image001Your baby has reached their first birthday! Looking back on the last 12 months, you will see that your baby has developed a great deal. They have a lot more individuality than they did when they were just a helpless infant. As you celebrate this important milestone, you can think about how your child is developing into a little person, and start looking forward to all the milestones that will happen in the next year.

How Is Your 1 Year Old Baby Developing?




Your baby should be triple the size they were when they were born. They should have gained around 9-11 inches, but their growth levels will now slow a bit while activity increases. Their brain will be around 60 percent of its adult size.

Physical development

Your child should be able to sit up without help and stand or walk while holding onto furniture. They might stand alone or take a few steps without the need to hold on, but this will come with time.

Cognitive development

Your baby should poke, bang things together, copy your gestures and let go of things without help. They should be able to follow simple commands, take things out of a container or put things into a container. When you use words they know, they should look at the right picture. They should also try out different actions like shaking, throwing or banging objects. They should be able to find hidden objects with ease.

Social and emotional development

Your child may be shy around strangers and some social situations. They will have clear favorite things or people and might cry when their parents leave. They can take part in games like “peek-a-boo.” They may start to help with dressing and hand you items like books they would like to play with. They might start repeating noises when they want attention.

Communication development

Your child should be able to use simple gestures such as waving or shaking their head and respond to simple requests. They should change their tone when making noise to mimic speech, perhaps trying to repeat words you have said. Some might say basic words like “uh-oh” or “mama” and “dada.”

How to Take Care of a 1 Year Old Baby

1. Feed Your Baby Properly

At this age your child can start transitioning to consuming whole milk. This will give them extra fat which will help with brain growth and development. Do not use low fat foods until your child is two. Start replacing bottle or breast feedings with a snack or cup. Your child can eat more table foods, but make sure to avoid items like hot dogs or popcorn which will be a choking hazard. Stay near your child when they eat to ensure they are safe.

2. Understand Their Sleeping Patterns

Your toddler will still need 2 naps a day until they reach about 14 months. As your child gets more active, it can be just as tiring for the parents and you may find you need this down time as much as your child does. Resting during nap time will help you stay vigilant when they are awake, so you can keep your child out of trouble.

3. Time to Bottle-Wean

image002If your child is not using a sippy cup yet, start offering one during feeding time. However, do not introduce new drinks in the cup as this can be too much of a change. Do not let your child walk around with their bottle, but make them sit with you or at the table. With time you can start offering a snack before bed instead of a bottle. Try to encourage your child to use a stuffed animal or blanket for comfort at bedtime rather than their bottle to encourage this transition.

4. Use Baby Signing

Your child may become frustrated because they cannot communicate their needs to you. Baby signing can help with this period until your child can speak more fluently. Teach your child signs they can use when they need a drink, are hungry or have other basic needs. It has been found that teaching sign language can also help your child learn speech more quickly.

5. Buy Your Baby the First Pair of Shoes

As your child learns to walk, it is time to start thinking about shoes. Prioritize comfort over looks when selecting shoes. You may need to work with a sales person to measure your child’s feet and find a shoe that has plenty of room for growth while offering plenty of comfort. You may find that as your child grows you will be shoe shopping every 2-3 months.

6. Buy Suitable Toys and Keep Them Fresh

Your 1 year old baby will need toys that encourage discovery and physical development. Foot-to-floor or ride on toys, play sets or musical instruments are great suggestions. It is ideal to introduce new toys a few at a time to avoid having your child get overwhelmed. As your child starts to get toys with multiple pieces like jigsaw puzzles, you may want to start saving the gift boxes or other containers that you can use to keep everything organized and put away.

7. Have Their First Full Physical Exam

Watch this video to learn what to expect at the checkup when your baby turns 1 year old: