What you'll want this month:

How your baby is developing: Now that your baby has discovered walking, they really want to master it. Crawling is faster and is still the preferred choice for a quick getaway; but your baby may become a walking zombie, literally. The desire and drive to walk can be so strong it may prevent your baby from relaxing.

Place a chair or a stroller in front of them and they will push that chair all over the house. They are also beginning to understand there are tools that can help them to do the things they want to do.

The need for independence starts now. You may notice your baby has started to test you to see what they can or can't get away with. This may be frustrating, but it is just the beginning of your baby testing the waters.

Your baby may be testing you, but they are also copying your every move. By this time, most babies want to do what you do: sweep the floor, wash the windows, and wipe off the table. They want to help, but they want to do it on their own and in their own way. They may try to undress or dress themselves, insist on self-feeding no matter how messy, and sweep your pile of dirt all over the place in the name of helping.

Your baby will also copy your facial expressions and sounds. You may hear the sound of a "moo cow" when you least expect it. Single words still represent whole thoughts to your baby, many things may still be "cheese," and a single word like "mama" could be a statement or a question. Deciphering your baby's babbles and intonations becomes a science this month.

Memory and personality are shining through this month. Your baby will remember which hole a particular shape fits through, or will look for a toy where they remember putting it down. They will find their favorite toy more often, especially before nap time.

Your baby will begin to show love and affection for close family members and favorite toys. Shower each other with hugs and kisses to encourage loving behavior. Your baby will also start to develop a sense of humor and may do things to make you laugh or laugh at things they think are funny. Tears of joy and frustration abound this month as your baby turns one and enters a new phase of development.

Fun games and activities to play: Your baby likes to move around and help you with simple chores. Here are a couple of things you can do to encourage your baby.

  • Get down on the floor with your baby and roll around, flap you're arms and legs, and dance. Sing simple nursery rhymes like Ring Around the Roses or The Hokey Pokey and show your baby how to do the movements.
  • Let your baby help you clean. Sweep, dust, wipe, then give your baby the broom, duster, or cloth and let them help. Give them their own broom and let them clean with you.

Encourage your baby's developing independence this month, by supplying them with these baby products.

  • A pop-up laundry hamper in the shape of a flower or bug will encourage your baby to put away dirty clothes.
  • An open top toy box will encourage your baby to help you put away their toys and can also help them improve their aim if you turn clean up into a tossing game.
  • A drinking cup with a lid and straw are favorites at this age as babies find the straws quite novel and exciting.
  • A kid-sized broom and dust pan will excite and inspire your helper to action.
  • A doll or a stuffed toy is the perfect companion for a baby eager to show affection.
  • A "See and Say" toy that makes the sound of a variety of animals for your baby to listen to and mimic.
  • A brightly colored pull-toy that your baby can pull around behind them as they walk.

Sit and play with items from this list of fun baby products at thirteen months.

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