Developmental Guidelines: What Most Babies Do at 12 Months - Achieve Beyond

Developmental Guidelines: What Most Babies Do at 12 Months

Social and Emotional

  • Is shy or nervous with strangers
  • Cried when mom or dad leaves
  • Shows fear in some situations
  • Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story
  • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention
  • Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
  • Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”


  • Responds to simple spoken requests
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
  • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
  • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh”
  • Tries to say words you say

Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving)

  • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging and throwing
  • Finds hidden things easily
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
  • Copies gestures
  • Starts to use things correctly; for example drinks from a cup, brushes hair
  • Follows simple directions like “pickup the toy”

Movement/Physical Development

  • Gets to a sitting position without help
  • Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”)
  • May take a few steps without holding on
  • May stand alone

Red Flags For 12 Month Old Babies

  • Doesn’t crawl
  • Doesn’t say single words like “mama” or “dada” meaningfully
  • Doesn’t point to things
  • Doesn’t learn gestures like waving or shaking head
  • Doesn’t look where you point

Have a question? Want to learn more? Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or email and we will do our best to follow up with you. 

About Achieve Beyond: Achieve Beyond is an agency founded by Dr. Trudy Font-Padron in 1995 and remains a family run company. Achieve Beyond is a leader in providing pediatric therapy, autism and early intervention services in New York City, Long Island, Hudson ValleyCaliforniaTexasNew JerseyVirginia and Metro DC. They are dedicated to providing quality evaluations and therapeutic/educational services to children ages birth to 21 years of age. 

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