Normal Development: 12 Months Old

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

12 month milestones


Daily Activities

  • Usually has 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”).
  • Understands a few simple words.
  • Says a few words (“mama”, “dada”, “ball”, “dog”).
  • Loves rhythms and rhymes.

Emotional and Behavioral Development

  • Seems more negative, for example, may resist naps, refuse certain foods, or throw occasional tantrums.
  • Continues to prefer people to toys.
  • Has developed a deep attachment to a few familiar people.
  • Loves to make parents laugh.
  • Is less anxious about strangers.
  • 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 difficult to describe exactly what should be expected at each stage of a child’s development. While certain behaviors and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide range of growth and behavior for each age is normal. These guidelines show general progress through the developmental stages rather than fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to reach some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

If you have any concerns about your child’s own pattern of development, check with your healthcare provider.

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, PhD, MPH and Robert Brayden, MD.
Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2010-01-27
Last reviewed: 2011-03-08
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.

Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 Index