Milestones for a 1-Year-Old

Milestones for a 1-Year-Old

Topic Overview

Children usually progress in a natural, predictable
sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. But each child grows and
gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area,
such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor

Milestones usually are categorized into five major
areas: physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social
development, language development, and sensory and motor development.

Physical growth and development

Most children by age

  • Have grown a total of about
    10 in. (25 cm) in length
    since birth and measure somewhere between
    28 in. (71 cm) to
    32 in. (81 cm). Somewhere
    between 9 and 12 months of age, many babies have tripled their birth weight.
    After their first birthday, babies start gaining weight and growing at a slower
  • Have grown in head circumference (the measurement around the
    top of the head). The head circumference of most babies is 18 in. (46 cm). The soft spots, or
    fontanelles, of the skull have started closing. But
    they won't completely grow together until sometime between the 9th and 18th
  • Still have a "baby" look. Your child's head is large in
    proportion to the rest of his or her body. His or her tummy sticks out, which
    can add to an overall "chubby" appearance.
  • Get a few teeth.
    Usually, the first to come in are the two front upper and lower teeth. See a picture of
    the typical order that baby teeth come in.

Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)

children by age 1:

  • Are curious about everyday objects and how they
    work. Your child may try turning knobs, pushing buttons, and opening drawers
    and cupboards.
  • Start to remember things that happened a few hours
    or even a day ago. Your child may show this new skill by doing a simple thing,
    such as stacking blocks or getting excited when you talk about going to the
  • Can find an object that they watch you hide. For example,
    if your child watches you cover a teddy bear with a blanket, he or she can
    "find" the teddy bear by removing the blanket.
  • Like to play

Emotional and social development

Most children by
age 1:

  • Interact mostly with parents and other primary
    caregivers. They do not show much of an interest in playing with other
    children. But they do engage in "parallel play." This is when children play
    next to or alongside each other but don't interact.
  • Like to
    "flirt" with parents and other caregivers. They giggle, show off, and seek
  • Begin to understand permanence—that people and objects
    still exist even when they are out of sight. Early on, before this concept is
    learned, some children may continue to have or seem to have a relapse of
    separation protest. This condition is when children feel uneasy and anxious
    when a parent or another caregiver leaves.

Language development

Most children by age 1:

  • Experiment by making different sounds, such as
    "ptthhh," or repeat sounds, such as "ba-ba-ba-ba." Many toddlers favor
    practicing the "b" and "d" sounds. They may jabber a long string of sounds with
    tone and inflection that sound like conversation.
  • Can identify each
    parent, often by name ("mama," "dada").
  • Sometimes repeat right away
    a sound they hear when someone is talking.
  • Can say at least 3
  • Recognize their own names. They may also look at family
    members or pets when you talk about them. Typically, babies this age understand
    some familiar words, although they are still guessing about many other words
    and their meanings.

Sensory and motor development

Most children by age

  • Like to put things in their mouths. This is
    their way to find out about an object.
  • Pull up to a standing position
    by holding onto furniture or other solid objects.
  • "Cruise" (walk
    while holding on to furniture) or walk on their own.
  • Have mastered
    grasping objects, such as a piece of cereal, with their thumb and second finger
    ("pincer grasp"). Most children use the pincer grasp by the time they are about
    10 months of age.


ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics

Current as ofMarch 28, 2018

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