Your 12-Month-Old Baby

Your 12-Month-Old Baby

Month 12
First Year


Your baby’s development is taking off as he starts to reveal his budding personality. He’s about to start the physical changes of becoming a toddler, so it’s time to prepare the next growth spurt.

You’ve both come so far during the past 12 months. Your baby will continue to develop at his own pace, which is completely normal. Around this time is when your baby will be able to:

  • Take his first solo steps
  • Say two words other than “mama” and “dada”
  • Speak in “baby-talk” sentences
  • Imitate your actions
  • Drink from a cup without help

Nutrients For You When Breastfeeding

Your Nutrition This Month

As breastfeeding mums, your diet and how you nourish your body matter.1 If you are breastfeeding, here are the essential vitamins and minerals you need:

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is vital for the formation of red blood cells and producing energy. Where to find Vitamin B12? You can find Vitamin B12 in animal produce such as poultry and eggs.

Your iron levels may drop during breastfeeding. As such, replenishing your iron levels is important to prevent fatigue or an impaired immune system. Where to find Iron? Iron can usually be found in lean red meat and green leafy vegetables.

As you might experience transient bone loss while breastfeeding, taking in calcium helps to build and maintain bone health. Where to find Calcium? Common sources of calcium include nuts and dairy foods such as milk and cheese.

Diet For Your 12-Month-Old Baby

What Can Your Baby Eat This Month?

Breastmilk is a vital source of nourishment for your baby at this stage.

Weaning Your Baby Off Their Bottle

Your 12-month-old baby might be happy to abandon the bottle for a sippy cup. If your baby can’t quite take that step yet, here are some things to try:

  • Take it slow and trade the bottle for the cup at noontime.
  • Offer the cup instead of the morning and evening bottles.
  • Don’t let your baby carry the bottle around with him, instead limit the places he can have it (on your lap, at the table).
  • Give him a snack before bedtime to help him get to sleep.
  • Spend time with his favourite stuffed toy before bedtime, instead of the bottle.

There may be some tears the first few nights but with your help your baby will soon find something he loves more than his bottle.

Hugging Your 12-Month-Old Baby


This month, help him continue to develop by:

  • Hugging and cuddling him often.
  • Soothing and calming him when he’s fussy.
  • Smiling and talking to him as much as possible.
  • Rocking and loving him.
  • Playing games such as “pat-a-cake”

New activities to try:

  • Sit baby at or near the table during family meals.
  • Show him how to pull a pull toy. (To prevent choking, keep toys with long strings put away when you can’t watch your baby play).
  • “Read” a picture book with him and identifying what you see on each page.
  • Help keep your baby’s brain developing with play in both social settings and your one-on-one time with him.
  • Introduce him to brief play dates to practice playing in groups. There won’t be much interactive playing yet, but he’ll get used to the playing environment.

Safety For Your 12-Month-Old Baby

With her added dexterity, increasing mobility, and expanding curiosity, she’ll soon be reaching and grabbing for everything. Keeping her safe (and your stuff protected) is a constant vigil.

Researching and implementing some baby-proofing strategies and techniques will make everyone’s lives a lot easier, safer, and more enjoyable. And did we mention safer?

Your baby might be exploring your home more than ever before. Whether she’s cruising around the living room furniture, standing on her own, or climbing up (but not down) the stairs, consider taking new steps to keep her safe. It’s a good idea to install safety gates or other barriers at the top and bottom of stairs. Here are some other tips to help keep your baby safe:

  • Clear her play area of hard, sharp-edged furniture.
  • Lower her crib mattress so she can’t crawl out or fall while she stands.
  • Install childproof locks on drawers, screens, doors, and windows.
  • Move pots and pans containing hot foods away from counter and table edges.
  • Insert plug protectors in any unused electrical outlets.
  • Store toxic substances (like household cleaners and products).

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to make sure you’ve taken all the baby safety measures you can.

Safety Checklist:

  • Check that all approved safety gates are in place and in working order.
  • Lower the crib mattress so your baby can’t crawl or fall out while he’s standing.
  • Install childproof locks for drawers, screens, doors, and windows.
  • Keep poisonous substances (including household cleaners) in high, locked cabinets.
  • Stay close to your baby around water – pools, tubs, large buckets of water, and toilets.
  • Continue to buckle your baby into an approved, properly installed car seat, but never in a seat protected by an air bag.
  • Place safety plugs over electrical outlets.
  • Call the Poison Control Center, the hospital emergency room, or your baby’s doctor if you think your baby has ingested anything poisonous (Keep these numbers by the phone).
  • Prevent choking hazards by buying your baby objects that are large enough that he can’t fit them into his mouth.

1 Golden MH. Specific deficiencies versus growth failure: type I and type II nutrients. SCN News. 1995;(12):10-4.
2 American Academy of Pediatrics. Serving sizes for toddlers. Updated March 7, 2016. Accessed January 17, 2020. 

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