Happy birthday baby! Can you believe that your little one is already a year old? He is probably starting to live up to the name ‘toddler’ as well.
Your Child’s Development
There will be more than one milestone at 1 year old so watch out as your little one may start walking soon and talking too (if he hasn't already). Your baby will start to master these amazing milestones, and although he may still hold on to the furniture as he manoeuvres around the house, he is probably letting go and taking a few steps on his own as well. All children are different and some will walk earlier or later than twelve months, so if your baby is not walking yet, don’t worry. It will happen before you know it. To encourage the development of this large motor skill, make sure that your baby has lots of playtime outside or on the floor in a safe place where he cannot get hurt. He will fall down, so just make sure that there are no objects in the way that could result in a bump on the head. It’s important at this time to not overuse a walker or a stationary activity centre, the idea is to get him up and used to putting weight on his legs. You can also hold his hands and walk with him (although this can be tiring for mum, so a visit from an enthusiastic aunty or friend can help). When he feels ready, he will take off on his own.
At 12 months, your baby's digestive system will be ready to cope with regular milk as it can now handle the protein found in cow's milk. Just make sure that you use whole milk since the fat present in whole milk is necessary for the development of your baby.
Your baby’s fine motor skills will be greatly improved this month too. You will see him pick up very small objects, feed himself rather well, hold his own drinking cup, and even put small items in holes. This is why shape sorters and blocks are highly recommended at this age.
Playtime is crucial to your child's development, and you will notice your one year old interacting in play and pretending much more. Perhaps he is pretending to talk on the phone, or drive a car, by imitating the people in the world around him, he learns how, what, when, and why.
Your baby’s vocabulary is continuing to grow this month. He probably has a couple of words that he intentionally uses that you can clearly understand now. Sometimes you may be the only one who understands his special language, although in his mind, everything he says has a special meaning. Like most parents, you are amazed with each new word that he learns, and your encouragement and involvement is still critical to his learning, so keep talking back to him, reading him stories and singing songs.
Behaviour changes dramatically around the one year mark. Some children will suddenly become anxious when they are separated from mum and dad, where they were never anxious before. Some will become attached to an item like a blanket or a teddy bear, and will have a meltdown if the item is forgotten or lost. Other children can all of a sudden become extremely picky eaters. In addition to these odd developments, your sweet little angel may now be hitting his siblings or you, being mean to the family pet, and not wanting to share his toys. Although these changes can leave you feeling frazzled at times, they are typical behaviours of a one year old and nothing to be concerned about, but gentle correction is recommended so that they learn what is acceptable behaviour, Your child is trying to figure out this new feeling of independence that he has, and in time, he will.