies grow by 25 cm at this point, and you will a rosy glow thanks to the excitement of discovering the world around them. They will burn a lot more energy now thanks to this activity and lose a little weight, which is all good. Expect them to grow taller and leaner as this little toddler-to-be gets their exercise.

Baby Milestones – 12 Months

There are three milestones types that you need to look out for – cognitive, physical and, social and emotional developmental milestones. Here’s what you should look out for in your child.

  • Your baby should be able to get into the sitting position without help.
  • Your baby will use support to pull themselves up to stand.
  • They will walk holding furniture.
  • They will walk a few steps without support, which marks the beginning of toddlerhood.
  • They will walk with a variety of grips such as the pincer grasp, raker grasp, and may use the entire palm to hold objects.
  • Your baby may poke and point with the index finger.
  • Your baby has three pairs of teeth, i.e. upper and lower pairs.
  • They will have an improved vision, thanks to better hand-eye coordination and better distance judgment.


You will find separation anxiety is quite common in your baby at this stage. They are busy exploring the world but worry about leaving you. Some toddlers are shy while others are outgoing. Do not push your little one too far beyond their bounds as they will get there in their own time. Expect some amount of crankiness as their patterns change and they re-adjust to new sleeping patterns and things like bottle weaning. They could be picky eaters and give you trouble on multiple occasions.

12 Month-Old Baby Activities

There are certain activities that can help develop various developmental skills in your baby. Have a look at them, and have your baby try them out!

  • Tie a cardboard cut-out of something enticing like a star or their favourite animal at a suitable height then put a sturdy box or something for them to grasp it. This will keep your little ones occupied for hours on end and encourage them to stand. It is a play on the whole proverbial carrot and the stick but makes sure it is something more interesting than the carrot.
  • There is a logic behind all those toy block games out there in the market. Block games encourage dexterity and colour association, not to mention better hand-eye coordination in little ones. It could be anything from transferring blocks from a basket to another as you name each coloured block or name the shape of the block as you put it in the relevant hole. (Think this is a star and it goes in this hole. This encourages association and the growth of cognitive abilities.) Yes, there is a lot of psychological studies that have gone into these simple games and does not worry again if your baby has trouble picking on it. You struggled with a couple of subjects in school and made it through, didn’t you?!
  • The toy telephone game is a winner with a lot of parents. It enhances communication skills and builds on the association. Your baby will figure what it is and what it is used for quickly with your help. This activity is wonderful because it can be repeated with other objects and it is all up to you to make it exciting and fun for the baby. Talking to your baby through this activity will also help expand their vocabulary. Cherish this one as it lets you watch your little one develop right before your eyes.

12 Month-Old Baby Care

Your baby’s care regimen has changed with every step of their growth, and this 12-month step is no different. You will find yourself confronted with a whole new little being that needs new things to eat as they are weaned off the bottle or their routine changes as they realise there is more to the world than nap time. Watch your child during their explorations. It is now time to consider shoes as your baby needs protection for their feet. Ensure you get something with flexible soles. Those light shoes or the ones that make noise, consider those too. They will encourage your baby to walk more.

Now that your baby is eating all sorts of new foods and their teeth are making a more prominent appearance, it is best to start brushing their teeth with a soft baby toothbrush or a soft, clean cloth. Also, it’s about time that you make your baby’s first appointment with a dentist.


This is the point you switch from breastfeeding to formula or cow’s milk. Do not switch to low fat as your baby needs the fat to develop and grow. This refers to your baby’s brain growth in addition to their overall physical growth. As mentioned earlier, it could be time to start weaning your baby off the feeding bottle and onto a cup and talk to your doctor about purees and more solid food. Feeding time will be an easier transition if you make it fun and your little one is looking forward to it. Things will be so much better to get through if the baby is a given a little snack to suck on now and then.

Now that your baby can eat bigger foods, you need to watch out for choking hazards and keep an eye on them during their mealtimes. Honey is now an option on the menu, which is good news for your baby’s palate!


Your 12-month-old little darling should now be going through the day with less sleep than before. Not only do they need less sleep but they are excited about exploring the world more as they learn to walk. Do not worry as this is perfectly healthy and is just them taking another step closer to being a toddler and the rest of their life. Their morning nap will definitely be a thing of the past, and you will need to realign your schedule to give them more activities and suit this new schedule of theirs.

They should, however, still get 14 hours of sleep a day till they turn two. Your toddler probably requires a 90 minute or even a nice long 3-hour nap till they hit the two-year mark as they still need that much rest in a day. So, rest easy knowing you will have some time for yourself and to relax.

Tips for Parents

Any parent needs tips to navigate the trials of parenthood, and the start of the toddler phase is no different as you realise you need to do certain things to encourage the progress of your 1-year-old baby. Here are a few that will aid you on your journey of parenthood.

  • Establish a sleep time ritual in the night to help get them to bed. This helps the toddler wind down and let loose of all the energy from the rest of the day. Let them run wild for a bit and tire themselves out, run a bath, read to them or sing to them. Ensure this routine remains consistent irrespective of whether you are at home or not. If there is another caregiver around, teach them the routine. This comforts the toddler and gives them a sense of control over their surroundings.
  • Building on the above point, ensure you maintain a schedule throughout your toddler’s life. This structures them better, and even age-appropriate activities must be maintained consistently. Whether it is visiting the park, nap times, feeding times or even seeing parents return home, it should all follow a dependable flow.
  • Do not deny your baby full-fat foods as the 12-month baby weight should be triple of their birth weight. They need it to grow and maintain their immunity at the moment. Irrespective of your family’s diet or any other similar elements, your toddler’s health comes first, and this fat promotes things like brain growth.

Your little one is on a fresh new journey and is setting out into the world. Soon, you will discover another layer of this tiny being in your life, and they will communicate their needs, demands and affections in multiple new ways. Enjoy this phase and follow the above advice while adapting to your toddler’s needs.

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