What you'll want this month:

How your baby is developing: Your baby is a true cruising expert. You may even notice your baby standing independently without holding on to a table or chair for stability. Standing independently and waving to get your attention will become a favorite game.

Your baby is most likely walking while holding onto your hand. The excitement this month is that your baby may even take a few steps on their own – keep your video camera at the ready!

Your baby is picking up many words. They may be able to say several words by the end of the month and they will definitely understand many more. Your baby can understand and follow most simple one-step commands like "give that to me" or "stop." Your baby will understand the word "no", but may not always obey it. They may even shake their head no when they hear you say it.

Your baby's memory is improving. If Grandma changes her hair style or if Uncle Rob is wearing a hat, your baby may still recognize them. At the very least, your baby will know the difference between strangers and family.

Your baby's manual dexterity is moving along quite well. Shape-sorters are favorite toys this month because your baby can more easily fit those small shapes into larger holes. Your baby may spend five minutes making a tower out of two or three blocks and then squeal with delight a moment later when they hear the familiar crash.

You may notice your baby developing a preference for their left or right hand. Pay attention to which hand they use most often to pick up toys and utensils – there will be an obvious preference by the end of the month.

Fun games and activities to play: Your baby is ready to learn and wants to experiment. Supply the tools and join in the play.

  • Talk to your baby and explain concepts like up and down, in and out, hot and cold, empty and full, and big and small. Use hand gestures or activities to explain the concept or read books that focus on opposites. Now is the time to name everything indoors and outdoors. Explain cause and effect in your environment, such as "The sun is bright and high in the sky so we can have light." Name colors. When your baby babbles in response, respond with encouragers like "Really?" or "Is that right?" or "Tell me more!"
  • Bring nesting cups with holes in the bottom into the bathtub. Fill the cup with water and watch it drain out the bottom. Let the water drizzle over your baby's arms and legs to simulate a gentle rain shower.
  • Stand in front of a mirror holding your baby. Look into the mirror and point to your baby's reflection. Using your baby's name, ask "Where is William? I see William. There you are!" Point to your baby in the mirror, then point to yourself and say "There's Mommy. Do you see Mommy?" Point out different facial features, eyes, ears, nose and encourage your baby to point them out as well.
  • Sit facing your baby and sing the song "Head and Shoulders." Sing the song while pointing to each body part: head, shoulders, knees, toes, eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. Your baby may dance, copy your actions, or do both.

Your baby is experimenting this month. Here are a few baby products you'll want to use to encourage the experimentation.

  • A toy box to keep all your baby's toys in one place.
Baby Care
  • A pair of flexible-soled rubber boots for those rainy days when your baby wants to play in the puddles.
  • A raincoat or other outdoor baby gear to keep your baby dry while they play and splash.
  • A set of nesting cups for the bath will help your baby to understand the concepts of in and out and big and small.
  • Finger paints and paper are always a good way to introduce your baby to the ideas of art and creation.
  • Washable crayons and construction paper are great ways to let your baby experiment with making marks on paper without worrying about the clean up.

Here comes mommy's little helper! Check out the helpful baby products at 1 year.

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