What skills should a 1-year-old child be able to do?

Here are some things you should expect from your one-year-old:
  • Your child should recognize her name and look to you when you say it.
  • She should have at least one word in addition to mama and dada, even though you may be the only one who understands it.
  • She can pick up Cheerios (as well as stray buttons, dead bugs...) with two fingers -- and put them in her mouth.
  • She may be able to hold a cup to her mouth.
  • She knows "no."
  • First steps are taken!
  • Two naps begin to consolidate into one midday nap around this age.
  • Your child should be weaned off of pureed food at around 1 year; she can eat everything you eat if it is in chewable pieces (except potential allergens if there's a family history).
  • She's doing a good job of developing fine motor skills: banging objects, poking fingers, making marks on paper. No piano concertos just yet, but she's working on it.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Here are the skills, traits, or habits a child will typically have developed by one year of age:

Social and Emotional:

  • Shy with strangers (expression of this varies in intensity) and cries when parent leaves
  • Prefers regular caregivers to all others
  • Repeats sounds
  • Starts to imitate people during play
  • Explores objects by shaking, banging, and so on
  • Begins to use objects correctly, like holding cup to mouth
  • Begins to look at correct picture when object is named
  • Responds to simple verbal requests and commands, including "no"
  • Changes tone when babbling
  • Says "Dada" and "Mama" specifically
  • Tries to imitate words
  • Points to desired object
Gross Motor:
  • Crawls forward on all fours (though some kids skip crawling, which is not necessary for normal motor or cognitive development)
  • Sits up on his own
  • Pulls himself up to stand
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Stands without support for a moment
  • May walk a few steps without support
Fine Motor:
  • Puts objects in container and takes them out (between twelve and fifteen months)
  • May stack two objects and/or bang two objects together
  • Pokes with fingers
  • Tries to make a mark on paper
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...
Charles I. Schwartz, MD

Your 1-year-old should be able to stand and take a few steps. He will eat food with his fingers. He will help with getting dressed with a parent and turn pages in a book. He will pretend to talk on the phone and use a hairbrush. He will babble and say the words mama and dada.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.