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Baby Development: Your 1-Year-Old

One Year Baby Milestones: Communication

Your baby’s vocabulary is expanding quickly. You’ll probably hear a few words, like “Mama,” “Dada,” “no,” or “uh-oh” on a regular basis now. One-year-olds learn language by imitating their parents’ speech, so expect that your baby will turn into a little mimic, if she hasn’t done so already. At this point, mama really refers to mama, and dada really means dada.

By one year, babies are becoming more social. They are starting to understand what people are saying to them, and they are using their newfound language skills to get the attention of those around them. In month 12, your baby will also start testing the limits, which can include responding to your requests with a “no” or even throwing a tantrum. Be firm and let your child know that these behaviors are not acceptable. Meanwhile, reward good behaviors with praise or a treat.

Your baby will prefer certain people to others now. You can see her becoming shy or anxious around strangers, and clinging to you when you try to leave. Both stranger and separation anxieties will pass. For now, be sympathetic to your baby’s worries. When you have to go out, make leaving as quick and painless as possible and assure your baby that you will return soon.

One Year Baby Milestones: Baby’s First Shoes

Now that your baby may be starting to walk, it’s time to think about buying that first pair of baby shoes. Though you might be tempted to reach for the cutest shoes on the shelf, comfort and fit are the most important priorities for your baby’s first pair of shoes. Go to a store that specializes in children’s shoes and ask a salesperson to measure your baby’s feet. Make sure there is enough room in the shoes for your baby’s feet to grow. You’ll probably need to go shoe shopping again in two or three months as your baby’s feet continue to grow.

Tips for Your Baby’s 12th Month:

  • One-year-olds love to explore. Provide plenty of opportunities for safe exploration by filling cabinets with unbreakable Tupperware containers, or putting large, different textured items inside a box.
  • If your child is a good climber, think about removing the bumpers from her crib now so that she doesn’t get a leg-up and fall over the top of the crib railing. 
  • At your one-year visit, check with your pediatrician to make sure your baby is up-to-date on all vaccinations.
  • Make sure that the house is still baby proof.


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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on June 14, 2012

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