Health Encyclopedia


Health Encyclopedia Home

The Growing Child: 1-Year-OldsNiño en Crecimiento: Niño de 1 Años de Edad

The Growing Child: 1-Year-Olds


After a baby's first birthday, the rate of growth begins to slow down. The baby is now a toddler and is very active.

A toddler walking

What can my baby do at this age?

As your baby continues to grow, you will notice new and exciting abilities that develop. While babies may progress at different rates, the following are some of the common milestones your baby may reach in this age group:

  • Walks alone by 15 months, then begins to run

  • Can stop, squat, then stand again

  • Sits down on small stool or chair

  • Climbs stairs while holding on

  • Dances with music

  • Plays with push and pull toys

  • Can build towers out of blocks

  • Throws a ball overhand

  • Puts two- to three-piece puzzles together

  • Scribbles with crayon or pencil and may imitate drawing a straight line or circle

  • Mostly feeds self with fingers

  • Begins to feed self with spoon

  • Drinks well from cup

  • Can help with dressing and may be able to undress simple clothes (i.e., clothes without buttons or zippers)

  • First molar (back) teeth appear

  • Takes one afternoon nap

  • May sleep 10 to 12 hours at night

What can my baby say?

Speech development is very exciting for parents as they watch their babies become social beings that can interact with others. While every baby develops speech at his or her own rate, the following are some of the common milestones in this age group:

  • Imitates animal sounds and noises

  • At one year, says four to six simple words

  • At 18 months, says 10 to 15 words

  • By 18 to 24 months, uses simple phrases or two-word sentences (i.e., "Mommy up")

  • By 2 years, says 100 or more words

  • Asks "What is…?"

  • Uses negative phrases such as "No want"

What does my baby understand?

By about 18 months of age, children begin to understand symbols—the relationship of objects and their meanings. While children may progress at different rates, the following are some of the common milestones children may reach in this age group:

  • Waves bye-bye and plays pat-a-cake

  • By 18 months understands one-step questions and commands such as "Where is the ball?"

  • By 24 months understands two-step questions and commands such as "Go to your room and get your shoes."

  • Understands object permanence (a hidden object is still there)

  • Understands the cause and effect relationship better

  • Likes to explore drawers and boxes to see what is inside

  • Make-believe play increases (i.e., may imitate housework or feed a doll)

  • Recognizes own face in mirror

  • Can point to body parts (i.e., nose, hair, eyes) when asked

  • Begins to understand use of certain objects (i.e., the broom is for sweeping the floor)

  • May ask for parent's help by pointing

How does my baby interact with others?

As children begin to walk, they may begin to show independence and will try to walk further away from the parent, but will return. Separation anxiety and fear of strangers may lessen, then return at about 18 months. While every child is unique and will develop different personalities, the following are some of the common behavioral traits that may be present in your child:

  • Plays along side others without interacting, called parallel play

  • May begin clinging to parents around 18 months

  • May begin to say "no" more frequently to commands or needs

  • May have temper tantrums

  • May use a blanket or stuffed animal as a security object in place of the parent

How to help increase your baby's learning and emotional security

Consider the following as ways to foster the emotional security of your 1-year-old:

  • Give your child toys that can be filled and emptied and toys for imaginary play.

  • Give your child simple two- to six-piece puzzles and balls of all sizes.

  • Help your child build towers of blocks.

  • Encourage your child to "help" you with household tasks.

  • Give your child paper and large crayons to scribble and draw.

  • Talk to your child with clear simple language about what you are doing.

  • Use the correct names for objects, even if your child does not. For example: your child might say "wa-wa," and you say "Water, that is right."

  • Expand your child's sentences. If your child says, "Want cookie," you say, "Do you want another cookie?"

  • Read to your child every day using picture and story books.

  • Feed your child at family mealtimes.

  • Provide consistent firm, appropriate discipline without yelling or hitting.

Related Items
Daily News Feed
  Teens' Self-Consciousness Has Biological Basis, Study Says
  Divorce in Early Childhood May Harm Adult Ties With Parents: Study
  Physical Punishment in Childhood Tied to Health Woes as Adults
  Overnight Separation From Mother Linked to Weaker Infant Bond
  Bullied Kids May Have More Legal Woes in Adulthood
  Video Game 'Addiction' More Likely With Autism, ADHD
  Siblings of Disabled Kids May Show Emotional Effects
  Nice Kids Get Treated Nicely: Study
  How Toddlers' TV Time Can Hurt Kindergarten Success
  Childhood Tummy Aches May Be Tied to Adult Anxiety, Depression
  Childhood Bullying Scars Can Last Into Adulthood
  Antipsychotic Drugs May Triple Kids' Diabetes Risk, Study Suggests
  More Links Seen Between Autism, ADHD
  Simple Strategies Aren't Always Enough for Bedwetting
  Kids' Attitudes Toward Disabled People Improve With Contact
  Making Music May Encourage Teamwork in Kids
  For Obese Kids, Weight Loss Can Sometimes Lead to Eating Disorders
  Adopted Teens More Likely to Attempt Suicide, Study Finds
  Young People May Respond Better to Upbeat Health Messages
  Bullied Kids Often Develop Physical Symptoms, Study Says
  New Test Spots Risk for PTSD in Injured Kids
  Preschoolers' Use of Psychiatric Drugs Levels Off, Study Shows
  Does Your Preschool Child Have ADHD?
  Parents Who Used Donor Eggs Often Struggle Over Decision to Tell Kids
  Kids Still Spanked, to Their Detriment, Study Finds
  Parental Stress, Domestic Violence May Affect Kids' Development: Study
  Teens' Mental Disorders Often Untreated in U.S., Study Finds
  Steroids for Preemies May Raise ADHD Risk, Study Says
  Mental-Health Disorders Growing Faster Among Kids Than Adults: Study
  More Than 6 Percent of U.S. Teens Take Psychiatric Meds: Survey
  Sensory Therapy Might Work for Kids With Autism
  Kids' Social Skills May Suffer When Mothers Drink During Pregnancy
  Youngest Child Often Not as Small as Mother Thinks
  Will Music Make Your Child Smarter?
  Behavioral Therapy Might Ease Kids' Migraine Symptoms
  Landmark ADHD Study Backed Drugs Over Therapy at a Cost: Report
  Alternative Therapies Widely Used for Autism
  Are Teen Brains Hyper-Wired for Rewards?
  Music Therapy May Help Teens With Cancer Cope
  Shy Kids Might Not Have Difficulty With Language
  Single-Sex Education's Benefits Challenged in Study
  STD Education Must Start Long Before Kids Engage in Sex
  Bullying May Have Lasting Health Effects on Kids
  Mother's Voice on Special Pacifier Helps Preemies Learn to Eat
  Frequent School Moves May Harm Kids' Mental Health
  Family Conflicts Can Impair Child's Brain Development: Study
  Kids' Checkups Should Include Cholesterol, Depression Tests, Doctors Say
  Kids' Body Image Shaped by Parents, Expert Says
  Could Childhood Nightmares Foreshadow Mental Ills as Teen?
  Kids Who Repeat a Grade Can Become Discipline Problems, Study Says
  Kids Lacking At-Home Enrichment Gain Most From Head Start: Study
  Moving Out of Poor Neighborhood May Disrupt Boys' Mental Health: Study
  Shared Family Activities May Boost Preschoolers' Emotional Health
  Younger Siblings of Kids With Autism May Show Early Signs of Problems
  When a Parent Dies, What Helps a Child Cope?
  When Smartphone Is Near, Parenting May Falter
  More Evidence That Bullying Raises Kids' Suicide Risk
  TV, Computer Time Tied to Heavier, Less Happy Kids: Study
  Rigid Parenting Style Linked to Obese Kids
  Violent Video Games Tied to Combative Thinking in Study
  Spanking Triggers Vicious Cycle, Study Finds
  Too Many Foster Kids With ADHD Treated With Antipsychotic Drugs: Study
  Language Problems Common for Kids With ADHD, Study Finds
  FDA Reconsiders Behavior-Modifying 'Shock Devices'
  1 in 13 U.S. Schoolkids Takes Psych Meds: Report
  Kids' Happiness Doesn't Depend on 2 Natural Parents, Says Study
  FDA Advisers: Ban Use of Behavior-Modifying 'Shock Devices'
  By 9 Months, Baby's Visual Learning Kicks In: Study
  Altruism May Help Shield Teens From Depression: Study
  Working With Horses May Ease Stress in Kids
  U.S. Kids Experiencing Less Violence: Surveys
  Calling Young Girls 'Fat' May Increase Their Teen-Obesity Risk
  Violent Older Siblings Set Bad Example
  Your Kids May Not Be Ignoring You on Purpose
  Cyberbullying Knows No Socio-economic Bounds
  Boston Marathon Bombings Left Psychological Scars on Kids
  Dads Who Do Housework May Spur Daughters to Aim High: Study
  1 of 8 U.S. Kids Mistreated Before Age 18, Study Finds
  Kids' Obesity Risk Rises With Parents' Divorce: Study
  Teen Bullies, Victims Armed More Than Other Kids, Study Says
  Cool Teens, Uncool Future?
  ADHD Drugs May Up Risk of Heart Problems in Kids, Study Finds
  Researchers See Link Between Dyslexia, Abuse
  Kids Still Getting Too Much 'Screen Time': CDC