During these months, your baby will learn to crawl on her hands and knees, and she may even start to walk. It's her first taste of independence, but it's also a time when she can be upset by being separated from you. It all adds up to opportunities to build her confidence and sense of security as she learns new things every day.
By the time she's 12 months old, you can expect your child to:
Prefer her mother or regular caregiver to all others
Be shy with strangers, and cry when her parent leaves
Respond to simple verbal requests
Look at the correct picture when the image is named
Imitate gestures; try to imitate words
Repeat sounds or gestures for attention
Find objects easily hidden while she watches you hide them
Crawl on her hands and knees
Walk holding furniture or independently
Feed herself with her fingers
Every baby develops at her own pace, so it's impossible to tell when your child will learn a particular skill. But here are some warning signs to watch for by the time your baby is 12 months old:
She does not crawl.
She cannot stand when supported.
She doesn't search for objects that are hidden while she watches.
She says no single words ("Mama" or "Dada").
She doesn't point to objects or pictures.
If you notice any of these warning signs, be sure to talk about them with your pediatrician at your child's next checkup.
Tips for Success
Continue to hold your baby often and talk to her about everyday things.
Read books to your baby every day.
Very young children enjoy seeing and hearing the same books over and over. Encourage your baby to look at the pictures and touch the book.
Recommended books include:
Baby Faces, Margaret Miller
The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
Good Night Baby, Cheryl Willis Hudson
Good Night Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
Smile!, Roberta Grobel Intrater
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Bill Martin, Jr.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
Daddy and Me, Karen Katz
"More, More, More" Said the Baby, Vera B. Williams
Jamberry, Bruce Degen
Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney
These books and more are available free at your local library.
Tips for Success
Encourage her to imitate gestures by playing games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.
Point out the names of things in picture books and ask her to point to them.
Teach your baby to make music using everyday household items. (What you will need: Pots, pans, plastic bowls and containers, a wooden or plastic spoon) Put the items on the floor. Give your baby a plastic or wooden spoon and encourage her to make music. Play music with her using your own spoon. Put on a CD in the background and encourage her to play along with the music.
Tips for Success
Introduce her to other children and adults.
Provide a safe place for her to crawl.
Exercise her large and small muscles by playing with a homemade rattle. (What you will need: beans, pasta, rice, crunchy cereal or other noisy food; an empty clear plastic bottle; glue) Put the uncooked beans, pasta, rice or cereal in the bottle. Glue the lid shut for safety. Roll the bottle around on the floor while you talk to your baby about the sounds.
Checkup and Immunizations
Take your baby to a pediatrician for checkups at 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. Talk about what your child is doing or not doing. Ask the doctor or nurse about any concerns or problems you're having with your child. Remember to bring her immunization record to each checkup.
Content provided courtesy of Success By 6 ™ of United Way of Greater Cincinnati