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Normal Development: 12 Months Old

Here's what you might see your baby doing between 12 months and 15 months old.

Daily Activities

  • Usually follows a definite daily pattern.
  • Opens cabinets, pulls tablecloths.
  • Usually examines an object before putting into mouth.
  • Likes to feed self.

Language Development

  • Expresses complete thought with single syllable ("da" means "I want that").
  • Shows definite understanding of a few simple words.
  • Utters a few words ("mama", "dada", "ball", "dog").
  • Loves rhythms and rhymes.

Emotional and Behavioral Development

  • Shows more negativism (may resist naps, refuse certain foods, throw occasional tantrums).
  • Continues to prefer people to toys.
  • Has developed a deep attachment to a few familiar people.
  • Loves to make parents laugh.
  • Shows somewhat less stranger anxiety.
  • May give up something on request.

Motor Skills

  • Usually walks with assistance; may walk without assistance.
  • Crawls rapidly.
  • Stands alone.
  • Seats self on floor.

Each child is unique. It is therefore difficult to describe exactly what should be expected at each stage of a child's development. While certain attitudes, behaviors, and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide spectrum of growth and behavior for each age is normal. These guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general progression through the developmental stages rather than as fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to attain some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

If you have any concerns related to your child's own pattern of development, check with your health care provider.

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, PhD, MPH and Robert Brayden, MD.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2006-10-05
Last reviewed: 2006-04-27
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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