What Should Your 1-Year-Old Be Doing?

Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2022
Babies typically take their first steps around 1 year of age.
Babies typically take their first steps around 1 year of age.

It's your baby's first birthday! What could be more exciting than seeing your little one transforming from a helpless newborn into an independent little person?

Most babies reach certain milestones at similar ages, but some take their own sweet time to reach those milestones. Infant development is not science. However, you can consider these general infant development milestones for your 1-year-old child.

Moving: Physical or motor development

  • Stands alone and walks while holding onto furniture
  • Sits without leaning on anything or being held up
  • May even take the first solo steps
  • Eats with their hands
  • Helps their parents dress them
  • Turns pages of a storybook
  • Crawls forward on belly by pulling with arms and pushing with legs
  • Assumes hands and knees position
  • Gets from sitting to crawling or prone (lying on stomach) position
  • Begins walking upstairs one foot at a time
  • Drinks from a sippy cup
  • Uses a spoon clumsily to eat
  • Points, pokes, and maybe even pinches
  • Scribbles with a thick crayon or marker
  • Puts things into a bucket and takes them out again

Talking: Communication and language development

  • Responds to simple commands such as "stop"
  • Vocabulary expands rapidly and speaks in a sentence with two words
  • Uses simple gestures such as shaking head "no" or waving "bye-bye"
  • Copies their parents
  • Raises their hands when they want to be lifted
  • Recognizes family members' names
  • Expresses happiness, sadness, and frustration using different sounds or cries
  • Says simple words such as "no" and "mama"

Interacting: Social and emotional development

  • Cries when someone near them is upset
  • Has mild temper tantrums when frustrated
  • Feels shy in the presence of a stranger
  • Has favorite things and places
  • Shows fear in some situations
  • Plays games such as pat-a-cake
  • Cries when mom and dad leave
  • Repeats sounds or actions to get your attention
  • Hands you book when he wants to hear a story
  • Shows affection to familiar people
  • Feels comfortable exploring the room when a caregiver is nearby

Thinking: Cognitive development

  • Tries to find hidden things
  • Knows the purpose of everyday objects such as a spoon, toothbrush, and smartphone
  • Shows a reaction to familiar songs and stories
  • Copies gestures
  • Pokes with the index finger
  • Bangs two things together
  • Lets things go without help
  • Explores things in various ways such as shaking, banging, and throwing
  • Starts following simple directions such as "pick up the toy" or "sit down"
  • Points to their head, eyes, ears, nose, or mouth
  • Starts testing cause and effect, such as what happens when they throw a toy on the floor

The following are other milestones that you can expect your baby to reach around 1 year of age.


  • Sleeps less during daytime and more during nighttime
  • May require her afternoon nap but may forgo her morning nap

Food and nutrition

  • Your baby needs extra fat for healthy brain growth. Start giving cow's milk to your child.
  • It's time to start weaning your baby.
  • Be careful while giving whole grapes, pieces of hotdogs, popcorn, or any other foods that could get stuck in their throat.
  • Include foods that contain honey.
  • Include eggs, nuts, and butter.


Parenting Guide: Healthy Eating for Kids See Slideshow

Physical growth

  • Your baby's birth weight has tripled since birth.
  • The baby has grown by 50 percent to about 9 to 11 inches.
  • The brain is about 60 percent of its adult size.
  • After 1 year, baby's weight gain starts to slow down because their activity level increases.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2022
Morin, Amanda. "Developmental milestones for 1-year-olds." <https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/signs-symptoms/developmental-milestones/developmental-milestones-for-typical-1-year-olds>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Important Milestones: Your Child By One Year." Aug. 9, 2022. <https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-1yr.html>.