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The First Year: 12 Month Milestones (page 2)

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Updated on Jun 18, 2012

Makes Animal Sounds. By now, saying "no!" or exclaiming "uh-oh!" are phrases your chatty baby has mastered. This month, she'll start making animal sounds on request. A one-year-old knows that cows say "moo" and pigs say "oink" thanks to your example and lots of board books.

  • Grab an animal book and point out the different animals. Your babe will love to tell you the sounds each one makes. If she doesn't know, it's time to test your animal sound skills instead; she'll catch on soon enough.
  • Add animal sounds to the growing list of how your baby is learning to communicate on a daily basis. It might sound like simple stuff, but it proves that your little one understands the difference between human and animal communication, as well as becoming aware of different sounds in general. Plus, it's a fun party trick.

Changes to a Sippy. The breast or the bottle? Beverage choices are pretty limited in the first year of life. But as long as your doc gives the OK, you can switch to using a sippy and start to wean, if you wish. The new shape and texture of a sippy might be strange at first, but soon your little one will love to tote around her drink. Just be sure that she only sips when she's sitting or lying down, as tumbling while sucking on a sippy can equal a serious mouth injury.

  • Fill a sippy with something familiar. It's fine to switch to whole milk after the first year of life, but the taste and texture paired with the newness of a cup could throw your little one off. Instead, offer formula or breast milk in the cup until she gets comfy with the change. After a couple of weeks, you can dilute the formula or breast milk with cow's milk until your little one gets used to the new flavor.
  • Continue to monitor your child for food sensitivities. Some children will have adverse reactions to dairy, like an upset tummy or diarrhea. If you notice digestion issues, talk to your pediatrician about possible allergies and switching to a soy product instead.

Takes Her First Steps. If your tiny dancer hasn't already taken a few unassisted steps, she will within the next month or so. Have the camera ready and lock up your valuables, because soon, she'll be into every nook and cranny of your home.

  • Continue to play with push-along toys that assist your baby in getting her sea legs. Stroll together as you hold her hands; it's a great way to help build up the muscles that will eventually help her with walking.
  • Don't worry about a few bumps and bruises along the way. It's common for babies to take a couple steps before tumbling to the ground. Walking on carpet and blocking off dangerous areas, like the stairs, ensures that small falls don't become huge problems.
  • Allow your baby to go barefoot when first learning to walk. Thick shoes and socks can throw off her balance and make it harder for her to conquer.

Changes Sleeping Patterns. The good news? You should be reclaiming your bed by now, thanks to the 10 to 12 hours of sleep that your baby gets uninterrupted each night. Unfortunately, daytime is a different story; your little one might be getting ready to drop a nap.

  • Don't be hard and fast when it comes to naps during the day. Cate McKee, a pediatric sleep therapist, notes that each day is different. "When attempting to eliminate one of the two naps, toddlers occasionally have days when two naps are needed." Instead of going by schedule, follow your little one's cues and put her down when she starts to get sleepy. After a while, you should be able to detect a pattern to help form a new routine for your almost-toddler.

When you're busy planning for that momentous first birthday, do us a favor to sit back and absorb everything that has happened in the past year. Yes, your babe is a year older, but so are you; a year of sleep deprivation, a year of frustration, but also a year of tackling your most rewarding job ever. Ready or not, here comes toddlerhood!

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