Celebrate the first year of your baby’s life by monitoring key milestones. Every child is wonderfully unique, but there are certain developmental milestones your child should reach before they turn 12 months old. Explore these five signs as you prepare for your 12 month checkup.
1. Start Solid Foods
Breastmilk or formula should be the only food your infant eats until around 6 months. At this stage, you should be introducing some solid foods. Ideally, these foods should have the following features:
- Soft or pureed
- Single ingredient
- Iron and zinc
These foods should supplement a diet of mostly breastmilk or formula until your baby is around 12 months old, when you can start the weaning process and transition to a diet of solid foods and cow’s milk.
2. Use Simple Gestures and Words
The 12 months is a time of immense changes, including language. After a busy year of feeding, changing diapers and sleepless nights, your infant should be able to say at least one or two words, typically “mama” and “dada” or other first words.
3. Explore Items
Babies are naturally curious about the wide world around them. There are new things to explore every day, so babies should have several ways to explore the objects around them. At around 12 months, an important cognitive milestone is playing with items in multiple ways.
One-year-old babies should shake, throw and bang objects. If a toy or other object is hidden, infants at this stage should be able to find them easily.
4. Crawl and Cruise
Can your baby crawl or pull up to a standing position? While some infants don’t walk until they are 18 months old, one-year-old infants should be able to crawl and cruise.
Speak with your doctor if your 12-month-old can’t crawl or stand with support. Some babies are already walking independently at one year old, but you shouldn’t worry if your little one hasn’t hit this milestone yet.
5. Sleep at Night
The first few months of your baby’s life can be very exhausting. Whether you’re a parent or grandparent, your nightly routine with a one-year-old should be more comfortable than it was with a one-month-old.
At 12 months of age, babies typically sleep around 11 hours, including one or two naps. If you’re still having issues with sleep, you may need to speak with your doctor or use a Dream Sack for a more comfortable sleeping experience.