Now that your baby has become a toddler, his rate of growth will start to relatively slow down when compared with his first 12 months. So expect his growth to be slow and steady, at least till the 20th month. At 13 months, you will notice many changes in your baby and you can see him being more independent than before. So let’s have a look at your 13 month old baby development milestones:
In this article:
- Physical Development Milestones
- Cognitive Development Milestones
- Social & Emotional Development Milestones
- Language & Communication Milestones
- Sleep Milestones
- Feeding Milestones
- What You Can Do As Parents?
- Baby Care for Your Thirteen Month Old
Physical Development Milestones
- Your baby will be able to independently sit and stand at will.
- Can hold smaller objects like crayons, pencils, coins better with his fingers.
- Will dribble less now-a-days.
- Will be actively crawling and cruising. He may even be taking his first thrilling few little steps this month.
Note: Factors, like the floor surface and sudden change of direction by him while trying to stand/walk may lead to loss of balance. He will learn fast from his experience and it’s just a matter of time when he will walk confidently without support.
Cognitive Development Milestones
- Your toddler will be able to understand and comprehend verbal commands.
- Will explore objects in ways other than just by holding, like shaking, banging and throwing.
- Can easily recognise familiar voices and songs.
- Gets better at imitating. For instance, if you touch your chin, he will touch his.
- Is engrossed with toys, as he is curious about how it works.
- Can build a tower of two or three blocks.
Social & Emotional Development Milestones
- Your toddler may act wary in the presence of strangers and may hide and act clingy.
- Is more upfront in expressing what he wants.
- You will see his personality evolve as a result of his growing independence.
- You will see him express a range of emotions going forward, be it kindness, affection, stubbornness or frustration.
- May sing and perform simple and funny actions to songs that are familiar to him. Will also develop affinity to certain songs.
Language & Communication Milestones
- If your baby is an early talker, he may already say two or three words by now.
- Will point at what he wants and shake his head for what he doesn’t.
- May wave arms with a bit of frustration if he’s unable to get what he wants.
- Can understand five to six times more words than the number of words he can speak.
- Your child will sleep about 12 to 14 hours a day, of which 2 to 4 hours will be across a couple of naps during the day.
- May not nap at all during the morning hours.
- Could get moody and grumpy if he misses out on afternoon nap.
It’s absolutely fine and normal to continue breastfeeding him (check with your paediatrician), as long as both your toddler and you are comfortable.
Having said, this is also the right time to prepare yourself for the day when you have to stop breastfeeding, as he is no longer a baby and doesn’t need to be nursed.
What You Can Do As Parents?
- Create ample space for him to move around your home, be it for crawling or walking.
- Add lots of vegetables and fruits to his diet.
- Never force-feed him.
- Child-proofing across your home becomes very critical for the next 12 months. This means you should ensure safety guards are in place on electrical outlets and corner guards are in place for sharp edges.
- Encourage and reinforce good behaviour. Appreciate every time he does something good by saying “good job” or “excellent” and give him a high-five, hug or a kiss. Never use food as a ‘reward’ for good behaviour. Ever.
- Develop your ability to think on the feet to distract him when he gets moody or cranky. It will come in handy during upcoming 12 to 24 months.
- This is the right phase to stop feed him in the night, as filling him up a few hours before dawn can spoil his appetite for breakfast. Moreover, he may be waking up at night more habitually and less because of hunger. May be he is just thirsty.
Baby Care for Your Thirteen Month Old
- Consult your paediatrician about the foods he needs to be fed to fulfil his nutritional needs.
- Make sure he doesn’t get hold of any digital gadgets so that he doesn’t get addicted to holding and watching screens.
- He may understand your safety instructions but not all of them. A good part of your parenting during the second year, therefore, is to be vigilant when your baby is exploring the world around him.
- Unless he is outdoors, let him walk barefoot at home as much as possible. This will help him learn how to gain balance faster, and to grip the floor with his toes.
- Develop your ability to be patient with your little one, especially when he throws tantrums or shows separation anxiety (sometimes frantically).
- Once in a while, help your baby choose his food by introducing him to a variety of tastes and flavours. This ensures that he doesn’t stick to one or two of his favourite foods and deprive himself of a spectrum of nutrition his body needs.
- Don’t force your baby to sleep. Instead, create an environment that induces him to sleep and get used to a schedule. A warm water bath for your toddler before bedtime can induce good sleep.
- Continue to follow up on the regular check-ups and monitor his growth against the chart.
- Never miss any of the visits to the doctor and vaccination doses.
When to Be Concerned?
- Doesn’t respond to or isn’t interested in different sounds.
- Not following moving objects with their eyes.
- Has an eye that is turned in or out most of the time.
- Doesn’t respond to her name.
- Is not making eye contact with you.
- Is not babbling and/or not using single words.
You saw and cherished your baby grow during the first 12 months and for sure you will be eager to see how he grows during the next twelve. So just get ready for an exciting and adventurous second year, enjoy this phase and make sure you capture some fun moments along the way.
Note: Each baby is different and therefore tends to grow at a different pace. Chances are that your little one may have crossed certain milestones already, or is probably a little behind on a few others, which is normal. If you still feel there is something of concern, do speak to your paediatrician/registered professional child healthcare provider.