Skip to Main Content
12-Month Milestones

12-Month Milestones

Toddlers have their own timetable, so don’t worry if your little one does their own thing at their own pace. Here are some 12-month-old milestones to note in your child.

Medically reviewed by a board-certified pediatrician

12-month milestones for your toddler


  • Looks and listens simultaneously
  • Understands how to use many objects (cuddling a stuffed toy, shaking a rattle, putting a cup to their lips)

  • Understands that objects have names

  • Develops object permanence (looks for an object that’s hidden under a blanket knowing it hasn’t disappeared under there)

  • Has increasing attention span (up to 15 minutes)

  • Attracted to novelty (curious about new toys, objects)

  • Explores playthings in multiple ways (touches, bangs, drops)

  • Increasingly displays memory of recent events

  • Follows one-step commands, such as, “Lift your arm”


  • Can pick up small objects with fingers (pincer grasp) 
  • Coordination for releasing objects from their grasp improves

  • Points and pokes with index finger

  • Develops self-feeding skills, although messily

  • Drinks from a cup with a spout or an open cup with support

  • May be able to put things into containers

  • Crawls quickly

  • Crawls up stairs

  • Pulls up to a standing position

  • May stand independently for brief periods

  • May cruise along furniture

  • May take first steps or even walk


  • Uses gestures to communicate
  • Shakes head or frowns to express “no”; may respond to “no”

  • Holds out arms to be picked up

  • Recognizes and responds to many words

  • Responds to simple questions and one-step commands

  • Babbles in long groups of consonant-vowel sounds, like “tata upupup ba ba ba!”

  • Uses the cadence and verbal inflections of real conversation

  • May use “Mama” and “Dada” to refer specifically to parents

  • May say other early words


  • Mimics expressions and sounds made by others
  • Imitates actions of others

  • Interested in watching older children

  • Interested in being around other babies, but doesn’t play with them yet

  • Watches for your reactions in various situations (to banging, laughing, etc.)

  • Shows stranger anxiety (shy around strangers)

  • Shows separation anxiety (cries or exhibits distress when you leave the room)

  • Increased affection with family

  • Waves goodbye

And those are the 12-month-old milestones for your toddler. Find out what exciting milestones are in store for year 2. Happy birthday, little one!  

I soon realized that every baby is not cookie-cutter and cannot be exactly the same as someone else's baby. To each their own! – Enfamil® mom

All information on Enfamil, including but not limited to information about health, medical conditions, and nutrition, is intended for your general knowledge and is not a substitute for a healthcare professional's medical identification, advice, or management for specific medical conditions. You should seek medical care and consult your doctor or pediatrician for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment, care, or help because of information you have read on Enfamil.