Developmental milestones record - 12 months

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The typical 12-month-old child will demonstrate certain physical and mental skills. These skills are called developmental milestones.

Alternative Names

Normal childhood growth milestones - 12 months; Growth milestones for children - 12 months; Childhood growth milestones - 12 months


All children develop a little differently. If you are concerned about your child's development, talk to your child's health care provider.


A 12-month-old child is expected to:

  • Be 3 times their birth weight
  • Grow to a height of 50% over birth length
  • Have a head circumference equal to that of their chest
  • Have 1 to 8 teeth
  • Stand without holding on to anything
  • Walk alone or when holding 1 hand
  • Sit down without help
  • Bang 2 blocks together
  • Turn through the pages of a book by flipping many pages at a time
  • Pick up a small object using the tip of their thumb and index finger
  • Sleep 8 to 10 hours a night and take 1 to 2 naps during the day


The typical 12-month-old:

  • Begins pretend play (such as pretending to drink from a cup)
  • Follows a fast moving object
  • Responds to their name
  • Can say momma, papa, and at least 1 or 2 other words
  • Understands simple commands
  • Tries to imitate animal sounds
  • Connects names with objects
  • Understands that objects continue to exist, even when they can't be seen
  • Participates in getting dressed (raises arms)
  • Plays simple back and forth games (ball game)
  • Points to objects with the index finger
  • Waves bye
  • May develop attachment to a toy or object
  • Experiences separation anxiety and may cling to parents
  • May make brief journeys away from parents to explore in familiar settings


You can help your 12-month-old develop skills through play:

  • Provide picture books.
  • Provide different stimuli, such as going to the mall or zoo.
  • Play ball.
  • Build vocabulary by reading and naming people and objects in the environment.
  • Teach hot and cold through play.
  • Provide large toys that can be pushed to encourage walking.
  • Sing songs.
  • Have a play date with a child of a similar age.
  • Avoid television and other screen time until age 2.
  • Try using a transitional object to help with separation anxiety.


Feigelman S. The first year. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 8.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 11/20/2014
  • Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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