Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Growth and Development, Ages 1 to 12 Months - Topic Overview

How can you help your baby during the first year?

The best things for your baby are often the most basic. Loving, holding, changing diapers for, talking to, and feeding your baby are the first things to focus on.

During the first year, other ways that you can help your baby grow and learn are to:

  • Respond to your baby's cries. Crying is your baby's way to tell you what he or she needs. If your baby has colic, do what you can to comfort him or her. Remember that colic is normal-and temporary. Your baby will grow out of it.
  • Help your baby learn. Talking, reading, and playing are all important ways to help your baby's mind grow.
  • Place your baby on his or her tummy, and play together. Also give your baby plenty of time to explore safely. This can help your baby gain the confidence to try new skills, such as crawling and walking, and to grow into a healthy toddler.
  • Keep your baby safe. Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Use a car seat every time your baby rides in a car.
  • Know that your baby is curious, but set limits. A baby age 1 month to 12 months is too young to know that there are certain ways he or she should behave. You may need to redirect your baby's attention. For example, if your baby tries to pull the dog's tail, you can find a toy to get your baby's attention and then move the dog to another area.

The first year of your baby's life is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Some days you may feel overwhelmed. Learning what is normal for babies at this age can help you spot problems early or feel better about how your baby is doing.

Ask for help when you need it. Call a family member or friend to watch your baby. If you need a break or don't feel well, ask your doctor or local hospital for some suggestions.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow