Age 1

Behavior

One-year-olds are usually very mobile. They like to crawl, cruise and walk and it is very important to you as a parent begin putting limits on this behavior. Your child will need to learn by exploration but with safe limits. Baby proof your house so that your toddler will be able to explore it without having to hear the words “no touch” constantly.

Remember to praise your toddler for good behavior. You are his hero so everything you say will affect the child. It is also very important to teach your child the word “no”. Saying “no” in a stern voice with an eye contact is usually very effective in this age group. Some parents have a fear of the word “no.” They do not want their child to feel restricted, so they bend the other way and let their youngster run wild without any limits. A child needs guidance for his or her own protection and to feel safe and cared for. Guidance is also needed for your child to learn that others have rights. “No” at the appropriate time is as important for the child’s development as is nutrition and love.

Discipline needs to be consistent in order to be effective. To discipline your one-year-old, use distraction, loving restraint, removal of the object from the toddler or the toddler from the object. Discipline does not mean punishment or spanking. If you become angry with your baby hand your child over to someone else to give yourself a “time out”, a chance to cool off. By keeping yourself in control and talking in nice but firm voice when it’s time to disipline with no yelling teaches your child the proper way of communication from early on. Despite your child’s desire to become independent, you will find that your one-year-old is often bonding to you, the parent/parents, more than before. In addition, stranger anxiety may cause some parents not to be able to leave their child with grandparents or a baby sitter. You may be afraid of the baby sitter doing things wrong with your baby or you may feel sad to see your child look at you wanting to go with you. It is important for some parents to get out from time to time without their little one. You get to breathe, and your child will learn that sometimes you do go away, but you always come back. It’s also ok if you just want to cherish this time in your child’s life and choose not to leave your child with a babysitter. Your child is this young only once so if this is the choice of parenting style for you it’s perfectly normal and won’t make your child too “clingy” to you. As your 1-year old will get older he will be going through periods when he will want to take distance to you and then be very attached again. It’s normal behavior and should be supported by you by giving him the distance when he needs it but also showing that he can check back with home base as soon as he feels the need.

Encourage your child to play with age-appropriate toys. Children at this age love push and pull toys. Develop motor coordination by clapping and dancing to children’s music. Encourage your toddler to play alone with supervision to let them figure things out on their own as well as with other toddlers, playmates, siblings and parents. Remember to give your child enough play time with mommy and daddy too. As much as he is becoming his own person with his own will doesn’t mean that he should be expected to be independent all of a sudden. You little one still needs a lot of time and affection from you.

Remember that aggressive behaviors – hitting and biting – are common at this age. If you child hits, teach him how to tuch things softly and he will learn that hitting is not acceptable. If biting/hitting continues, however, it is time to get professional help.

Development

Activities your child will learn and/or do on his own:

* Pulls to stand holding on to furniture
* Walks alone with an unsteady gait.
* Play social games such as pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo and so-big.
* Have a vocabulary of one to three words in addition to “mama” and “dada.”
* Drink from a cup – not bottles.
* Feed himself
* Point with a finger and waive.
* Will begin to cooperate a little in getting dressed by holding still.

Feeding and proper nutrition

Your baby’s appetite is going to decrease in the next six months. Your child has been experiencing very rapid growth for a while – doubling their birth weight at 5-6 months and tripling it at a year. Now their rate of growth is slower than during the first year and their appetite cuts back. Do not misinterpret this normal decrease in eating as a sign of illness or disease. Do not force your child to eat.. Develop a “take it or leave it” attitude and do not get into the habit of substituting, bribing or begging your child to eat. Your child will determine the amount of food he needs. Therefore, never overload the plate. If your son or daughter wants more, he or she may have it. One of our problems as adults is over eating, and many of us learned this in childhood.

Most babies at this age are eating mostly table foods but if your youngster still prefers “baby food” that is OK. Milk intake decreases considerably. Discuss milk feedings with your doctor. If you are formula feeding, you might consider weaning to whole milk and limit the amount of milk to 24 ounces or less. It is important to eliminate all bottles by one year of age. After one year, the bottle is more of a comfort item and can cause damage to the teeth. If you are breast feeding, discuss with your child’s pediatrician your feelings about weaning to a cup.

Your child will either want to feed himself or will still want you to do it. Give your 12 month old child a spoon to hold to get used to it, although most cannot master utensils until 18 months. As much as possible, let your toddler feed himself.
Feed your baby three meals a day eaten with the family, and a midmorning and mid-afternoon snack. Avoid foods that can cause choking, such as peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs or sausages, carrot sticks, celery sticks, whole grapes, raisins, corn, whole beans, hard candy, large pieces of raw vegetables or fruit, or tough meat. Always supervise your child when he or she is eating.

Earache in children

Sleep

Encourage your baby to fall asleep himself by putting your child to bed awake. Children at this age many times resist going to sleep because they do not want to be separated from people and their new activities. They are afraid that they are going to miss something important.

It is common for your one-year-old to still to take two naps a day, but he may start to give up one of the naps. Some one-year-old children continue to experience night awakenings for short periods of time. If this happens, check your baby, but keep the visit brief, avoid stimulating your infant, and leave the room quickly once you feel everything is okay. Do not give extra bottles, take the infant into bed with you, or rock him or her back to sleep. This will only reinforce the night awakenings it will become a habit. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle.

Oral Health

Begin brushing your child’s teeth with a tiny, pea-size amount of toothpaste to get your child custom to the routine of brushing teeth. Give your child fluoride supplements as recommended by the pediatrician. Also ask your pediatrician when your child should see the dentist for the first time.

Common colds in children

Safety
Child-proofing your house is now the most important thing to do. You child is now more mobile than ever and curiosity takes place. Accidents kill more children than all other diseases combined. Get down on the floor at your baby’s eye level and see what your toddler can get in to. And remember, that you can never over child-proof your child’s living environment.

Do not leave your 1-year-old alone in a tub of water or on high places such as changing tables, beds, sofas or chairs. Always empty buckets, tubs or small pools immediately after use. Ensure swimming pools have a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Swimming pools are deadly to children this age.

The cupboard under the kitchen sink is very attractive to a baby of this age, so have a lock put on all doors that have cleansers, detergents
, bleaches, furniture polish and insecticides
behind them. As soon as you use medicine of any kind, replace the cap and put the bottle out of reach, preferably locked up. Be particularly alert when you have visiting grandparents or friends who are not used to watching the medicines that closely.

Keep the baby’s environment free of smoke. Keep the home and car nonsmoking zones.

Do not leave heavy objects or containers of hot liquids on tables with tablecloths that the baby may pull down. Place plastic plugs in electrical sockets.

Learn child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Car safety

It is very important to have your baby in a car seat no matter where you are driving. Even if the place is just around the block. Any child who weighs less than 60 pounds should be put in a safety seat every time the child is in the car. It is also a law in all 50 states. Put the baby car seat in the back seat of the car. This is the safest place for a baby to be in case of a car accident. If the car seat is in the front an airbag may seriously injure the baby. Fasten the harnesses on the car seat over the child’s shoulders with less than one inch of space. Do not put small infants in seats with rigid shields. When you are shopping for a car seat, look for the ones that are approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. For hot days you also want to make sure that the car is always kept cool inside. Check the seat’s temperature before you place your child in it. You also want to cover the car seat with a towel or blanket so exposed metal or plastic parts of the seat will not burn your baby’s skin if it happens to be a hot day.

The following age and weight guidelines will help you choose the right car seat. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions foe exact figures.

* Birth to 9 to 12 months (or 20 pounds): Use an infant or convertible seat facing backward.
* 9 to 12 months (or 20 pounds) to 4 years (or 40 pounds): Use a convertible or toddler seat in the forward-facing position.
* 4 years (or 40 pounds) to 8 years (or 0 pounds): Keep your child in a convertible or toddler seat as long as he or she will fit. When your child has outgrown the seat, use one of the following:
If the car has a lap/shoulder belt in the rear seat, use a booster seat that positions the lap/shoulder belt alone if it fits properly. Secure the lap belt across the child’s hips. The shoulder belt should not cross the face or front of the neck.
Use the rear lap/shoulder belt alone if it fits properly. It should not cross the face or neck or ride up across the stomach. the belt should fit across the child’s hips.
If no rear lap/shoulder belt is available, use the shield-type booster seat restrained by the lap belt in the car.
If no other type of restraint is available, use the lap belt. Position it low on the hips and adjust snugly.
* 8 years and older (or 70 pounds and more): You can use the car’s protection system without a booster seat.

Car Seat Buying Guide – click here