Movement Milestones for Your 12-Month-Old

12-month-old baby is starting to stand up while holding on to furniture

At 12 months, your baby is officially a toddler and becoming more active, animated and curious every day! Read on for more information about movement milestones for your 12-month-old.

At 12 months, your baby will begin to advance their movements as they try to build their independence and become more like the adults they see in their lives. Now that they are more mobile and engaged, you may notice these new behaviors.

Movement milestones to look for at 12 months and tips to encourage your baby:

  • Pulling up to stand. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on your baby as they begin to pull up on things like tables, chairs and stools that can easily tip over.
  • Cruising along furniture. You can encourage this skill by placing engaging toys along the edge of the couch for them to walk toward.
  • Starting to walk. Encourage walking by taking nature walks around the yard and exploring things like flowers, leaves, sticks and rocks.
  • Using fine motor skills. Your baby might be doing things like taking stacked rings off a stick, picking up smaller pieces of food or drinking from an open or soft straw cup without as much guidance.

Your baby is beginning to take great interest in everything you do, and you may notice them copying things they see and hear. Singing silly songs about rolling a ball or talking through how you’re helping your child move their arms and legs while getting them dressed in the morning are great ways to engage with them and encourage social interaction.

Infant pulls up to stand while in their crib

As your baby begins to meet these exciting milestones, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Lower the crib mattress. Once your baby can pull up, be sure to lower their crib mattress to prevent falls.
  • Make sure furniture is safe and secure. Now that your baby can pull up onto household furniture and may be cruising along it, it’s important to keep them safe by anchoring furniture to the wall.
  • Always watch your baby on elevated surfaces. When your baby is on any elevated surface, such as a bed, couch or changing table, always watch them to prevent them from rolling or falling off.
  • Only use infant activity centers, jumpers and bouncers for up to 30 minutes at a time. Although these products can be engaging, they are considered confining equipment and do not allow baby to have full range of their body, which is needed for proper growth and development.
  • Do not use baby walkers or activity centers that have wheels and allow baby to move. The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a ban on these devices as they pose a high risk of danger, even with a caregiver present.

Ready to learn about what comes next? Read our article on milestones for 15-month-olds.

Note: If you’re concerned about your baby meeting their milestones, be sure to speak with their pediatrician.