Important Milestones: By the End of 1 Year (12 Months)

It is your child’s first birthday. How has your child grown and developed in the past year? Is your child exploring objects? Can your child sit without your help? Use the “Learn the Signs. Act Early” fact sheet to find out what usually happens when a child is twelve months old. You can also use the fact sheet to talk with your child's doctor about the growth and development milestones.

The following fact sheet is provided courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control’s "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Campaign.


Social and Emotional
Cognitive
Language
Movement
Hand and Finger Skills
Developmental Health Watch

one year old childBabies develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when your child will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones listed below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect, but don’t be alarmed if your own baby’s development takes a slightly different course.

Social and Emotional

  • Shy or anxious with strangers
  • Cries when mother or father leaves
  • Enjoys imitating people in his play
  • Shows specific preferences for certain people and toys
  • Tests parental responses to his actions during feedings
  • Tests parental responses to his behavior
  • May be fearful in some situations
  • Prefers mother and/or regular caregiver over all others
  • Repeats sounds or gestures for attention
  • Finger-feeds himself
  • Extends arm or leg to help when being dressed

Cognitive

  • Explores objects in many different ways (shaking, banging, throwing, dropping)
  • Finds hidden objects easily
  • Looks at correct picture when the image is named
  • Imitates gestures
  • Begins to use objects correctly (drinking from cup, brushing hair, dialing phone, listening to receiver)

Language

  • Pays increasing attention to speech
  • Responds to simple verbal requests
  • Responds to “no”
  • Uses simple gestures, such as shaking head for “no”
  • Babbles with inflection (changes in tone)
  • Says “dada” and “mama”
  • Uses exclamations, such as “Oh-oh!”
  • Tries to imitate words

Movement

  • Reaches sitting position without assistance
  • Crawls forward on belly
  • Assumes hands-and-knees position
  • Creeps on hands and knees
  • Gets from sitting to crawling or prone (lying on stomach) position
  • Pulls self up to stand
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Stands momentarily without support
  • May walk two or three steps without support

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Uses pincer grasp
  • Bangs two objects together
  • Puts objects into container
  • Takes objects out of container
  • Lets objects go voluntarily
  • Pokes with index finger
  • Tries to imitate scribbling

Developmental Health Watch
Alert your child's doctor or nurse if your child displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Does not crawl
  • Drags one side of body while crawling (for over one month)
  • Cannot stand when supported
  • Does not search for objects that are hidden while he or she watches
  • Says no single words ("mama" or "dada")
  • Does not learn to use gestures, such as waving or shaking head
  • Does not point to objects or pictures
  • Experiences a dramatic loss of skills he or she once had

From CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD: BIRTH TO AGE 5 by Steven Shelov, Robert E. Hannermann, © 1991, 1993, 1998, 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Used by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

See PDF Version:
     Important Milestones: By the End of 1 Year (12 Months)  [PDF, 192KB]

"Important Milestones: By the End of One Year (12 Months)." Learn the Signs. Act Early. DHHS/CDC. 2005. English.

Last Reviewed: December 2010

Last Updated: September 5, 2014