Caring For Your 1 Year Old Baby
Your baby has made it to their first birthday—congratulations! This is a huge milestone and should be celebrated as such. You and your 1 year old baby have certainly come a long way.
In this post, the baby experts at Mustela will discuss everything you need to know about caring for your 1 year old baby. We’ll explain all the details about your little one’s development, senses, motor skills, eating schedule, sleeping habits, and immunizations, as well as some general childcare tips.
Caring For Your 1 Year Old Baby
Children change dramatically in their first year of life. In the first few weeks outside the womb, your newborn probably did little more than sleep and eat. Now, just 12 short months later, your 1 year old baby is shuffling around your house, making efforts to communicate, and becoming a true individual.
All of these swift changes may have left you with a few questions. But don’t worry; we’re here to answer those questions for you.
Your 1 Year Old Baby’s Development
First, let’s cover your 1 year old baby’s height and weight. On average, one-year-old girls are 28.3 inches (72 cm) to 29.7 inches (75.5 cm) tall and weigh 18.1 pounds (8.2 kg) to 21.4 pounds (9.7 kg).
One-year-old boys are a bit bigger. The median 50 percent of boys are 29.1 inches (74 cm) to 30.5 inches (77.5 cm) in height and 19.6 pounds (8.9 kg) to 22.8 pounds (10.35 kg) in weight at 12 months of age.
Bear in mind that these figures are just averages. It’s no big deal if your 1 year old baby is bigger or smaller. Each child grows and develops at their own pace.
Your 1 Year Old Baby’s Senses
By the time your baby is one year old, their senses are almost fully developed. Your little one’s vision is sharp, and they can see just as well as most adults. They are getting better at recognizing people, places, and objects.
This is also the case for your child’s hearing. While their hearing is already fully developed, they are now becoming better at understanding individual sounds and words. Basically, they are beginning to grasp that people, places, and objects have names.
Your 1 year old baby may even begin attaching a few names and words to the appropriate objects. For example, your baby probably knows their own name and responds to it at this point. Or, if you ask where their brown stuffed teddy bear is, for instance, they may point to it or pick it up and show you.
As your 1 year old baby tries new foods, their sense of taste continues to develop. You’ve probably already noticed that they enjoy eating some foods more than others. This is perfectly normal.
Your little one is also curious about the way things feel and will want to touch practically everything they see. Just be sure to keep an eye on them at all times so they don’t accidentally touch sharp objects or other potentially dangerous items.
Your 1 Year Old Baby’s Motor Skills
Around the one-year mark is when you may see your baby taking their first steps. They probably aren’t yet walking, per say, but they are likely taking a few steps here and there or using stable objects to help them stumble around your house.
And when your little one isn’t trying to walk, they are definitely crawling around like never before. All that tummy time is paying off.
Your 1 year old baby is now able to pick up and grasp a wide variety of objects. This means they can start picking up smaller toys to play with, and they can use crayons to scribble on paper. Your little one can also begin to feed themselves small finger foods. Consider introducing a spoon and a sippy cup to meal times, and allow your baby to practice eating and drinking solo.
Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, really starts taking off around the 12-month mark. Your little one may be able to utter a few words—Mama, Dada, and the all-important “no” are a few common ones.
But most of your 1 year old baby’s communication is non-verbal. They are likely now pointing at objects, shaking and nodding their heads, and using body language to communicate their feelings.
Your 1 Year Old Baby’s Eating Schedule
Healthcare professionals agree that a substantial portion of a baby’s diet should be breast milk and/or baby formula until one year of age. At this point, you can consider weaning your baby.
If you prefer to continue breastfeeding, that’s great. Breastfeeding can continue for the first two years of a child’s life. But some moms choose to wean their babies around the one-year mark.
Your child started eating solid foods sometime around six months of age and now, at one year old, their body is ready to process pretty much anything. The only catch is that your little one’s teeth are still coming in, so they might not be able to chew tougher foods.
You can also begin introducing cow’s milk to your child’s diet after their first birthday. They may not like the taste at first, but be patient and continue to feed it to your little one. They’ll get used to it soon.
Your 1 Year Old Baby’s Sleeping Habits
Your 1 year old baby is sleeping roughly 13 to 14 hours per day. More than likely, your baby is sleeping around ten hours at night and then another three or four hours during the day. Daytime sleep normally comes via a mid-morning nap and an afternoon nap.
Some one-year-olds experience sleep regression, which means they may have previously slept well through the night but are now having trouble. This is normal and, while it can be tough on parents, is nothing to be worried about.
If your 1 year old baby is waking up frequently during the night, establish a bedtime routine and allow your little one to lie in bed when they are still awake (rather than letting them fall asleep somewhere else and then carrying them to bed).
This helps them learn to fall asleep on their own. It also helps them fall back asleep without you and your partner if they wake up in the middle of the night.
Your 1 Year Old Baby’s Immunizations
When you go to the doctor’s office for your 1 year old baby’s checkup, be prepared for a round of immunization shots. Assuming your baby is current on all their previous shots, here’s what they will receive at the one-year visit to the doctor:
- The first round of Hepatitis A vaccine
- The third round of Hepatitis B vaccination
- The fourth round of HIB vaccine
- The fourth round of PCV vaccine
- Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine (MMRV)
It’s never fun to watch your baby get shots, but immunizations are extremely important, so make sure your little one is up to date.
General Childcare Tips
At 12 months of age, your baby is able to move around the house with relative ease. That’s why it’s so important to babyproof your home and always keep an eye on your little one. Never leave them unattended, not even for a second.
As your little one is now eating more solid foods than ever, introduce new foods one at a time and keep an eye out for signs of allergies, like hives or rashes. Pay attention to your baby’s dirty diapers too. Loose stool is an indication of a new food disagreeing with your little one’s tummy. Consult a doctor if your baby has diarrhea for more than 24 hours.
Finally, always take excellent care of your little one’s delicate skin. Skin conditions like baby acne, eczema, and cradle cap are not uncommon but are easily treated with adequate attention to your child’s skin care routine.
Reaching your child’s first birthday is a special time. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months and think of all the amazing things to come. So take lots of photos and enjoy the journey of parenthood.