Imogen Rose in February at 12 months of age
Our baby girl is one year old!
From an awake infant to an active toddler, our girl has grown steadily in communication, motor prowess, social play and life skills. She can now navigate the house (crawling and climbing) while chattering or screeching at us. She dances when music is played or a song is sung and let’s us know when she wants something.
Happy First Birthday to Imogen.
Eating more than Birthday cake
Our girl loves to feed herself. She holds a spoon and brings the spoon to her mouth, but doesn’t always get the food into her mouth using her spoon. She is still chewing on everything and loves to chew a wet washcloth. We cut meats, fruits and vegetables up in small bites for her to grasp and feed herself.
Imogen has begun eating a wider range of foods that include: berries, corn, wheat, citrus fruits, eggs, shell fish and cow’s milk. Her mom has begun the transition to cow’s milk and is mixing mother’s milk with cow’s milk to help Imogen get used to it. Since several family members are allergic to cow’s milk, we are being careful to note any changes in Imogen’s bowel movements or any sign of rash when she consumes cow's milk.
Other foods to be careful of are raw vegetables (you might want to soft cook them) and large chunks of foods, seeds and pits, hard or crunchy foods, sticky foods like chewing gum or gummy candies or peanut butter. Children can easily choke on these foods. Children need the fat and calories in milk for their growth and development of bones and teeth, so whole milk is recommended.
Getting into the containers cupboard
Large and Small Muscle Development
Imogen is deep in the heart of ‘taking things out’, and frequently empties the book basket or toy box. Once everything is out, she crawls away. She has found the plastic storage cupboard and loves to empty that onto the kitchen floor, tasting selected items as she goes.
Imogen likes to push, throw, dump toys out, hand toys to us and put them into containers. 'Putting into' and 'taking out' is a developmentally appropriate activity for one-year-old children. It advances their eye-hand coordination, muscle strength and coordination. I made a drop can out of a plastic three-pound coffee can by cutting holes in the lid. I use small figures that are big enough to not be a choking hazard, but small enough for her little hands. You could also use wooden clothespins or metal juice-can lids.
Beginning puzzles are something to start at this age, along with stacking blocks and other toys that fit together. Duplos (which our kids love) will be played with for several years. Right now, Imogen holds them, tastes them, and knocks over the towers her brother makes. Later she will be able to put them together. The boys use them for dramatic play and build complex systems or houses, use the animals in play and especially involve the vehicles that can be changed around to become amazingly large or really simple.
Imogen is ‘cruising’ along walls and around furniture with ease, holding on with one hand or standing without holding on. She will soon walk on her own. She pushes the kitchen stool across the room and moves with ease around it. She is also a capable crawler and is quick at climbing the stairs. If your child is not walking yet, don’t worry, he or she will learn in their own time.
Most one-year-olds typically move from crawling to running by about 20 months. They hold their hands out to the side or poke their bellies out for balance. Or, they want you to hold their hand while they attempt to walk. Their gait is a bit awkward and clumsy and falls are common.
One-year-olds love to explore and will need plenty of opportunity for safe exploration. An empty card-board box is a fun space to play in and hide in. Add a few stuffed animals or pillows to make the space cozy.
One-year-olds also improve in hand and finger coordination, but skills at this age are still immature, so they fumble and drop objects frequently. They are usually not disheartened and bend down to pick up the dropped item with relative ease.
Imogen loves to play with others
Social and Emotional development:
Emotionally, one-year olds are learning to recognize and manage their feelings. If they have not yet had a tantrum, this behavior may begin. One-year-olds want independence, yet still need the security of a parent close by. They will cry when you say 'no', but they need the boundaries to keep them safe.
Imogen (along with other one-year olds) is discovering pretend play. She watches her brother and cousin and often is the ‘monster baby’ or ‘giant baby’ in their drama. She laughs and plays ‘hide & seek’ or ‘chase me’ with them or us. She pretends to eat the toy food or stir soup in a pot- usually chewing on the pieces. As she masters ‘hide and seek’, she will become more comfortable with separation from those she depends on, as this game teaches babies that people go away, but come back again.
Imitation is a big part of her play and learning at this age. She can connect the brush to her hair and the phone to listening, so puts it to her ear. Because imitation is such a big part of the way babies at this age learn, we parents (and grandparents) may want to be aware of our own behaviors and think about which ones we don’t want our child to replay back to us.
Imogen loves, loves me (Grandma) right now. I'm flattered, but I know this will pass and Grandpa will be her favorite. She is also experiencing a bit of separation anxiety. This behavior is mild right now, and I expect her demands for me, and her mama, will intensify before they dissipate. This is natural. She knows I will keep her fed, her diaper dry and make sure she gets her sleep, so is distressed when I leave.
A tip: If your child is experiencing separation anxiety, be patient – it’s a stage children go through. Be matter of fact about your leaving. Assure your child you will be back. Make your leaving quick. Your child will settle down soon after you’ve gone. When you are with your child, give them your attention. That is what they seek and it will help this stage go more smoothly.
Many children fight sleep at this age, but Imogen is a child who demands sleep – she lets us know when she is tired by whining and clinging. She is so happy to have her blanket wrapped around her and a bottle before her morning nap. Other times, she doesn't get a bottle, but still will settle down pretty quickly. She often does not sleep as long as we hope, but that is the way of one-year olds. Naps will get shorter and if your child is taking three naps a day, one will get eliminated. I notice that she is more sleeping on some days and more awake on others. She is kind of in a three-day rotation of sleep a lot, eat a lot, be awake a lot. Children's sleep-wake schedules are fluid - changing with the seasons, their growth and development and interrupted by teething or illness and their emotional needs.
Playing With Props
Is our baby developing normally?
Every child is unique. Babies meet the physical milestones at their own pace. There are simple guidelines to what your baby has the potential to accomplish. If your baby was born prematurely (before 37 weeks gestation) then you will probably want to adjust the time line for development to take in their age at birth.
- Chronological age is calculated from your baby’s birth date
- Corrected age is calculated from your baby’s due date.
One-year-old children are good at standing, maybe taking a few steps, or walking,
One-year-olds are good at doing a some things for themselves like helping you get them dressed by putting their arm or leg out, holding or turning the pages of books, eating with their fingers, holding a spoon or toy, transferring items from one hand to the other
(as stated in the section above) They will be sleeping less and perhaps losing one of their daytime naps.
After an incredible one-year growth spurt, your baby’s weight gain which has likely tripled since birth, will start to slow down as their activity level increases. One-year-old babies bodies have grown by 50% and their brain is about 60% of its adult size.
Your baby's communication is becoming more complex and more verbal. You’ll probably hear a few words, like “Mama,” “Dada,” “no,” or “uh-oh” on a regular basis now. One-year-olds learn language by imitating speech they hear from those around them. Most babies turn into a little mimics and may say things adults find embarrassing. At this point, mama really refers to mom, and dada really means dad. One-year-olds have an average of ten recognizable words. Don't worry if your child is not talking yet or if you cannot understand their vocalizations. Although many parents can understand their children's words very well and translate for them to those who don't. The fact that your child is talking, making sounds and participating in conversation is the way they learn language.
This is a great time to continue reading books and to continue playing word games and mouth games with your child. They imitate what you do, so take advantage of that by blowing raspberries, curling your tongue, singing "la la la" and 'Blub! Blub! Blue!" to help your baby work their mouth in different ways. Using all the sounds of our language helps your baby hear them and learn to imitate them.
And, again, reading to your child is the number one way to encourage language and ready them for school success. Happy growing, babies!
One of the most important responsibilities I have is to keep our children safe. I take this seriously even when it doesn't look like it. I believe in constant supervision of little ones because they are so quick to find dangerous situations.
I tied dish clothes around my cupboard doors, but found that these thick red ribbons were festive and did the job. I secure them to the knob, so Imogen cannot pull them loose. But she does like to grab them and sometimes pulls the 'bow' out. Luckily she is still figuring out what they do.
I also use regular baby safety products. I keep covers on all the electric outlets and make sure the floor is clean, the rugs are vacuumed and that there aren't small (chokable) toys on the floor.
The boys get to play with small items at the table and Imogen can watch from her high chair. We do a floor check before she gets down again.
I shut the door to the basement and bathroom and I have a gate at the bottom of the stairwell. These spaces are 'off limits' sometimes, but can be accessed when we want them.
I like to cook with Imogen's older brother and cousin, and we can have her join us for parts of that. As I want to keep all the children safe, I make sure sharp objects (knives) and heat are well away from them.
We have a rule about 'no running in the house', but sometimes the boys forget, so we talk about the rules, remind them of the rules and make sure they know why we have the rules.
I actually only have a couple rules:
1. Running is for outside. We walk inside.
2. We eat at the table. Food stays at the table.
3. (In my house) No jumping on the couch.
(Altho they have been known to jump off the couch.)
Safety is a balance between allowing children to take risks and keeping them safe. I know many folks who don't care if their children jump on the bed or the couch, but I don't want them to do that at my house. So, when you preface a rule with "in my house" you leave room for those adults who have different rules than you.
Now that your baby is a year old, she (or he) will need a well-baby check up. The doctor will asses your baby’s learning and development as well as deliver appropriate immunizations. Make sure your baby is up to day on all recommended vaccinations. This preventative measure is wiping out childhood illnesses that left past generations scarred or impaired.
If you do have concerns about your baby's development or health? This is a perfect time to talk with your doctor. Write your list of questions before you go to the doctor to make sure you get them all answered.
Remember that all babies are not the same. Children progress in similar ways but not at the same rate. If your baby is growing and development is continual, you have a healthy child.
“Your 12 month old’s development” by Center at: https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a716/your-12-month-olds-development
“What can my baby do this month?” at Baby Center at; https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a716/your-12-month-olds-development
PBS Parents: Child Development Tracker “Your One Year Old” at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopmenttracker/one/index.html
“Cognitive Development: One-Year-Old” Healthy Children. org at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Cognitive-Development-One-Year-Old.aspx
© 2018 agaglia