1 Year Olds

Picture of ABC BlocksREAD TO ME!

Have you begun reading to your baby? At the age of twelve months, most babies are more interested in learning to walk than in sitting still. But they still love books, even if they mostly use them “on the go!” When your toddler is standing, holding on to the furniture, or when he plops down for a few minutes on the floor, you can share a book with him. In short snatches of time, you can talk about an illustration, or read a few pages of text. Never force an active toddler to “sit still” to listen to books. Just keep presenting books in a positive, loving way. Eventually, his curiosity will get the better of him and he will want to hear more and more of the story!

Books are a good way to teach your toddler new words. As you read, point to an object on the page and say its name. Soon your child will want to point and name it, too! Many books have been written for toddlers for the purpose of introducing them to new words.

Read as much as your toddler wants to hear. Never force a busy toddler to sit and read a book! Keep offering books in a positive way. Your toddler will be hooked on books soon!


For the last twelve months, your conversations with your little one have been slightly “one-sided.” While you have communicated with your baby in many ways, most of her communication with you has been non-verbal. You have probably enjoyed hearing her explore speech sounds, babbling and cooing for the sheer pleasure of playing with her voice. Now comes your reward for all the months of talking and singing and explaining and chanting nursery rhymes. Very soon, your baby will begin to say real words like “Mama, “ “Dada,” “ball,” “babee,” and “NO!”

At last, she will be able to communicate with you through speech. However, she will continue to use pointing and gesturing to let you know what she wants. It will still be some time before she can articulate her needs clearly through language. When she points to something she wants, say the word for her: “Do you want a drink now?” She is eager to learn to speak, and this is the best way to give her new words. You may be amazed at how much language she can understand. She can probably follow simple instructions from you, such as “Bring me your truck.” Her receptive language will be far more developed than her spoken language for most of her childhood.

Information adapted from Baby TALK