Take time to pull out the photo albums and review the miraculous changes you've witnessed in your baby this past year. Incredible! Most important, revel in all baby can do as she celebrates her first year. Baby has a delightful sense of humor, and she takes great pleasure in teasing you. She loves to express affection, and she's most likely has mastered the art of hugging and kissing. What a great year it's been -- and what an amazing adventure your family has ahead of you.
Milestones this month*
- Your baby now drinks from a cup without assistance.
- She can stand alone for several minutes.
- Baby walks well (keep in mind that good crawlers often are late walkers).
- She waves good-bye and plays pat-a-cake.
- Baby says "mama" and "dada."
- She says other one-syllable words (like "hi").
- Baby expresses her wants with gestures and words instead of cries.
- She engages in gibberish conversation.
- Baby responds to simple commands.
*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your 11-month-old hasn't yet reached these milestones, rest assured that she will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development, discuss them with her doctor.
Food for Thought
By 12 months, your baby is ready to be weaned from breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. You've been preparing for this time by introducing a training cup (which your baby probably is handling well on her own by now) and by gradually cutting back on her traditional liquid feedings. Consequently, you'll want to increase her intake of solid foods to compensate for the decrease in liquids and to fuel any growth spurts she may be experiencing.
On the other hand, some 1-year-olds may show a decreased appetite about now. Keep in mind that although babies triple their birth weight during the first year, they add only about a quarter of their weight during the second year. Maybe your little ravenous one has slowed down because she'd rather be playing; maybe she's testing her newfound independence. Teething also can make your baby lose interest in food.
Try to strike the right balance between letting her eat when she's hungry and letting her pick at her food when she's not. Don't force food on her, but maintain control over her nutritious snacking between meals.
Doing Little Things a lot Better
As your baby feeds herself, you'll notice how wonderfully her fine motor skills are developing. Remember how she used to slap at the spoon until it finally settled into her palm? Now she picks it up with the precision of a surgeon -- and places it in her mouth with ease.
Those same hands now manipulate objects in every way imaginable -- pinching, poking, squeezing, and twisting -- to determine their makeup. And the adorable wave that used to flap madly at the wrist is now a crisp, authoritative, "See ya later, pal!"
Play Group, Anyone?
Few things are more adorable than watching your 1-year-old grab a buddy in a great big bear hug. One-year-olds are just beginning their forays into friendships. Understand that parallel play -- where children play alongside one another but not with each other -- is really all your 1-year-old is capable of right now. Here's how you can help make these social engagements more productive:
- Understand that your "shy" child is normal. Social behavior may not fully develop for another year or two. In the meantime, work on helping your child love and appreciate herself, and don't push her into situations she can't handle.
- Sharing isn't a concept to which a 1-year-old can relate. And she probably won't get it until she's 2 or 3. In the meantime, prevent her from doing bodily harm to the friend who also wants the doll, and redirect her if possible.
- Intervene immediately if your child hurts anyone. If your child kicks, bites, or grabs another child, take her aside and explain that what she did hurt someone else, and that that's not acceptable. Be firm and calm. Then help her begin a new activity. And be prepared to have this conversation often.
Just for Mom
With your baby now at the 1-year mark, you may be thinking about expanding your family even further. Remember, it's never too early to start nourishing your next baby. Maintaining optimum health during your childbearing years is an essential part of being a mother. If you're planning on another pregnancy, you need extra folic acid and iron in your diet; ask your doctor whether you should take nutrition supplements.
Get to Know Your Baby!
1. Your Amazing One-Month-Old
2. Your Cooing 2-Month-Old
3. Your Smiling 3-Month-Old
4. Your Laughing 4-Month-Old
5. Your Rockin' & Rollin' 5-Month-Old
6. Your Social 6-Month-Old
7. Your Stronger 7-Month-Old
8. Your Crawling 8-Month-Old
9. Your Intent 9-Month-Old
10. Your Active 10-Month-Old
11. Your Busy 11-Month-Old
12. Wow! Your Baby is 1-Year-Old!
The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.