If you are in the habit of reading, talking and singing to your baby, you will now see the rewards of your efforts. He will be able to understand more and more. Remember, the more you talk to him the smarter he will be. A good time to talk to your baby is while he's getting dressed. As you hand him each piece of clothing, name it: sock, shoe, pants, diaper, sweater, shirt. After a few days of this, put his clothes on the floor in front of him and ask him to give them to you as you say the item's name. While bathing, name the toys in the tub and ask him to hand you a specific toy.
Try to avoid "NO's"; except when danger is involved! If he does something that you do not like, distract him by taking him to another area and giving him something else to do. If he is about to touch a hot stove, use the word "no." For example: "No, the stove is hot. That will hurt you." Be consistent when you use the word "no," so that it means "Stop At Once!"
Things Your Child May Do At This Age
HINT: It is very important for your child to have books in his home. Nursery rhyme books and picture books are good books for a start.
Introduce toilet training through consistent, positive encouragement. There is no set time to start "potty training." Your child's readiness should be the guide.
When your baby is born, his nervous system, which sends messages throughout the body, has not completely developed. As your baby grows and his body develops, he gains more control over his body's actions and functions such as: holding his head up, rolling over, picking up small items with his fingers and walking. The same is true for going to the bathroom. Potty training can only occur when he is able to control his bladder and his bowel functions. Babies' bodies develop at different rates, so be patient! Praise him when he is successful. Do not punish him when accidents occur--they are "accidents."
Lock cabinets, doors and windows as your child begins to move about.
Use a gate to block entrances to stairs.
Supervise stairs and/or use a gate to block entrances.
Your child will love to play with water. Remember, it only takes 4 minutes to drown in less than 2 inches of water. SUPERVISE at all times whenever your child is playing with water.
Place medicines, cleaning products, matches and firearms on high shelves behind locked doors. Remove all hazardous substances. Cover all electrical outlets and extension cords that are exposed.
Buckle your child into a front-facing child seat placed in the back seat of the car when you take your child for a ride.
Supervise sandbox play in order to teach your child how to play in the sand. She may want to eat the sand or throw it rather than dig and pour. You can make "sand box" time a fun, learning experience.
Well Baby Check-ups: 12 months (Do it Now!)
Read to your child every day. Story time is an excellent way to wind-down before naptime or bedtime. It helps to create a routine; such as "It's bedtime, get your favorite book so we can read."
Help your child learn how to hold books--turned right-side up and starting at the front of the book. Teach her that they are fun to look at but should be handled gently. Patiently teach her that books are not for chewing or tearing. (Accidents will happen. Have tape handy to repair torn pages. Do not make a "big deal" out of a bent or torn page.) It is very important to have books in her home. Picture books and rhyming books are good books for a start.
Encourage him to express his feelings with words; for example: "Oh, you bumped your head. I know that hurts. Tell me where it hurts."
Give your child time outdoors. Let him run and play. Climbing in and out of boxes is a favorite game. Remember to watch him closely when outside--he can move pretty fast when he wants to!