12 Month Old Baby birthday cake

12 Month Old Baby

Your baby is 1-year-old!

Happy birthday baby! You’ve now got a 1-year-old on your hands! Baby’s been on an amazing journey in her first year, hasn’t she? And so have you, watching baby advance from rolling to cruising—maybe even walking unsupported. (If baby’s not there yet, don’t worry. Many toddlers start walking after their first birthday.) She’s probably pretty social now, waving “hi” and “bye” and likely using most 1-year-olds’ favorite word, “no,” while shaking her head. Make way for toddlerhood!

1-Year-Old Development

Your baby is probably still growing about a half inch each month and gaining three to five ounces per week. But look out: Many babies go through a growth spurt right around 12 months.

1-Year-Old Weight & Height
How much does a 1-year-old weigh and how tall is she? The average weight for a 1-year-old baby is 21.9 pounds for girls and 21.3 pounds for boys. Average height (formerly known as length) is 29.1 inches for girls and 29.8 inches for boys.

Baby’s probably tripled her birth weight and is about 10 inches longer than she was at birth.

Five Senses

  • Baby’s hearing is now super accurate, and she listens with closer attention than she used to.
  • She loves to look and listen at the same time, making reading books really fun and interesting.
  • Baby loves feeling different textures and cool sensations such as the feeling of water pouring from cup to cup in the bathtub.
  • Baby continues to feel everything with her hands and her mouth.

1-Year-Old Milestones

What Should My One-Year-Old Be Doing?

  • Sitting. Baby probably sits for long periods of time and can twist and turn to reach different toys.
  • Standing. About half of babies can stand for a few moments without support during month 12.
  • Walking. About one out of four babies this age are starting to walk. But don’t freak out if yours isn’t. The normal age range of first steps is 9 months to 17 months, so it’s still pretty early for your toddler (eek!) to be walking.
  • Talking. Baby is probably saying "dada,” "mama" and at least one other word. (And yes, if you understand what she means, it counts as a word!)
  • Understanding. Baby also understands one-step commands if you use gestures, such as when you ask her to pick up the ball or look at the dog.

Is My 12-Month-Old Baby Healthy?
Here are some frequent health questions parents of 12-month-olds have. Click through for answers and lots of helpful information.

1-Year-Old Food

In addition to formula or breast milk (and even a little whole milk), your baby is eating three meals and one to three snacks per day.

How much food for a 12-month-old baby?
One-year-olds are notorious for not eating a lot, so don’t worry too much if baby’s appetite starts to lessen over the next couple months. You can expect your child to eat about a quarter of a cup of each food group at every meal. Don’t worry too much about having her join the clean plate club. One-year-olds are very good at judging when they’re hungry and when they’re full, so if she stops, she’s had plenty to eat.

What Can Baby Eat?
Your 12-month-old baby can eat most things you do! So long as it’s nutritious and soft enough for her to gum if she doesn’t have many teeth yet.

If you’re looking for finger foods for 1-year-old baby, head here for some tasty and healthy recipes.

Can my 12-month-old baby drink regular milk now?
Yes, she can! Baby’s digestive system should be ready for cow’s milk, so you’re welcome to introduce it to her slowly.

How much whole milk for a 12-month-old baby?
Start with just a little bit—maybe add a few ounces to her formula or breast milk at each feeding, or offer a small cup at snack time. It might take a little while for her to get used to the taste.

1-Year-Old Feeding Schedule

Image: Megan Rubey

1-Year-Old Sleep

How much sleep should a 1-year-old get? One-year-olds still likely sleep about 13 to 14 hours per day. Roughly 10 to 11 of those hours are probably at night. A typical nap schedule for a 1-year-old baby consists of two naps that total three hours of daytime sleep. (Sometime before her second birthday, she’ll probably switch to just one nap per day, in the afternoon.)

1-Year-Old Sleep Schedule

Image: Megan Rubey

How to put a 1-year-old to sleep
Put your baby to sleep while she’s still awake! Having a baby who falls asleep on her own means she’s more likely to get easily back into a snooze state if she wakes up during the night. The most important thing is that you have a soothing bedtime routine that your toddler knows signals sleep-time. We personally like to give a bath (some nights), read a book, sing a song, hug and then turn out the lights.

When to introduce a toddler bed
Know that you shouldn’t be in a rush to get baby into a toddler bed. The crib is still safe for baby as long as he’s not climbing out of it, and many parents keep their toddler in a crib until they begin potty training, around age 2 or 3.

How to sleep-train a one-year-old baby
We commonly hear, “My one-year-old won’t sleep through the night!” Whether your 1-year-old has sleep regression or he’s never slept the whole night through, we get your desperation. If your one-year-old is not sleeping, you might turn to sleep-training in order to teach her to sleep better. Here are some basics on the practice. But know that sleep-training a 1-year-old baby is going to be a little different than it is for a younger baby— here are some toddler sleep-training tips.

What to do if your 1-year-old is sleeping a lot
Define a lot. Your growing toddler still needs much more sleep than you do—about 14 hours per 24 hour period. If it’s a lot more than that and you’re concerned baby might be sick, talk to the pediatrician for advice.

1-Year-Old Schedule

Looking for things to do with a 1-year-old baby? Go out and play! Toddlers love textures, so have baby go barefoot and crawl or walk around the yard to really feel the grass beneath her hands, knees and feet.

1-Year-Old Schedule Example
A 12-month-old baby’s daily schedule might look something like this.

Image: Megan Rubey

1-Year-Old Baby Checklist/Tips

  • Take baby to her 12-month checkup.
  • 1-year-old vaccine schedule: At 1-year-old, vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics are the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and chickenpox (varicella) immunizations. Baby’s doctor may also recommend the Hepatitis A vaccine and/or the fourth dose of the Hib and PCV13 vaccines, but those could also be given at the 15-month checkup.
  • Schedule baby’s 15-month checkup.
  • To help one-year old baby’s language development, read to her every day. If you speak a second language, use it around baby.
  • Check to make sure baby is in the correct car seat for his height, weight and age. In fact, Consumer Reports recommends a convertible car seat for a 12-month old baby. So it might be time to retire baby’s infant seat, in order to keep her safer.
  • Start weaning baby off the bottle (slowly switch to sippy cups) and the pacifier if she takes one.
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