Development and Characteristics of a Twelve Month Old Baby

Parenting September 27, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 12 Month Old Child



How I Grow

  • I may walk, but I still prefer to crawl. It’s faster!
  • I may also try to do other things while I’m walking, such as wave to you or pick up my favorite blanket.
  • I stand by pushing up from a squatting position.
  • I climb up and down stairs, if I have a chance.
  • I may even be able to climb out of a playpen or crib.
  • I hold things with one hand while I’m doing something else with the other hand.
  • I insist on feeding myself.
  • I use my hands to remove lids from jars.
  • I use my index finger to point to things.

How I Understand

  • I remember more because my memory is getting sharper.
  • I hunt for a toy and, even if I don’t find it right away, I can remember where I saw it last.
  • I keep trying to do something and may even solve the problem through trial and error.
  • I follow simple directions and understand most things you say to me.
  • I have favorites among people and toys.

How I Feel

  • I feel great that I have a personality all my own.
  • I’m developing a sense of humor and think a lot of things are funny.
  • I still don’t like being separated from you and am relieved when you return.
  • I feel secure and happy eating meals with my family.
  • I feel and show love and affection to my favorite people and things.

How I Respond

  • I trust people I know well.
  • I imitate people, even if they are not around.
  • I’m still afraid of strangers and unfamiliar places.
  • I am very definite about my likes and dislikes.

How I Talk

  • I repeat words I know. It’s good practice.
  • I babble away in phrases that sound like sentences.
  • I make up my own words to describe objects or people.
  • I may not talk as much once I walk well.
  • I use one word to express a whole thought.

For more information on your baby's development, check out developmental milestones at the American Academy of Pediatrics Web site or the Centers for Disease Contol at

Learn more about Your 12 Month Old Child from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.
Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by



This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.