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My 1-Year Old Baby. 9 Real-Life Developmental Milestones

What should your 1-year old baby be doing?

Every month I write my daughter, Adeline a letter describing her baby milestones so we can look back one day and reminisce. I know all babies are different but I'm sharing her developmental journey so that other moms have a real-life account of some of the fun things to expect from their little one as they grow.

Mom Hack:

I bought an inexpensive white birthday dress off Amazon for her cake smash pictures. When I went to pick up the cake I completely forgot that I ordered purple icing. In the end, the dress did not survive purple icing, and I am happy I didn't spend a lot of money on the outfit. The experience was priceless and great for cinematic effect. Best advice; either dress the baby in a diaper or don't spend a lot of $$ on an outfit

(btw, Purple is so your color, Adeline :)

A letter to Adeline:


Dear Adeline,

Happy birthday, you are officially a 1-year old! We had a little picnic, you had your cake smash moment, you made a huge mess, and it was great!

The fact that you are a year old is mind-blowing. It flew by, even though this year has been a total sh$t show. Considering we are in the middle of a pandemic, this year has felt like one long groundhog day. We have been on house arrest pretty much since you were born. First, to try and keep you germ-free (I was completely paranoid you would get sick), and now because of COVID-19, which hit us just as I was feeling comfortable to take you out and show you around. After being stuck inside, day after day, for a year, you would think I would be tired of you, but you, Adeline, are hilarious. You are cute, smart, funny, and I like you. I like you a lot (insert Forest Gump voice here).

As far as baby months go, the 11 to 12-month milestones are my favorite so far. I know, I know, I say that every month, but this month it's true. Forget the newborn phase; this is the good stuff.

One-year-old babies, interact with you, and everyone else. You love attention and smile and wave at everyone who walks by (even with all the covid masks on). You are on the move exploring everything, you can mimic and copy us, and every day you do something new that blows my mind. You just figured out how to make a fishy face with your lips, and we both think it's hilarious. Plus, you sleep better, which equals happiness for everyone. So yeah, it's a good time.

Anyway, to give you a recap, I write to you every month because I am a sentimental sap, and one day I want to look back and remember your development. Then when you ask me, hey mom, when did I start walking, I can answer you (spoiler alert, it hasn’t happened yet, but stay tuned).

Ok, what makes you so fun:

  1. You are standing up, look-ma-no-hands style. I know that some babies are walking by this age (especially boys and babies with older siblings), and you aren't there yet, but you can steady yourself and just hang with no hands for a good while until you get distracted and want to do something else. You stand up, you can clap, bend down, pick something up, and then stand up again, whereas before, you could only do that if you used something like the wall for support. This makes us all think that your first steps will happen pretty soon, and we have been frantically trying to put up the baby gates.

  2. You are scaling the walls, couch, and me, and way more mobile than ever. Last month you pretty much stayed in one area, and now, you are all over the place and moving fast. Your crawling went from snail to Speedy Gonzales and now if I take my eyes off you for a second you could be on the other side of the room. crawl and climb from the floor to the top of the couch and over anything that is in your way. I think you would go faster, but you don't like banging your knees on the floor, so you have this weird stanky-leg crawl where you only put one knee on the ground and use your other leg to propel you forward as if you were sprinter stepping out of the blocks. It seems to work and you continue to motor along.

  3. You won't let me change your diaper anymore. Rolling over for you has now become an extreme sport. It's like a wrestling match, and you seem to be winning. I think it's because you want to play all day and you don't even want to take 3 minutes out of your busy playtime to get your bum cleaned. As soon as I lay you down, you are twisting and turning with the strength of an MMA fighter, and I have to either quickly distract you with a toy or pin you down while you struggle. It's nuts, you go, girl.

  4. You are testing all kinds of limits. You want to see what you can get away with and what will get a reaction from me. The crazy thing about it is that you remember what you did and what response it elicited. You know that scene in Jurassic Park where the guy is talking about the Velociraptors and how intelligent they are, and he is like, "that one… when she looks at you, you can see that she is working things out... They remember" well, that's you, you are testing mommy's fences for weakness (btw. Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies. I mean favorite in the way we went on a Jurrasic Park tour in Hawaii and it was the highlight of my trip, but that's a story for another day). You started throwing your food on the floor and every time you wait for me to tell you “no” because one time, one time, I made a funny face, threw up my hands, and said nooooooooo Adeline, in a funny way. Now you want that same reaction again. You fake putting food in your mouth, and then right when I look over to make sure you do, you chuck your food on the floor. Sometimes you even do it in slow motion just to toy with me. You do this with all sorts of things and now, my tactic is to not respond, give you some positive praise when you put the food in your mouth, but you know better and you remember. Clever girl.

  5. You copy us, even when we are not purposefully trying to teach you anything. This one is nuts to me. I know that the kids are always watching, but the other day I caught you trying to put my socks on your feet; this is crazy for two reasons. The first is that it wasn't any old clothing item you were trying to put on your body; you actually could differentiate between what type of clothing goes where. We never tried to teach you this, it was just something that you had seen and you started doing. The logic of it is so impressive and scary at the same time because now I have to be 100% aware of setting a good example (that means I need to really start parenting). I guess it's time to stop swearing in front of you.

  6. You like toys that you can control and that move. Throwing things seems to be all the rage and you are into making things move. Your favorite toys right now are small balls and shape-sorter blocks that you can hold in your hand and bang together or toss into something. You love throwing everything you come across behind you or over the playpen wall or off the couch, or into the bathtub. Totally get it; gravity is impressive. I think if there were an unlimited supply of things to throw, you would do that all day. It's not as fun for your dad and me as we continue to play fetch, and you continue to throw. We love you, so we let it slide. You love the crawl-ball because it rolls and moves around and makes a ton of different noises. Whenever I have to do something and need you to occupy yourself for 10 minutes this is my go-to.

  7. Your dexterity continues to get better, and you can reach into small areas. You can reach in to pull your cheerios out of a bag, and if there are baby wipes around, you love to open the package and pull them all out (another fun clean up game for us). I also give you a non-spill snack cup so you can reach in and pull out your snacks. I love this because when we are in the car or you are in your stroller you can feed yourself, I am currently using the Munchkin Snack Catcher from Target. You have also figured out where your milk comes from, and you like to pull down my shirt if you are hungry. That's a new one and makes me think that maybe it’s time for you to wean off the boob. Isn’t there an unwritten rule stating that if she can ask for it, it may be time to stop? But, meh, who knows, it’s such an easy way to feed you and make you happy.

  8. You like books and reading. Last month, books were like any other item you touched, you would either used as a chew toy or just scrutinized it for being a weird object. Sure, you liked it when we read to you, but you would be just as happy turning the pages. Now, you actually listen to the stories while you look at the pictures and you can also "read" by yourself if we leave books out for you. You turn the pages, you stare at the pictures, and it actually looks like you are attending your own private book club. You definitely take after me, I love books. A few of your favorite books right now are Are You My Mommy by Mary Murphy because it is a lift the flap book, Alphaprints Animal Opposites by Roger Priddy because it is easy to turn the pages, it's colorful and has texture on the animal pictures, and Speak Up Molly Lou Mellon by Patty Lovel, because you love the fun graphics and I love the story.

So, here we are rounding the year mark, and we couldn't be happier that you are learning and exploring. Watching you grow is amazing!

Love you,



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