12-Month-Old Baby — Development Milestones, Growth, Feeding, And More

by Team Scary Mommy
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12 month old baby
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It may be hard to believe, but your baby is 1-year-old. *Hugs* Happy birthday to your little ray of sunshine! This year has flown by in a blur of diapers, blankies, doctor’s visits, giggles and the sweetest snuggles you’ve ever had. And now, you officially have a toddler on your hands.

Or, to be more accurate, anywhere but your hands. Because at this age, your little one wants to explore everything as you engage in baby activities with them.Whether they’re still crawling and cruising or have taken their first steps, they’re exerting their newfound independence at every turn.

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Naturally, you’re probably curious whether your 12-month-old baby is on the right track. Well, here are some of the milestones you might see over the next few weeks.

Your 12-Month-Old Baby’s Development & Growth Milestones

How much should a 12-month-old weigh?

Just like last month, you may notice that baby’s weight gain has slowed a bit — this is normal since your little one is expending a lot of energy these days. As a general rule of thumb, they’re probably putting on between 3 to 5 ounces per week. But watch out! Growth spurts at this age are common.

Per the World Health Organization, the average weight for a 1-year-old baby girl is 19.10 pounds. The average weight for a 1-year-old baby boy is 21.3 pounds. If your baby hasn’t hit these averages yet, it’s probably nothing to worry about. Have they been steadily progressing in weight as they grow? That’s what’s important. Babies come in all different shapes and sizes. If you’re worried something is off, though, reach out to your healthcare provider.

How much and how often do you feed a 12-month-old baby?

Up to this point, breastmilk and/or formula is typically has been baby’s main source of nutrition — and Stanford Children’s Health still recommends baby gets between 24 to 30 ounces per day, spread out between 3 to 4 feedings. However, this may also be the month your baby begins to really change their breast- or bottle- feeding habits. They may act reticent to breast- or bottle-feed in favor of eating more solids. Heck, you may have to work hard to get them to eat much of anything. One-year-olds are notoriously fickle, but their appetite usually wanes because they simply don’t need as many calories as they did as an infant. They’re also better at indicating when they are hungry (or not).

Between solids and breastmilk and/or formula, baby should be eating or drinking around every 2 to 3 hours (so 5 or 6 times per day). This works out to around 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks.

What solids can a 12-month-old eat?

Stanford Children’s Health recommends integrating the following foods into your 12-month-old baby’s menu: 5 to 8 tablespoons of dry, iron-fortified infant cereal mixed with formula or breastmilk; 2 to 4 tablespoons of mashed or strained cooked fruits, 2 times per day; 2 to 4 tablespoons of mashed, soft, bite-sized pieces of vegetables, 2 times per day; and 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely chopped table meats, and fish without bones or mild cheese, 2 times per day.

Since baby is probably ready for finger foods now, snacks are life. Snacks for your 12-month-old baby might include avocado, toast, unsalted/unsweetened rice cakes, hard-boiled eggs, omelet “fingers,” cucumber slices, baby puffs, plain yogurt, cooked green beans, arrowroot cookies, cottage cheese, and pudding.

How much milk should my 12-month-old baby be drinking?

If you’re breastfeeding, keep on keeping on. But if you’ve been formula feeding baby, you might be ready to make the switch over to cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this would be the first month suitable for making the switch. During the first year, cow’s milk and low-iron formulas may not be tolerated well by baby’s digestive system. At 1-year-old, your baby should consume about 16 to a maximum of 23 ounces of whole milk per day.

If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk — or if you prefer alternatives for other reasons — ask your pediatrician for a plant-based alternative. Examples include soy milk, tree nut milk rice milk, oat milk, hemp milk, and more.

How much should a 12-month-old be sleeping?

We’ve got good news and some not as good news. So, for the good news first: Toddlers need about 11 to 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. On the high end of that spectrum, 11 hours of that sleep takes place during the night. That means more sleep for you, right? Well, maybe.

Around 12 months of age, your baby might start to resist going to bed and, when they do go to sleep, they might experience restlessness. Baby might also suffer through nightmares of, worse, night terrors. If doubling down on your schedule and creating a relaxing nighttime routine don’t help, talk to baby’s pediatrician.

Your 12-Month-Old Baby’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones

How many teeth should a 12-month-old baby have?

Some babies’ teeth start to erupt as early as 6-months-old (or sooner!). But teething typically happens between 6 and 12 months. That means your baby might have some cute little toofies — c’mon, we’re all moms here — coming in right around now. The first tooth to come in is usually a middle front tooth on the lower jaw, called the central incisor, which usually presents between months 9 and 10. At 11 months, baby might get their lateral incisor, which is the tooth on the lower jaw next to their central incisor. At 12-months-old, your baby shark might see the lateral incisor on their upper jaw erupt.

Generally speaking, baby gets 1 tooth per month once their teeth start coming in. If your 12-month-old doesn’t have any teeth yet, mention it to baby’s pediatrician at this month’s wellness visit. Otherwise, start brushing any teeth that pop up with a tiny bit of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). You can also go ahead and schedule a dentist visit.

Can a 12-month-old baby walk?

Oh, Mama — you’re in for it now! At this age, your little firecracker is probably getting into everything. They can sit without support. They like to pull themselves to a standing position. They’re creeping, they’re crawling, they’re cruising. And, you guessed it, they might even be walking by now. At 1-year-old, your toddler could already be toddlin’ around.

Of course, it doesn’t mean your baby is behind-the-curve if they haven’t taken those first steps yet. As long as they’re usually their limbs equally and seem to be active otherwise, they might just be waiting until they feel ready. Some babies don’t walk until well after their first birthday, so rest easy.

What are some 12-month milestone red flags?

It can be totally normal for some babies to reach milestones ahead of schedule and others to move at a slower pace. Every kid is different, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the way they progress can be, too. But there are some red flags you can be on the lookout for when your baby is 12 months old.

Per the Mayo Clinic, call your baby’s doctor if your baby: doesn’t crawl or consistently drags one side of the body while crawling, doesn’t use gestures such as waving, doesn’t point to objects or pictures, doesn’t babble, or can’t stand with help.

What should baby say at 12-months-old?

Another super-fun thing about having a 12-month-old baby? Their language skills have grown by leaps and bounds! Although your little one probably isn’t fully speaking yet, the two of you are getting pretty good at this whole communication thing. They recognize words for common items, like “shoe” or “ball.” They turn and look in the direction of sounds, and they try to imitate speech sounds. They can understand simple instructions like “come here” or, our favorite, “give me a kiss.” Your baby might even be saying a few simple words, such as “mama,” “dada,” “oh-oh,” or “no.”

Reinforce their burgeoning language skills by reading to them as much as possible, repeating words out loud, and cheering them on when they learn a new word.

Your 12-Month-Old Baby’s Health

Does a 12-month-old need a checkup?

You’ve got a 1-year-old now — of course your doctor wants to see how much your little bean has sprouted. This will look a lot like a typical well-baby check-up. Your toddler’s weight, length, head circumference, and heart rate will be taken and recorded. Before you leave, you’ll likely get a card showing you where baby falls percentile-wise on the growth chart. Doctor will do a physical exam while your present with baby unclothed. And they’re going to want to ask you questions about important developments in your baby’s life, along with the basics like eating, pooping, and sleeping.

If your child is at risk for any particular disorders or conditions, your baby’s doctor may order additional tests.

What immunizations does a 12-month-old get?

The 12-month wellness check also brings the next round of immunizations. Depending on your doctor’s immunization schedule, your 12-month-old may receive vaccines to protect them from measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); hepatitis A (Hep A); chickenpox (Varicella); haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib); pneumococcal (PCV).

Written by Julie Sprankles.

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