One Year Old Milestones for Boys and Girls

Featured image of smiling baby crawling on floor

From a newborn to a one-year-old child, there are a lot of behavioural, mental as well as physical milestones that your child will go through. Over a period when they were a helpless infant to a developing little person that’s starting to manifest character, you’ll enjoy every moment seeing them conquer each of these goals. Their progress in different developmental stages should be monitored for both reassurance that everything is going smoothly and your own satisfaction of seeing your child grow. 

To make this process even more enjoyable and efficient for their growth, it’s always advisable to know the order of these developmental milestones. This way you can keep track and check each one off the list,  as well as prepare and enjoy witnessing upcoming milestones.

Keeping Track of Developmental Milestones

Every pediatric specialist, or any other expert in the area of human development for that matter, will suggest that you should keep track of your child’s developmental milestones. And although you can notice these learning stages yourself, knowing when to expect them can be handy. Not to mention that it can actually improve their gain and potentially maximize the rate of their development. So knowing exactly at which period they learn new skills puts you on the upper hand in terms of preparation, time management, etc. You will know how to handle, and help them achieve these 1 year old  milestones, because you’ve expected them.  And this is no small thing, as being a parent means being prepared for every scenario.

For example, helping them preoccupy with other things while they try to shake off  the tingling, but also irritating and annoying sensation of a growing tooth, is the type of help you should provide. Although there are clearly other ways as well, some of which include pharmaceutical products, natural remedies (tea, herbs, etc). That’s why you should keep track of your child’s developmental 12-month milestones. As being prepared allows you to pick a method that’s most beneficial for them.

Physical Development

Babies develop really fast during the first year. That’s why it’s so important to see this process through and help them grow. Pediatric specialists know how important this first period is for their overall progress and that’s exactly why they advise parents to get to know these stages, and keep everything in check, report and correct if issues appear. 

During the first year, a baby will grow almost half in size and gain from 9 to 11 inches. The results may vary as every child is an individual for itself, and therefore their progress is unique too. But these are the facts that are true in more than 90% of the time. She’ll also gain around 15 pounds and her brain will grow to an astounding 60 % of an actual adult human brain. Having this in mind, it’s advisable to pick a crib that’s quite big so you won’t have to buy a new one 6 months after your baby is born. The hair growth depends on both father and mother’s genes so you can expect short to medium length by the end of first year. 

Motor Function

By the time of your girl’s and boy’s first birthday, you’ll have plenty of things to celebrate regarding their progress and overall development so far. These include toddling or their first steps, balance and stability, as well as their strong grip and reach. Somewhere around 6-7th month they’ll get accustomed to using their hands to the extent of consciously exploring, grabbing, reaching towards and pulling anything that’s within the range. This allows the baby to fine tune the existing, learn new skills and get more information about the world around her. 

Core Strength, Toddling and First Steps

Around the 8th month, your child will already have enough strength to pull herself up on the feet and try standing for the very first time. She knows how to use the surrounding to get up, has core strength, and has fine tuned motor skills so she does it almost effortlessly. And this will definitely be a wonderful moment to witness, as was discovering that your baby could sit on their own before. 

Try to position your 1-year-old baby girl or boy in a sitting position with enough room around her and something to latch on in front. Whether it’s a hand rest on the sofa or bed, you should always look for a flat, solid surface as their support for standing up. This way she’ll be more confident to make those first independent steps and eventually learn to let go and walk without support. So be prepared to see your child surf and toddle from one side of the room to another using furniture and anything she can get her hands on as support.

Image of smiling baby girl on bed

Cognitive Function

You’ll also notice that your child has improved their cognitive function and that she starts to show interest towards specific things, types of toys, basic interaction, etc. As her brain grows and develops so are her abilities to express different feelings and emotions but also though, idea and a glimpse of what’s regarder as a character. 


As her ability to speak improves and becomes a fascination, you’ll notice that she’ll try to repeat words. You should encourage her to do so by repeating simple phrases. Have patience and give her time to repeat the word without interrupting her. And make sure to pronounce it as clear as possible so she can actually hear every syllable and give it a try. 

This usually happens when a child is above 8 months old, although it may vary just like with toddling and learning first steps. What you can do to help the baby become more confident and express emotion through this attempt of speech is to sing along with them, practice saying different words, play word games, etc. Even though you know they can’t understand these new words you’re saying they know the emotion and recognize the feeling to an extent. This is how they pile thoughts to a  form a concept of communication in their mind. In time they associate these new words they’ve learned how to pronounce with their meaning, and actions they correlate to. 

Smiling and Laughing

By the time she’s 6 months old, she’ll start to laugh and feel amused every time you show her a joke, make a funny face or otherwise entertain her. Watching your child smile and laugh as a result of your deliberate act is truly a wonderful thing.  She will react differently to each joke that amuses her, but also keep laughing if you continue with the same method. 

For example you can play with a toy and repeat the same tickling motion over and over again, and she’ll laugh every time. However you can’t expect to keep it forever, as no matter how much they appreciate this revelation of a new feeling they have other things to explore, learn and enjoy experiencing.

Image of baby boy with stuffed toy sleeping

Sleep Patterns

Sleep pattern changes and varies in infants and babies as they grow,  but then again it does so in adults as well. It is just that we adults somewhat deliberately change it (with our current lifestyle, a series of decisions, etc.) while in baby’s case it comes naturally, in order and as a part of their development. The point being is that there’s always a reason for it therefore we can adapt to its irregularity no matter the case. 

After the baby’s first tooth has appeared and your nightmare of soothing them in the middle of the night has ended you can expect another interruption in their sleeping routine.  As they get older, and months pass, they will stay more awake during the day, and sleep during the night. They will still have their afternoon nap, as exploring the world around them as fast as they do takes a lot of energy. They will sleep solid 9-10 hours each night and so will you, which is definitely something to look forward to.

Different Diet

Another important developmental milestone for your one year old will be a change of diet. Going from liquid to solid food will be a big thing for them and you. As their need for mother’s milk starts to fade, they’ll be ready to try different types of vegetables, meat, fruit and other food in time. 

Introducing different types of food is advisable, but you should do so one by one. Starting with vegetable and fruit, you can assign each day for a different type. For example, one day they can try strawberries or bananas, the next day peaches, etc. The same thing goes for vegetables, and lastly meat. You can always mix the new “ingredient” with something they have tried before and liked. This can especially be a useful method if you aren’t sure whether they’ll like the new type of food or not.

Being ahead and ready for every situation throughout your child’s developmental stage is a quality of a good parent. You always need to be prepared, and because your haven’t experienced this before, the only way to prepare is by gathering information. And this is certainly something you can rely on us to provide, as always.

Author: Catherine Evans
Author: Catherine Evans

Catherine is a writer from Canada who simply loves toys, collectibles and superhero figurines. Writing is her passion, but she also loves reading, enjoying her “me time” and finding new ways to improve her work and ways to entertain the readers.

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