This year will be majorly exciting, as you watch Baby take their first steps, and hear them speak those first words – if they hasn’t started trying already! Here are some of the biggest changes to expect over the next year, and what they mean for your family in the future.
- Walking: While those first steps will be a bit wobbly, by the end of the year, you can expect Baby to become a confident walker. Most babies start walking somewhere between 12 and 17 months, so if you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to start childproofing your home for a walking toddler. Remember to use baby gates near any stairways, to plug outlets, and to keep any dangerous items out of reach. Walking will start out slowly enough at first, but by the end of the year, you’ll be chasing Baby from room to room faster than you could imagine.
- Talking: At this point, babies aren’t doing much talking, but are babbling more and more. By the end of the next year, though, Baby will have learned words for a few common ideas and objects in their life. They will also begin communicating in other ways, like pointing to objects of interest. You can encourage this language development by doing plenty of reading with Baby, and ask them to point out familiar objects on the page. Picture books are a great way to begin developing their vocabulary by identifying items for them, as they will learn most of their early language from you.
- Sleeping: The amount of sleep Baby needs won’t change much this year, but the way they reach this goal probably will. Most babies make the shift from two naps down to just one a day some time between 15 and 18 months, and will usually gradually phase out their morning nap in favor of a longer afternoon snooze. This may mean adjusting your schedule slightly, but also opens up a larger window of opportunity in the early part of the day to get more done, like running errands or spending some extra time at the park.
- Eating: As Baby perfects their pincer grasp, they will be able to effectively pick up smaller pieces of food off their tray or plate. They will also become better at using utensils, which means they'll be able to do more self-feeding this year. Another change you may notice at the dinner table is their desire to pick up food, then drop it on the floor. Though this can be frustrating, it comes down to the fact that Baby is very curious at this age, and they are more interested in the cause and effect of dropping things and watching them fall than they are in making you upset. You’ll spend less time feeding Baby this year, but much more time sweeping around their highchair. It’s a tradeoff!
Baby’s had a big year, but the next one is going to be even bigger!
- “Developmental Milestones: 12 Months.” HealthyChildren. American Academy of Pediatrics, June 1 2009. Retrieved November 8 2017. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-12-Months.aspx.
- “Developmental Milestones: 2 Year Olds.” HealthyChildren. American Academy of Pediatrics, June 1 2009. Retrieved November 8 2017. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-2-Year-Olds.aspx.
- “Important Milestones: Your Child By Two Years.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, October 3 2017. Retrieved November 8 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-2yr.html.