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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