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Your Child at 12 Months:

What Most Children Do at This Age:

Social / Emotional

•Is shy or nervous with strangers

•Cries when mom or dad leaves

•Has favorite things and people

•Shows fear in some situations

•Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story

•Repeats sounds or actions to get attention

•Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing

•Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”


Language / Communication

•Responds to simple spoken requests

•Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”

•Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)

•Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”

•Tries to say words you say


Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

•Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing

•Finds hidden things easily

•Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named

•Copies gestures

•Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair

•Bangs two things together

•Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container

•Lets things go without help

•Pokes with index (pointer) finger

•Follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”


Movement / Physical Development

•Gets to a sitting position without help

•Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”)

•May take a few steps without holding on

•May stand alone



Act Early by Talking to Your Child’s Doctor if Your Child:

•Doesn’t crawl

•Can’t stand when supported

•Doesn’t search for things that she sees you hide

•Doesn’t say single words like “mama” or “dada”

•Doesn’t learn gestures like waving or shaking head

•Doesn’t point to things

•Loses skills he once had

"The beginning of something is always important, especially when it is young and needs time to grow." ~Plato

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