Home  |  Baby Development by Weeks | By Months | Baby Care  | Fun  | Parenting | Teach Toddler   

1 Year Child Development Milestones

One Year Old Speech and Language

So far, we've covered the physical development and social development milestones for 1 year old children. In this last part, we will list the speech, language, and intellectual development milestones that you might see for a 12 months old baby.

Beginning to understand speech and language is a main developmental milestone for 1 year old children. While they may not be able to speak yet, they will develop an understanding of the spoken language, and will understand a lot of what you say. The more your talk to your child, the more exposure and "practice" they get at learning language and speech. Below, we'll list some speech and language development milestones that you might notice.

1 Year Old Toddler Speech and Language Growth

  • By age one, the child begins to understand the meaning of many words, even though he or she cannot speak yet. The more you talk to your baby, the better he or she becomes at understanding language. It should be no surprise that a baby who is talked to more often and is exposed to language often will have better understand of language than a baby who is not talked to.
  • A 1 year old child also begins to understand basic sentences. For example, if you tell your baby: "It's time for milk," or "Where is your bottle?", he or she will understand and come to your for milk, or go look for his or her bottle.
  • You children at this age can only make simple one syllable sounds, and will say words such as mama, dada. They will try to copy words that they hear often such as "bye-bye", or also imitate animal sounds.

    Often times, your child will try to copy the words you say, but will only be able to make the first sound of the word. For example, bottle, they might say "ba ba"; for water, they might say "wa wa"; or "noo noo" for noodles.
  • The toddler may understand "Yes" and "No", and when you say "no" to them, might stop what they are doing. They can also shake their head to say "no".

Intellectual Development Milestones

  • By this time, your baby knows that people or objects still exist when they are out of sight. You can play games such as peek-a-boo or hide a toy and let your baby find it.
  • A twelve months old baby knows and recognizes his or her name, and will come to you when you call them by their names. You can help reinforce this by using your baby's name more often in your everyday conversations.
  • A one year old has excellent visual memory, and will look for a lost toy with determination. Often times, when there's something that you are looking for, but your child has misplaced it somewhere, he or she can often find it for you if you simply ask them. For example: "where did you put your bottle?", or "where are your shoes?".
  • You child may be able to connect two ideas together now. For example, "climb up" on the sofa to "read a book". You can help your child string their thoughts together with multiple activities such as suggesting:
    • Let's put your shoes on and go play outside
    • Let's stack up your toy blocks and then knock it all down
    • Cover your eyes and let's play peek-a-boo
  • Your child will also copy and imitate various actions he or she sees you perform. For example, if you clap your hands, your child may copy you and also clap his or her hands. If you blow a raspberry, they will also blow a raspberry.
  • You child may also begin to know the names of some of their body parts, and will point to it when asked. For example, nose, eyes, ears, etc...

The more language and speech practice a child receives, the faster they develop those skills. The more time you spend teaching your baby, the better he or she will develop. Keep in mind that understanding language always comes before being able to speak it. So that even though a 12 month old child may not be able to speak, he or she can understand a lot of what you are saying.

At this age, they learn by doing and by seeing how things are done. They will copy and imitate your actions, and learn about cause and effect such as pushing a stack of blocks will knock it over. The most important thing at this age, however, is the trusting relationship that you build with your child. Make sure to give the love and attention to make your child feel safe and secure, and always provide gentle guidance to help your child learn and practice new skills.

One Year Old Physical Development >>

<< 1 Year Social Development

Baby & Toddler Videos

Toddler Reading Video
Watch a 2 year old toddler read, and see how this child's reading skill develops at 3 and 4 years old.