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12 month developmental milestones

  • 0-1 Years
  • 1-5 Years
  • Child development and growing up
Baby sitting on the floor playing with blocks in front of them. Dad smiling and lying next to them on the floor also playing with the blocks.

There are some key physical and communication milestones you will expect your 12 month old to reach. These milestones should be treated as a rough guide, as each child is unique and will develop at their own pace. It is often unhelpful to compare a toddler to other toddlers or their siblings.

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023

At around 12 months old you can expect your baby to be able to:


  • sit in a good position and are able to get into a sitting position alone
  • pull to stand from sitting position and can sit down again
  • walk around furniture (also known as cruising)
  • may crawl or bottom shuffle
  • may stand alone
  • help turn the pages of a book
  • throw a small ball
  • pick up a piece of string with first finger and thumb
  • pick up small objects with the tips of their fingers

Read more about early physical skills development


  • point at an object
  • respond to their own name
  • hold out arm or foot to help when being dressed
  • make more meaningful sounds (for example, ‘mamma’ and ‘dadda’)
  • look at an object when you ask where it is
  • offer a toy when you ask for it, they may not let go of it
  • play with a soft toy or doll by hugging it

Read more about your child's communication

Encouraging development

Activities and toys to explore include:

  • containers to put toys into and then take them out
  • picture books
  • push and pull toys, musical toys, and stacking toys
  • messy play
  • thick crayons and paint brushes
  • chatting at mealtimes
  • blowing raspberries
Young child's hands covered in different colour paints and pressing their hands against some pieces of paper.

Toddlers do not need lots of toys or devices to have fun or to encourage development.

They learn a lot of early skills by playing and spending time with you.

Possible development concerns

Sometimes development can be slower than you expect, or you may notice something different about your child or young person. It's normal to feel worried but there is lots of support out there. 

Contact the health visiting team if you notice your baby is:

  • has no form of independent mobility (such as crawling, commando crawling, bottom shuffle)
  • is not pulling to stand from a sitting position
  • is not standing independently


Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Child development and growing up for additional needs


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's development, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Information for 12 month old toddlers

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