Menu

It has been a year of discovery.

Make the most of their milestones:

It has been a year of curiosity, exploration, and so much play, mama—and you've rocked all of it! Now your baby is fast becoming a busy toddler, which means the playtime is really just beginning. Use our guide to play and encourage baby's development to get the most out of this last month of your baby's first year.

Your baby is getting better and better at identifying people and objects, and she knows how to ask for the toy she wants to play with. She may even start saying more real words, and even walking soon!

FEATURED VIDEO

Here are a few suggestions to make the most of your baby's twelfth month.

Thinking

Your baby can identify the correct picture when named in a book.

  • Try This: Read books with objects and animals your baby can point at and name.

Engaging

She hands you the toys she wants and knows how to get your attention with words or actions.

  • Try This: Give your baby choices, showing her both and letting her choose her favorite.

Communicating

Her speaking sounds more like real words, and she may say her first word soon.

  • Try This: Narrate what she is doing to increase her vocabulary and connect words to actions.

Moving

She can stand supported and may take her first steps soon.

  • Try This: Give her a low, safe surface to support her weight, like an activity table that motivates her to explore.



Your postpartum life:

Many moms find the first birthday to be an emotional experience. You're reflecting on what a tremendous year it's been, full of challenges, stresses, and of course, a love you never knew was possible. You may also be thinking a lot about your birth. Reach out to other mamas and share with them. And take a moment (or a month) to be so proud of yourself. Look what you've done, mama!

You are our hero (and your baby's, too!). Here's to another amazing year ahead!



Discover all the activities and milestones for the first year with your curious baby here.

You might also like:

Disclaimer: The milestones presented are averages. Any questions you may have about your child's development should be shared with his or her doctor.

Sources: CDC, healthychildren.org and WebMD

Let the games begin! Thanks to improved hand-eye coordination and growing curiosity, your baby is probably starting to show an affinity for certain toys and activities. Embrace that love of play, mama—if you use the right items (more on that below!) playtime isn't just fun, it's also great for development.

Speaking of development, you probably know by now that every baby is unique and progresses at a different rate—so don't stress about when those milestones are hit.

What matters is that you feel confident in empowering yourself with knowledge and advocating for your child. And don't forget to have fun! Exploring new concepts alongside that sweet baby is downright magical.

There are so many changes on the horizon, but you've got this, mama. Here are a few of our favorite items to help you tackle this exciting stage:

For jumpstarting that vocabulary: Readerlink First 100 Words

first 100 words

Although babies build their spoken vocabularies gradually, research shows infants aged 6 to 9 months already understand a good number of words. This book is a great tool for encouraging language development, as it allows them to learn the names of things they regularly use.

$4.99

For soothing tender gums: Itzy Ritzy teething mitt

Ritzy teething mit

Fact: A mama can never have too many tools to help her babe ward off teething pains. This mitt helps relieve soreness… and it doubles as a fun little toy, too.

$7.19

For a fun way to learn: Infantino balls, blocks and buddies

Infantino balls and blocks

As basic as it may seem to us, the act of stacking and sorting toys helps babies build the fine-motor and problem-solving skills they'll use throughout their lives. The benefits are immediate as well: These activities build concentration skills that'll serve them well today.

$16.99

For the bottle-to-cup transition: MAM trainer cup

MAM trainer cup

Drinking from a cup may seem like second nature to you, but there's definitely a learning curve involved for an infant. Help smooth out that transition from bottle/breast to cup by offering small amounts of water in this trainer cup. It mimics the feel of a bottle while introducing babies to the concept of sipping.

$4.99

For brushing those bitty teeth: FridaBaby smilefrida toothbrush

Fridababy

Did you know dentists recommend brushing your child's teeth from the time that very first one emerges? This brush was designed especially for those teeny mouths and boasts a brilliant BPA-free design. You simply slip the brush onto your finger and go to work on those pearly whites.

$7.99

For making chores more fun: More Than Magic bluetooth speaker

More than magic speaker

By necessity, mamas are masters at multitasking. But who says there can't be something in it for you? We recommend streaming your favorite podcast or book on tape while taking care of chores around the house

$19.99

For your new nightly routine: Target book club subscription

Target book club

If you've officially stashed the bassinet and moved your little one into the nursery, your nights might be feeling very different these days. Embrace it by implementing a nightly reading routine (because you can finally turn on your bedside lamp without fear of waking that sweet baby!). This subscription program makes it easy and affordable to tackle new books.

$13.90

For those frame-worthy photos: Fujifilm instax mini 9

Fuji Instax

Only a tiny fraction of the pictures on our phones ever get printed because, well, mom life is busy. This camera, which makes printing mini Polaroid pictures a total cinch, may change that.

$69.99

For easy cleanup: Dyson cord-free vacuum

Dyson

Now that you have a baby playing on your floors, you're probably ultra aware of every little crumb. Welcome to motherhood—when it's totally acceptable to get really excited about a great vacuum.

$299.99

For easy cooking: Rubbermaid food storage container set

Rubbermaid storage

Simplify meals by prepping all your ingredients before you start cooking (if you want to get fancy, you can call this process "mise en place" a la a professional chef). When everything is chopped and stored in these handy containers, getting dinner on the table becomes easier than ever.

$9.99

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

They say a watched pot never boils, but every pumping mama knows the expression should really say "a watched bottle never fills."

When I think back to those early days of pumping, I remember settling in front of the TV to attempt to distract myself from the tedium of being hooked to a machine. It never worked: I'd always pay little attention to whatever I was watching, opting instead to stare at the bottles I was pumping into and wonder why they were filling so slowly.

Keep reading Show less
News