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Your Baby is Twelve Months Old

Your baby's very first birthday is soon approaching! This is a very exciting time for parents as their child transitions from an infant into a toddler. Not only will your baby be more interactive and responsive, it will also begin to understand you better! Let's take a quick look at what other feats your child will be able to achieve this month.

Mental Development
Your babies are developing mental abilities that will encourage them to explore different ways of playing with toys and using common household items, so you're going to have to keep a close watch over them lest they get into mischief. Beware of leaving small objects or dangerous items where your child can reach them. 

Your child's improved memory will enable it to remember things for longer periods of time. It will also learn to solve problems by using the trial and error method. If you want to teach your child some discipline, this is the perfect time to do so; use simple and direct instructions and commands to get your point across, and be patient as some points will take time to sink in. Children will start to enjoy reading time more acutely, as this month they will be better able to grasp story outlines and pictures. Some experts advise parents to leave their babies alone for some time every day to get them used to playing by themselves and working independently.

Physical Development
If it hasn't happened already, your little one might be taking its first few steps without any help this month. Keep the camera ready just in case! Don't worry if your baby doesn't perform on queue, however, as many children wait a few months longer before tackling this milestone. Your little one might also be handling a spoon more expertly around now, enabling your child to feed itself with minimal help.

Sleeping Habits
The average 1-year-old will sleep 10-12 hours a night and will need from 1-2 naps a day. You might begin experiencing bedtime struggles now that your 1-yeal-old is becoming more demanding and independent. Things should go smoothly however if you've already established a consistent bedtime routine. If you haven't done so, create a bedtime routine and stick to it to help bring healthy structure into your baby's life. Many children feel better sleeping next to their favorite toy or holding onto their comfortable blanket. Allow your child to do so if it has a favorite item, as it will help it settle down.

Eating Development
As usual, avoid giving your baby foods that can be potential choking hazards, such as popcorn, grapes, hot dogs, hard candy, long spaghetti, and hard chips. If your baby is still hungry after you've breastfed or bottle-fed it, it's a sign that it's time for it to be weaned. If you've started feeding your little one the same type of food you offer the rest of your family, make sure to avoid giving it fried foods or spicy sauces as they can give your baby gas, which can be painful. A good tactic to get your child eating new things is mixing new food with foods that your baby really likes.