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About 12 Months of Age: Parenting

When your baby is one year old it is an exciting time for both of you, because your child is not only showing a lot of curiosity about the world, but is also extremely focused on you.

But for all the adventurous spirit that children show around this age, they really need the security of a parent or other loving caregiver to rely on. They want to keep you in sight and show off for you. And the more you are available and reliable when your child needs you, the more your child will learn to function independently.

At this age, children will be able to feed themselves and are actively learning to dress and un-dress on their own - for example, by putting up their arms for your assistance in pulling a shirt on or off. Children love repetition, and will learn by doing things over and over. They will begin asking you to read the same story over and over, and may point to familiar things as you read along. Children at this age are also great imitators of adults - they love performing, and the more everyone reacts and exclaims, the more they'll do it.

Because twelve-month-olds are more mobile, be sure that your home is properly childproofed. It's also time to start setting some limits, especially to protect your child from dangerous things - he will understand what "no" means, although it will be a while before he actually accepts what it means.

It's a good idea at this stage for both you and your child to spend time with other children and parents, such as at library story times, coffee groups or playgroups formed with your friends or through drop-in centres. Don't fall into the trap of comparing your child with others, though.

Remember, each child is unique. Not all children develop at the same rate in each area, such as movement, communication and relating to others, so the information on this website is meant only as a general guide. If you have concerns about your child's development, you should consult your child's doctor.

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