What Are Appropriate Behaviors for a One-Year-Old?

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What are appropriate behaviors for a one-year-old? While every child is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules about when certain developmental...

Appropriate Behaviors for a One-Year-Old

While every child is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules about when certain developmental milestones occur, there are general timelines for when we expect to see certain accomplishments.

Relatedly, some children may be advanced in one area and slightly behind in another. The behaviors listed below are those that are typically achieved during the 1-year-old year and are shared merely as a guideline.

As parents, we may wish to help our children play to their strengths and consider interventions to support and strengthen their weaker areas; consulting with professionals can help determine appropriate paths for intervention.

Motor Skills

  • Follows a fast moving object
  • Participates in getting dressed (raises arms)
  • Plays simple back and forth games (ball game)
  • Gets to a sitting position without help
  • Pulls up to stand, walks holding onto furniture (“cruising”)
  • May take a few steps without holding on
  • May stand alone
  • May walk alone

What are appropriate behaviors for a one-year-old? While every child is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules about when certain developmental...

Cognitive

  • Responds to their name or turn to the person speaking when his/her name is called
  • Understands that objects continue to exist, even when they can’t be seen
  • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing
  • Finds hidden things easily
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
  • Copies gestures
  • Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair
  • Bangs two things together
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
  • Lets things go without help
  • Pokes with index (pointer) finger
  • Follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”

What are appropriate behaviors for a one-year-old? While every child is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules about when certain developmental...

Speech-Language

  • Understands simple commands
  • Use a few gestures, one after another, to get needs met, like giving, showing, reaching, waving, and pointing
  • Tries to imitate animal sounds
  • Connects names with objects
  • Points to objects with the index finger
  • Responds to simple spoken requests
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
  • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
  • Make sounds, like “ma,” “ba,” “na,” “da,” and “ga”
  • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh”
  • Tries to say words you say

What are appropriate behaviors for a one-year-old? While every child is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules about when certain developmental...

Social-Emotional

  • Play peek-a-boo, patty cake, or other social games
  • Begins pretend play (such as pretending to drink from a cup)
  • Waves goodbye
  • Is shy or nervous with strangers
  • Cries when mom or dad leaves
  • Has favorite things and people
  • Shows fear in some situations
  • Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story
  • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention
  • Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
  • Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”

What are appropriate behaviors for a one-year-old? While every child is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules about when certain developmental...

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Barrie Morganstein, Ph.D.
Dr. Morganstein works with clients of all ages by providing individual therapy, family therapy, and psychological assessment. In her therapeutic work, she specializes in Parenting, Behavioral & Emotional issues in Children, Auditory & Other Sensory Processing Disorders, ADHD Coaching, Self-Esteem & Identity, and Motherhood Issues such as Post-partum Depression & Anxiety. Dr. Morganstein regularly conducts psychoeducational and neurodevelopmental assessments for individuals of all ages and specializes in Auditory Processing Disorders, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities. She is an expert in working with Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing clients conducting both therapy and psychological assessments; she is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), but adapts to a wide variety of communication needs and preferences.

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