Milestones by the End of the 12th Month


  • Can get to sitting position without assistance
  • Crawls forward on her belly
  • Assumes hands-and-knees position
  • Creeps on hands and knees
  • Gets from sitting to crawling or tummy-lying position
  • Pulls self up to stand
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Stands momentarily without support
  • May walk 2 or 3 steps unsupported
  • Uses pincer grasp
  • Pokes with index finger

Sight, Sound, and Speech

  • Is attentive to speech
  • Responds to simple verbal requests
  • Responds to "no"
  • Babbles with inflection
  • Says "dada" and "mama"
  • Uses exclamations like "Uh-oh!"
  • Tries to imitate words


  • Explores objects in a variety of ways (i.e. shaking, banging, throwing, dropping)
  • Finds hidden objects easily
  • Looks at correct picture when image is named
  • Imitates gestures
  • Starts to use objects correctly (i.e. drinks from cup, brushes hair, dials phone)


  • Is shy or anxious with strangers*
  • Cries when mother or father leaves*
  • May be fearful in new situations*
  • Enjoys imitating people in play
  • Shows preferences for certain people and toys
  • Tests parental responses during feedings  (i.e. clamps lips shut)
  • Tests parental responses to her behavior (i.e. cries and waits to see what you do)
  • Prefers mother or regular caregiver to all others
  • Repeats sounds or gestures for attention
  • Finger-feeds herself
  • Extends arm or leg to help when being dressed

Watch List

Each baby develops at her own rate. Although milestones are listed for certain times in a baby's development, your baby will follow her own course. Call your baby's health care provider if your baby shows any of the following signs of possible delay in the 8 to 12 month range:
  • Does not crawl
  • Drags one side of body while crawling (and does this for longer than a month)
  • Can't stand when supported
  • Doesn't look for objects that are hidden while she watches
  • Doesn't say single words (i.e. "mama")
  • Doesn't use gestures like head shaking or waving goodbye
  • Doesn't point to objects or pictures when prompted

The best thing you can do as a parent is to develop a strong and close relationship with your baby. This relationship is the foundation of her learning and her healthy growth and development. You know your baby better than anyone else. If you have any concerns about your baby's development and behavior, be sure to discuss your concerns with her health care provider.

*Separation anxiety is one of the first emotional milestones your baby will reach. It is not a sign that you have spoiled your baby! It means she has developed a healthy relationship with you and, for the first time in her life, can tell the difference between familiar and unfamiliar situations. Separation anxiety usually peaks between 10 and 18 months, and fades during the last half of the second year.

Continue to "Questions to Ask Along the Way" journey to parenthood

Most recent page update: 9/9/2010

© 2016 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.

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