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12 Month Old Milestones [Knowing Your Baby’s Progress]

12-Month-Old Milestones [Knowing Your Baby’s Progress]

A year has passed, and your baby is growing up. While they’ll always be considered your baby, it’s important to remember they’d have to walk on their own two feet at some point.

You might wonder, “How do I know if my baby is growing up happy and healthy as a 12-month-old?”

Here’s everything you need to know about your baby’s 12-month-old milestones to ensure they’re progressing as they should.

Baby’s Developmental Milestones at 12 Months Old

Baby’s Developmental Milestones at 12 Months Old

Here’s an overview of the developments and changes in your baby:

  • Brain Development. When your baby reaches 12 months, their brain has doubled in size, ready to start absorbing information and helping them learn about the things around them.
  • Feeding. While you can still give your baby breast milk or formula, it’s usually the best time to start weaning them from the bottle unless recommended by their pediatrician. It’s also time for your little one to start eating solid food so they can start putting their pearly whites to work.
  • Sleeping. Babies usually sleep at around 11 hours at night during this age. They can still take two daily naps, adding up to 3 to 4 hours during the day, but it can drop lower as they become more active.

Besides these milestones, you can expect your little one to be more active and curious. This is a time for them to start learning about the world around them and gaining some independence.

You can start hearing them babble or say simple words while mimicking your actions and speech patterns.

Allow them to explore the world around them by letting them interact with it. Supervise them while they try to climb up the stairs or have them touch a leaf.

Since they’ll be standing at new heights, upgrading your house’s childproofing is best. Establish age-appropriate limitations that won’t restrict their curiosity and discovery.

Baby’s Growth at 12 Months Old

Baby’s Growth at 12 Months Old

Your baby is growing into a toddler, and you can physically notice the differences.

The average baby boy is usually around 21 pounds and 30 inches. On the other hand, the average baby girl is usually around 20 pounds and 29.5 inches. They can be slightly more or less than the average.

You can track this growth and consult your pediatrician about it. As long as they say your baby’s on the right track, there’s nothing to worry about.

Their growth can slow down a bit after their first birthday. During this time, you must also slow down with bottle feeding and slowly shift to a sippy cup.

You can start feeding your baby cow’s milk for extra vitamin D and fat for bone and brain development. Use reduced-fat (2 percent) milk if your family has a history of obesity.

Your 12-Month-Old Baby’s Health

Your 12-Month-Old Baby’s Health

A little after the first-year celebrations, you’d want to take your baby for their first-year checkup to help determine how well their health is.

You’d have to consider the following when it comes to your baby’s health:

Baby’s First Full Physical Examination

In your baby’s first year, their pediatrician will provide a complete examination and do a quick finger prick test for blood testing. This is to check for anemia and lead.

This is a great time to bring up your questions and concerns, especially with the changes that can happen along the way.

If you’ve also observed any symptoms of chronic diseases or there was a history of illness in your family, you can consult the pediatrician regarding prevention or maintenance.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

Babies usually get their hepatitis A vaccine at 12 to 23 months.

This will protect them from a contagious liver infection that can lead to liver failure in the future. The second dose is administered at least six months after the first shot.

Varicella Vaccine

Babies get the first dose of this vaccine from the ages of 12 to 15 months.

The second dose is administered between 4 and 6 years old. This will protect them from chicken pox, which is caused by the varicella virus.

MMR Vaccine

Like the varicella vaccine, this is also administered from ages 12 to 15 months, then 4 to 6 years old.

This help protect your baby from 3 contagious illnesses; measles, mumps, and rubella (also known as German measles).

Swimming Pool Safety

At this age, your baby might start to enjoy your outings more, especially with how common Filipino pool parties are.

However, they can be very dangerous to your babies.

Never leave them alone near a pool, and have a fence surrounding the pool if possible. You can also enroll them in swimming lessons for an early start at swimming and to strengthen their muscles and cardiovascular fitness.

Medical Conditions to Look Out For

It’s also important to keep an eye out for the following medical conditions your baby might encounter:


This chronic condition constricts the airways in the lungs due to inflammation. You would usually hear a distinct wheezing sound that helps determine an impending attack.

They are common in the early hours of the morning or at night. They’re common when your baby has had a respiratory infection, like a cold, or it’s triggered by stress.

It can vary from person to person, so it’s best to contact your pediatrician if you notice your baby having any wheezing episodes.

Hay Fever or Allergic Rhinitis

This is an allergic reaction to different allergens that irritate the nose and respiratory system, like dust, pollen, pet hair, or mold. Common symptoms include red, itchy eyes, constant sneezing, and a runny nose.

While it can cause similar symptoms to a common cold, it can also cause coughing, nosebleeds, clear discharge from the nose, persistent throat clearing, and dark circles under the eyes.

These tend to be genetic, so if you notice that your baby is showing symptoms and you have a family history of this condition, you should consult your pediatrician for a proper diagnosis and available treatment options.

Diarrhea and Constipation

During this time, your baby will be trying new food, which can take a while for their body to adapt to.

Introduction to cow’s milk can cause occasional diarrhea, especially if your baby is lactose intolerant. If you notice your baby crying while passing a bowel movement or their stools seem hard, they can be experiencing constipation.

Contact your pediatrician so they can recommend if the baby needs their diet adjusted or if you should add something to help with constipation. It’s imperative to inform the pediatrician about constipation if it’s accompanied by fever or vomiting.

Tips on Postpartum and Your 12-Month-Old

Tips on Postpartum and Your 12-Month-Old

Handling a 12-month-old might seem like a lot of work.

Here are a few tips to ensure that your soon-to-be-toddler is always safe and healthy while they do their daily activities.

Playing With Food

For a toddler, feeding time is more than just eating food. They might also want to experiment and experience the food itself.

It can get quite messy, but it’s best to be patient with them. This is the best time for them to learn about food and eating. You can still set simple limits and learn to say no when they start flinging their food.

Avoid overreacting to them playing with their food. They love using that to get your attention; overreactions mean it’s working.

Try to give them squishy foods to help them learn about different textures and what to do with them. They’re also easier to chew and swallow, especially for babies still growing their teeth.

If you want less mess and experimenting, try giving them finger foods. Keep the portions small and the choices few. Big portions and many choices can overwhelm them.

Let your baby learn to eat as much or as little as they want. It will be a skill they’ll carry to adulthood.

Learn About Tub Safety

Bathtime can be more stressful, especially if your toddler doesn’t even want to sit down. Their discovery of their mobility skills means always wanting to be on the move.

Learn to keep them distracted while bathing them. Work as fast as you can unless your baby’s really dirty.

Usually, you only need a few quick swipes of your washcloth and soap to get the job done. However, things may be different if they’re extra wriggly.

You can try the following to distract them from the bath:

  • Fill and empty cups
  • Blow bubbles
  • Splash around, if your baby’s up for it
  • Sing them a silly bathtime song
  • Float and sink ships

You can also use tools, like bath seats, to help keep them in place. It also makes bath time safer, especially with how easy it is for a baby to drown in even two inches of water.

Try not to pay too much attention to their wriggling. Any smile or scolding can reinforce their behavior and encourage them to repeat it in the future.

Keep Essentials Organized

Your baby gear should always be complete if you want to care for your baby. By keeping them prepared and organized, you don’t have to worry about having to take your eyes off your baby to get them.

Tale note of the following essentials you should always have for your baby:

  • Baby Toys: Your baby might’ve outgrown some toys they’ve had since they were infants. Start updating their toys to something more suitable for their age and stage of development. Look into shape sorters, musical toys, and push-and-pull toys. You can also look into different flip books to help them learn about reading and pictures. Have their toys in a little bin and basket to keep them all organized. These toys will keep your baby entertained for hours.
  • Humidifier: This is best for homes with dry air to keep your baby comfortable, especially when they have a cough or cold.
  • Child-Proof Cabinet Locks: Your baby will discover the power of their opposable thumbs and might end up opening random cabinets. This can lead to accidents, which we want to avoid as much as possible. Have locks specifically designed to keep your children out of dangerous cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom, as well as your utility cabinets and drawers.
  • Diapers, Wipes, and Diaper Rash Cream: Stay well-stocked when it comes to these materials, especially since you’re still going to be changing nappies often. Have shelves specifically for these items. It’s also important to keep your baby bag well-stocked with these materials in case you have a spontaneous trip or need to leave the house.
  • Diaper-Changing Station: It’s best to have these around your house, especially if you live in a place with more than one floor. As much as possible, have a station for each floor. It’s also great to have a few changes of clothes in those spots too, so you don’t always have to go through your baby’s closet every time you change them.
  • Baby Thermometer: Your baby can be infected by a sick family member or other kids in the daycare you leave them in. Have a thermometer in your first-aid kit so you can easily take your baby’s temperature if you see signs of a fever.
  • Toddler Car Seat: You might want a toddler car seat or convertible car seat to make traveling with your baby much easier.

Besides these items, having a room in your house where you don’t have baby things is essential.

This will be a great way to take a break from parenthood while others look after your baby. After all, it can be difficult to look after your baby if you’re not well-rested yourself.

Let Baby Practice Walking

Your baby has the energy to burn, so let them stand and move around on their own two legs. While you can watch over and guide them, it’s also the best time to teach them a bit of independence.

Give them push toys, like a pint-sized stroller, to support them while they can walk around. Many of these toys can also have a place to put other toys they can find along the way.

You can also encourage your baby to toddle over to you by holding out their favorite toy for them to take. Sit a few steps away to have them come to you.

Walking practice is a great way to fine-tune your baby’s locomotion skills and explore the world around them.

Pulling Hair

If your toddler loves to pull your hair, it’s best to give them an alternative to entertain your senses, preferably one that doesn’t cause anyone pain.

Whenever the hair-pulling starts, it’s usually them being curious about the texture and feeling of hair in their hands.

Try to keep them busy with finger games and songs that can catch their attention. Some of the most common ones are the Itsy Bitsy Spider or Bahay Kubo.

You can also tickle their senses by using different fabrics– anything furry, silky, soft, and fuzzy. Try having a faux-fur pillow around for them to stroke to give them some tactile stimulation.

What to Know When Buying Stuffed Toys

Stuffed toys can be great companions for your baby. They’re soft, fluffy, and totally safe for almost any toddler.

However, there are still factors you need to consider when buying them.

These are the things you need to know and AVOID when you’re buying stuffed toys for your toddler:

  • Buttons, Beads, and Other Small Objects. Avoid features that can easily fall or be chewed off, like accessories, clothing, and other accessories. Things sewn or glued onto the stuffed toy’s main body can easily be removed if your baby puts too much force on it. Those items can also end up in our baby’s mouth if they get too curious about it.
  • Strings. Anything stringy with lengths of more than six inches, like hair, ribbons, or leashes, should be removed or avoided. These can wrap around your baby, which can lead to suffocation.
  • Wire. Check every part of your baby’s stuffed toys to ensure they’re all wire-free. Even if it’s covered with the toy’s “fur,” it can still poke through and injure your baby, especially if they pull too much or occasionally put pressure on specific parts of the toy.

Besides these features, it’s important to remember that stuffed toys require much maintenance. Like pillows, these furry friends can collect dust and other allergens.

Know how you should clean them and wash them as frequently as possible.

Soothing Your Sore Arms

Do your arms hurt more often from picking your baby up?

You might have what’s known as DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis or mother’s thumb. This is the inflammation of the thumb tendon, which can cause pain, especially in the inner parts of your wrist or thumb.

It’s caused by excessive wrist use while lifting your baby. Most of your baby’s weight is usually supported by your wrists and shoulders when you do this. Fluid retention can also contribute to inflammation and pain.

You can try the following to help lessen the daily pain you might feel:

  • Use armrests or pillows while you’re nursing.
  • Use a baby carrier or sling to transfer some weight to your back.
  • Use a heating pad to soothe your sore muscles.
  • Work out with weights to strengthen your shoulders and arms.
  • Switch arms often while you’re carrying your baby.

If the pain persists, your physician can recommend a splint to help you. Others can recommend cortisone injection or surgery, especially for more extreme cases.

It’s important to rest your wrists as much as possible. Yes, parenthood never stops. However, it can be more challenging to take care of your baby if you’re not well yourself.


Let’s discuss the common questions about the milestones of a 12-month-old baby.

What Should My 12-Month-Old Be Doing?

At this age, expect your baby to be more active. They will naturally start working on their motor skills, so it’s best to give them the space to do so.

You’ll find them trying to get up on their own two feet to work on their first steps or trying to feed themselves when it comes to finger foods.

You can also expect them to start communicating with you. They would try to imitate your words or use simple gestures to convey their thoughts. They can babble and would learn to say words like “mama” or “dada.”

Games are a great way to get your baby to use their energy while working on their motor and cognitive skills.

As your baby learns and moves more, I recommend supervising them while providing enough space to start learning to be independent. Start to establish simple rules with your baby to keep them safe during this stage in life.

What Cognitive Milestones Should I Expect at 12 Months?

You can expect your baby to start getting extra curious about the littlest things at this age.

They will start to explore many objects in different ways. Give them a chance to manipulate their toys in different ways, like shaking, throwing, dropping, and more.

They can also start imitating your gestures and words and can identify objects if you name them to them. While they might babble as a response, it lets you know they’re processing and understanding all this information.

You can expect them to know how to find things. If you hide their plushie under a blanket or behind a pillow, they will know how to look for them.

You might see them start using everyday objects correctly from seeing you use them. They can drink from a cup, brush their hair, dial a phone, and listen to its receiver.

At this age, your baby will start learning about their world. Be present and guide them through this learning process while allowing them to practice independent thinking.

What Is the Average Weight of a 12-Month-Old Baby?

Their average weights are usually around 21 pounds for boys and 20 pounds for girls.

They can go higher or lower than these, depending on many factors. Genetics, diet, existing or past illnesses, and more can affect your baby’s weight.

If you’re unsure if your baby’s at a healthy weight, it’s best to consult your pediatrician. You can track these and make the necessary changes to have your baby in a healthier weight range.


The year that passed may seem like a blur, and your baby is now a toddler.

While your baby might strive for independence, they’ll still need you to help them through their first steps.
Encourage them to explore the world around them and guide them as they face even more changes in the coming months.

Sky Bustillo
Sky Bustillo

Hi, I’m Sky!
As a Filipina in her mid-20s, a sister to young ones, and a tita to my nieces and nephews, I somehow share the same sentiment as other parents. I have a growing aspiration of becoming a mom someday!
But there also comes a worry that you won’t be able to give the best to your children, especially with the food they eat, the products they use, and the new habits and hobbies we introduce to them.
Your kid’s safety and welfare are your top priority, that’s why I always make it to a point to learn from the stories and experiences of other moms.
It’s a delight to share what I learned and know to help the moms close to my heart, and this time, I’m writing to relay advice to you from the insights of other moms and my experience around kids, too.
I’d love to be a part of your journey, and I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful for you and your young one!