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Developmental Milestones for Your (Almost) Toddler

Infant Indoor Play

Turning 12 months old is a big promotion in children’s development as well as age, as babies become toddlers. At one year, they are learning to take first steps with a little help from the couch, and then on their own. They begin in earnest to mimic gestures and actions to be more like those around them.

While each child grows at his or her own rate, Help Me Grow offers the following development milestones as typical for a 12-month-old, to help monitor a toddler’s progress:

  • Pulls to stand, and walks holding onto furniture
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
  • Says “mama” and “dada”
  • Shows preference for certain people and toys
  • Imitates gestures, sounds and actions
  • Puts objects in and out of containers
  • Tries to say words
  • Cries when you leave and is shy around strangers
  • Looks at the correct picture when it is named
  • Enjoys playing games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
  • Shows affection with familiar people

Parents and caregivers can encourage a child’s development. For a 12-month-old, adults should:

  • Include the toddler at family meals
  • Play, read, sing and talk to the toddler
  • Let the toddler turn pages when looking at a book together
  • Help the toddler learn limits by saying “no” in a firm, quiet voice and by providing choices
  • Use words to tell the toddler what comes next
  • Develop and maintain consistent routines
  • Talk to the child’s health care provider or refer the child through Help Me Grow if the child isn’t babbling, pointing or gesturing by 12 months old

Developmental milestones help you understand what’s typical in a child’s development. To learn more about these milestones and how to encourage a child’s progress at different ages, visit helpmegrowmn.org.

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