Caring for Your 12-Month-Old

Positive Parenting

During this time your toddler’s physical growth and motor development will slow, but you will see tremendous intellectual, social and emotional changes. Your child will swing back and forth between fierce independence and clinging to you. The best way to help your baby deal with these emotions is to give attention and reassurance.

Some things you can do to help your toddler:

  • As tempting as it might be to sneak away at times, instead leave with a kiss and a promise to return.
  • Encourage your child’s growing independence by letting them do safe simple things on their own. Give them a choice between two heathy snacks, let them wash their face
  • Let them run, play and climb in safe spaces.
  • Ask your toddler to find objects for you or identify body parts.
  • Respond to wanted behaviors more than punish unwanted behaviors.
  • Stop unwanted behaviors with very brief time outs, one minute or less.

Make time for yourself and your partner.


This document contains general parenting information based on American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations and is not meant to replace the expert advice of your pediatrician.