At 12 months your child is a curious being, we have put together a checklist of developmental milestones that they should be starting to reach.  This will give you an overview of how your child’s development should be progressing.  Not all children reach their milestones at the same time so please bear this in mind.  This is a framework to help you understand the direction their development should be going and also some helpful tips for you to help them along their way.


  • Self Calms when upset after time – when mildly upset
  • Shows preference for toys
  • Enjoys basis routines i.e Peek-a-boo
  • Shows a range of emotions


  • Responds to name
  • Uses words i.e mama/dada
  • Tries to imitate words/sounds
  • Understands “no”
  • Points to items of interest
  • Babbles using varying intonation


  • Attempts to get an adults attention
  • Shows preference for people i.e siblings, parents
  • Enjoys interacting with familiar people
  • Responds to simple instructions i.e say “bye bye”


  • Explores and manipulates objects i.e shaking/throwing
  • Looks toward familiar objects/pictures when named
  • Imitates gestures
  • Can release objects held in hands
  • Attempts to stand with some support .ie. using adult/furniture for support
  • Sits independently
  • “Cruises” around furniture /attempts to make first steps

If your child is doing all or some of the above, we have created an action plan to help you support your child with their development:

  • Develop your child’s understanding of word’s by labelling everything in their environment
  • Emphasize key words when speaking i.e nouns
  • Reduce the amount of language you use, use shorter sentences and phrases
  • During play ask you child “where’s X” wait for your child to respond, if your child turns, points in the direction of the item, PRAISE them, if they don’t, point to the item, show them or bring the item to them.
  • Provide your child with toys that are easy grip i.e large blocks, rattles, loops and teddies. During play hand items to your child and encourage them “to give back”.  PRAISE them when they release toy to reinforce it.
  • Phase out support when your child is sitting, when your child is sitting on your knee, reduce the level of support by propping them upright/holding them with one hand
  • Prop up your child using cushions, , stay close to your child to reintroduce support when needed
  • Support your child in the sitting position in play, place preferred toys around them to motivate them to sit in order to “facilitate play”
  • As your child is moving around (crawling/shuffling) move them into the standing position, supporing them to walk for short periods.
  • PRAISE your child when they stand
  • Develop leg strength by supporting your child in the standing position
  • Motivate them to walk by moving away from your child and encouraging them to move towards you, a second adult can support them to walk.

The above has been put together by the Multi-Disciplinary team at Adult and Child Therapy Centre.  We are dedicated to providing support to young  children and their families throughout their child’s life and want to ensure that parents have as much information around their child’s development as possible in order to gain a better insight to their child and how best to support them.