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During this period of time your baby will start to learn to crawl on their hands and knees, to pull up using a table or sofa to standing and may even learn how to take their first steps!  It is your baby’s first experience of independence and is also a time when they can be upset by being separated from you as they realise they are a separate being and can be left by you. It is such an important time to support your baby as they take these massive steps in development and are challenged daily by new experiences and skills.


By the time your child is 12 months old you can expect that they will:

  • Prefer their mother or father or regular care-giver to all others
  • By shy with strangers and clingy when a parent their parent leaves
  • Imitate gestures and try to imitate words
  • Repeat sounds or gestures for attention
  • Find objects hidden if he or she has watched you hide them
  • Look at correct pictures when an image is named out loud
  • Crawl on their hands and knees
  • Pull up and walk holding on to furniture or walk independently
  • Hold their own finger food and feed themselves

Warning signs to watch for:

Each baby develops at his or her own pace, so it is impossible to tell when your child will learn a particular skill or in what order, however, here are some signs to watch for by the time your baby is 12 months old:

Seek professional advice if by 12 months of age your baby does not:

  • Crawl on hands or knees
  • Cannot stand when supported
  • Does not search for objects that have been hidden while they watch
  • Says no single words such as ‘Mama’ or ‘Dada’
  • Does not point to objects of pictures.

If you are worried about anything be sure to check with your paediatrician on your next appointment.

Tips for Success

  • Continue to hold your baby often and talk to her about everyday things.
  • Read books to your baby every day.

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