Your baby at 1 year

Wow! You’ve come to the end of your first year with your baby. So much has happened since those early days and now you have an increasingly independent little person.

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What’s happening with your baby?

By 12 months, she may have reached the following stages:

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Early walking: Wahey – she may be starting to take her first steps. Some babies will being tottering around one year, although plenty won’t walk until 14 months, and some not before 18 months, so don’t worry if she’s resolutely bottom bound at the moment.

Trying to feed herself: Your baby’s hand control and pincer grip are really improving, enabling her to pick up a spoon and aim it into her mouth. She won’t be able to feed herself whole meals yet but you can encourage her to try to feed herself bits and pieces, with one spoon for her and one for you. Be prepared for lots of mess!

Who’s that cat? This is a really fun time when she starts understanding that pictures relate to real-life objects – for example, that the cat in her storybook is like Grandma’s cat.

How you can help your baby this month

Sudden fussy eating: Is your lovely eater shutting her mouth all of a sudden, turning her head and refusing your food? Don’t take it personally, this is the time when she’s starting to show her independence, and what more powerful place to do it than at the dinner table. Try to make mealtimes fun and be positive, rather than getting stressed when most of your lovely meal ends up splatted on the floor.

Don’t be scared: Although in some areas, your baby will be growing hugely in confidence, she may find other experiences suddenly very frightening. Research shows that most children have one fear from around 12 months – this can include fear of cats, dogs, insects and the dark. If your baby does get very frightened, don’t make a fuss but reassure her that she will be fine and carry on with your normal routine.

Your baby’s health

Moving to cows’ milk: Now she’s reached her first birthday she can start drinking cow’s milk as her main milk drink. You also don’t need to sterilise bottles anymore – hurrah! Make sure you make the most of those extra minutes you’ve saved each day. If you’re still partially breastfeeding, there’s no reason to stop – some mums continue to breastfeed their toddlers.

Play ideas for your baby

Push and pull toys: Encourage her desire to start standing on her own two feet and walking, with toys that need to be pushed or pulled. Walkers with coloured bricks that she can put in and out when she’s taking a break from pushing, are a great way to keep her entertained.

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Your baby’s development may not be exactly the same as these descriptions since all children will develop at their own pace. This is an approximate guide of some of the new skills your little one may be developing. If you have any concerns, always speak to your health visitor or GP.

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