Your Baby's Abilities
As your baby continues to grow, you will notice new and exciting abilities that develop. While babies may progress at different rates, the following are some of the common milestones your child may reach in this age group:
- Pulls up to a standing position
- Can sit back down from standing position
- Walks around holding onto furniture
- May stand next to furniture without holding on
- May walk holding on to your finger or hand
- May begin to take steps and walk on own
- Plays "ball," receiving and returning a rolled ball
- Able to pick up food and small objects with fingers
- Can feed self finger foods
- Drinks from cup with spout
- Can turn pages in a book, often several at a time
- New teeth continue to erupt; may have four to six teeth by 1 year of age
- May need to take two naps a day and may be able to sleep up to 12 hours at night without a feeding
- May wake up at night looking for parents
Your Baby's Communication
Speech development is very exciting for caregivers as they watch their babies become social beings who can interact with others. While every baby develops speech at their own rate, the following are some of the common milestones in this age group:
- Says da-da and ma-ma and knows who these persons are
- Imitates sounds and some speech
- May say two words other than ma-ma, da-da
- Imitates animal sounds in response to questions (i.e., "What does the cow say?")
What does my baby understand?
Babies at this age become much more aware of others as well as themselves. They are not yet confident that mother will return when she leaves.
While children may progress at different rates, the following are some of the common milestones children may reach in this age group:
- Recognizes familiar objects and pictures in books, and may point to some objects when asked, "Where is the …?"
- Follows a one-step command with the parent having to show the child how to do it
- Has preferences for people and toys, and may have a favorite toy or blanket
- Is curious and wants to explore
- Moves to music
- Drops objects on purpose for others to pick up
- Points and motions for objects and actions
- May begin to pretend simple activities, such as cleaning or drinking from cup
How does my baby interact with others?
Separation anxiety and fear of strangers are common at this age. Separation anxiety is discomfort and fear related to being separated from parents or primary caregivers regardless of whether they are actually leaving the presence of the child. This experience is an important part of the bonding relationship with the caregiver.
While every child is unique and will develop a distinct personality, the following are some of the common behavioral traits that may be present in your child:
- Fear and anxiety of strangers; may cling to parents / primary caregivers
- Waves bye-bye
- Cries or shows emotions when told "no"
Development and Emotional Security
Consider the following as ways to foster emotional comfort of your baby:
- Walk away for short periods while your baby plays in a safe area to help teach them that you will come back each time.
- Slowly introduce your baby to new people and things.
- Look at picture books with your baby and talk about the pictures.
- Give your baby finger foods and help them to use a spoon, but allow your baby to do it alone. Do not worry if your baby makes a mess, as learning is important.
- Read stories to your baby every day.
- When your baby asks for something by pointing, name the object as you give it to him / her.
- Hold and cuddle your baby often.
- Continue a bedtime routine of cuddling, rocking and soothing.
- Respond to your baby if they awaken and cry at night, but avoid turning on the light or picking up or holding your baby. (Limit your interactions to soothing talk and patting, telling your baby it is time for sleep.)