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Milestones for a 1-Year-Old

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Milestones for a 1-Year-Old


Children usually progress in a natural, predictable sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. But each child grows and gains skills at their own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area, such as language. But they may be behind in another, such as sensory and motor development.

Milestones usually are categorized into five major areas: physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social development, language development, and sensory and motor development.

Physical growth and development

Most children by age 1:

  • Have grown a total of about 10 in. (25 cm) in length since birth and measure somewhere between 28 in. (71 cm) to 32 in. (81 cm). Somewhere between 9 and 12 months of age, many babies have tripled their birth weight. After their first birthday, babies start gaining weight and growing at a slower pace.
  • Have grown in head circumference. (This is the measurement around the top of the head.) The head circumference of most babies is 18 in. (46 cm). The soft spots, or fontanelles, of the skull have started to close.
  • Still have a "baby" look. Your child's head is large in proportion to the rest of the body. Their tummy sticks out, which can add to an overall "chubby" appearance.
  • Get a few teeth. Usually, the first to come in are the two front upper and lower teeth.

Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)

Most children by age 1:

  • Are curious about everyday objects and how they work. Your child may try turning knobs, pushing buttons, and opening drawers and cupboards.
  • Start to remember things that happened a few hours or even a day ago. Your child may show this new skill by doing a simple thing, such as stacking blocks or getting excited when you talk about going to the store.
  • Start to understand permanence—that people and objects still exist even when they are out of sight. For example, if your child watches you cover a teddy bear with a blanket, they can "find" the teddy bear by removing the blanket.
  • Like to play peekaboo.

Emotional and social development

Most children by age 1:

  • Engage in "parallel play." This means that children play next to or alongside each other but don't interact with other children.
  • Like to interact with parents and other caregivers. They giggle, show off, and seek attention.
  • Show separation anxiety. This means that they feel uneasy and anxious when a parent or another caregiver leaves.

Language development

Most children by age 1:

  • Experiment by making different sounds, such as "ptthhh," or repeat sounds, such as "ba-ba-ba-ba." Many toddlers favor practicing the "b" and "d" sounds. They may jabber a long string of sounds with tone and inflection that sound like conversation.
  • Can identify parents, often by name ("mama," "dada").
  • Sometimes repeat right away a sound they hear when someone is talking.
  • Can say at least 3 words.
  • Recognize their own names. They may also look at family members or pets when you talk about them. Typically, babies this age understand some familiar words. But they are still guessing about many other words and their meanings.

Sensory and motor development

Most children by age 1:

  • Like to put things in their mouths. This is their way to find out about an object.
  • Pull up to a standing position by holding onto furniture or other solid objects.
  • "Cruise" (walk while holding on to furniture) or walk on their own.
  • Can grasp objects, such as a piece of cereal, with their thumb and second finger ("pincer grasp"). Most children use the pincer grasp by the time they are about 10 months of age.


Current as of: October 24, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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