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Twelve Months! 

Congrats parents! You have made it to the end of the first year. This year has been exhausting and exhilarating. You and your baby have accomplished so much this year, and the changes keep coming. 


Your baby may seem to be going backward in this aspect of development. Often, babies begin waking once or twice at night around this age. This is not unusual and isn’t cause for concern. If your baby isn’t sleeping through the night any longer, consider waking them for a snack or reading time just before you go to bed. Some children do not do well with this, so it may not work as you hope. The good news is that as your baby learns to walk and settles into new mobility routines, this temporary jolt is likely to subside. 


Your baby’s personality is shining bright these days, but their fears may be sneaking through as well. 


Your baby is learning to be independent but has no idea how to do that. Separation anxiety begins to emerge, though it’s usually a few months before it hits a peak. You may begin to notice that your child wants to try to do everything for themselves. This behavior is maddening when you are in a rush, but it will only help them learn to do the things they seek. Your baby will need to learn to dress themselves, put on shoes, and use a fork. After 45 minutes of waiting on your child to finish his or her plate at a restaurant or dinner table, you might be annoyed and exhausted. Just remember, we learn through experience. 


Strangers and separation are phobic at this point. Your baby will not trust anyone or anything that you don’t personally assure them is okay. Even then, they won’t always believe you. “How dare you go off to work and leave me alone with this stranger?” might be your child’s attitude. However, you are doing the right thing for your family, and your baby will be okay. Do all you can to alleviate the fears your child has. 


Colds, allergies, and reactions to immunizations may be plaguing your baby right now. Your baby’s body is still learning to process foreign substances, so they will produce immune responses more often as babies than they do as they grow. Some doctors will not even diagnose a baby with seasonal allergies until they have experienced the same season twice, so more than a year old. This is because his or her body is still adapting to the environmental changes. 


The most significant physical change right now is muscle strength and mobility. Your baby is on the move. Pulling up, standing, crawling, sitting, and walking all require muscle strength and tone. You might not see many new abilities this month as they will all be coming together to get your baby moving forward. However, the most significant feat yet is on the horizon if your baby isn’t walking yet. If he or she is walking, you will probably see some stability in their gait. 


Problem-solving skills are continuing to evolve. Your baby wants to know how the world works and is determined to explore it. 


Mimicking has probably never stopped, but now that your baby is starting to move more like the others around them, they might also start mimicking people more. You will notice that your baby is copying movement, sound, and expression in an effort to be more like the people they love. 


Your baby is probably also starting to pretend and enjoy pretend games. Toy phones, hammers, and cars are sure to provide hours of fun. You might also notice that your baby tries to use tools on your furniture and floors. They are combining the mimicry of doing what you do and pretending they are big enough to do it themselves. 

Tries to Do for Themselves

Hair brushing, tooth brushing, and general dressing activities are going to take much longer. They know how to use these tools and want to help you with their daily routines. Add a little time to your morning and allow their exploration. They will likely need some help as muscle movements are still challenging for them. 

Putting and Taking

Your baby will also learn to put things in and take them out of containers. They will also start to explore the size and shape of objects and openings. Toys to help with this, such as shape sorters, are fun and educational. 


Most of your concerns right now should be with mobility. If your child is not trying to crawl, stand, or walk, you might need to speak to the doctor. Keep in mind that walking may not occur until eighteen months. It is not unusual for some children to just do this a little later. 


You and your baby have made it through one year. You are doing a remarkable job. Keep encouraging growth and development and providing your baby with the care needed to become an independent adult someday. 

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