Infant Development: 12 Month Milestones

Hooray! You and your baby have made it through your first year! It’s a little bitter sweet as you watch your little baby growing up to a more independent child taking off on their own. They have probably achieved most of their firsts already and well on their way to doing more things that will amaze you.


Here’s a look at your baby’s 12 month infant development milestones:

  • Walks while holding one hand
  • Stands alone well and may even try walking alone
  • Can sit from standing position unassisted
  • Follows quick-moving objects
  • Says at least 3 or more words besides ‘mama’ and ‘dada’
  • Understands several words and their meanings
  • Can recognize an object by name
  • Displays affection

Do not be too concerned about your baby not walking yet by their first birthday (especially if they have been steadily hitting most of their milestones.) In fact, 3 out of 4 babies do not walk until about 13 1/2 months or later. My daughter didn’t walk until she was 15 months old while my son, at 9 months is eager to try to pulling up and taking his first steps. You can encourage cruising by giving your baby sturdy objects or furniture to pull up and hold onto. Just remember your baby will attempt his first steps when he is ready so don’t try to force them into it.

Keep in mind that babies will develop at their own rate and may do some but not of the above listed developmental skills. If you notice your baby hasn’t achieved any of these skills by the end of this month, consult with your doctor. It may be perfectly normal, though in some cases a delay in infant development could be an indication of a medical problem.

Other Things Baby May Be Doing

Because all babies are individual, some may develop quicker than others. Here are some other things your baby may be doing by the end of this month:

  • Displays independence when in familiar surroundings
  • Cling to mom or dad in strange situations
  • Look for an object where they last saw it
  • Imitates familiar sounds such as a dog barking or cat meowing

12 Month Check-Up

At your baby’s 12 month check-up, your doctor will likely ask you questions regarding baby’s eating and sleeping habits as well as their general infant development progress. Each doctor has different techniques in how they perform their assessments but here is what you can expect at this month’s check up.

  • Baby’s measurements: weight, length, and head circumference
  • Check vitals such as chest sounds, eyes, ears, nose and mouth
  • Perform an assessment on development to check ability to sit up, pull up, standing with or without support and walking if baby is already walking, reaching for objects, or further ‘tests’ by observation and your report on baby’s progress
  • Immunizations if you have chosen to vaccinate your child and they are in good health

If you have chosen to have your child immunized, this month they will receive their fourth dose of the Hib vaccine (depending on which type given) and the PCV vaccine. Generally at or after 12 months of age, they will also receive the following vaccines:

MMR Dose 1 of 2- protects children against the diseases measles, mumps, and rubella (aka German measles)
Varicella Dose 1 of 2 – protects against the chicken pox.

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