Caring for Baby

Ready to Explore

Ready to Explore

Your 12-month-old has a great start in life! He is eager to touch, learn and explore everything in sight. At the same time, he needs to know that you’re there to guide him and keep him safe. Continue supporting his development with healthy activities that promote brain development and physical skills.

Babies grow and develop at their own pace, and you should ask your child’s doctor if you have questions or concerns.

12 Month Milestones

Look what I can do …

  • Listen and follow simple instructions
  • Stand by myself or with support
  • Take a few steps or start walking
  • Stoop down to pick something up
  • Drink from a cup
  • Say one word with meaning (besides “mama” or “dada”)

How You Can Help

  1. First baby steps. Baby is working on building balance and strength to walk with confidence. Hold one or both hands when she’s taking those first wobbly steps. When she’s ready to walk by herself, give her big cheers and hugs. Keep in mind that some babies start walking as early as 8 months old or as late as 17 or 18 months old.
  2. Play hiding games. Play hide-and-seek with baby (you hide and he’ll find you!). Or hide something special under a box or blanket and ask baby to find it.
  3. Try on hats and shoes. Baby probably knows which shoes belong to everyone in the family. She may think it’s very silly to try on different sized shoes, hats and other accessories. She may also enjoy arranging and rearranging clothes, books and toys.
  4. Include books in the bedtime routine. Find a cozy spot to sit together and read books before bedtime. Baby may have favorite books that he likes to repeat again and again. He may help you turn the pages too!

Growing Up So Fast

How big is baby? “So big!” Find out how much your baby has grown at his 12-month checkup. If you have concerns, your child’s doctor can help identify potential warning signs early on, such as:

  • Not creeping, crawling or scooting
  • Inability to stand with support
  • Not using gestures or interacting with others
  • Not pointing to things
  • Loss of skills he or she once had