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Your Child's Development (6 to 12 months)

This information describes skills your child is likely to develop between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

Movement and Physical Development

  • Can get into a sitting position without help
  • Can sit without support
  • Pulls up to stand and walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”)
  • Can take steps while hands are being held
  • Can stay standing if holding on to an object or person
  • Bangs 2 objects together
  • Can easily move things from 1 hand to the other
  • Can crawl
  • Picks things up between thumb and index finger
  • Puts things in his or her mouth

Social-Emotional and Self-Help Skills

  • Repeats enjoyable activities
  • Can be afraid of strangers
  • Notices body
  • Lifts arms to parent
  • Responds playfully to seeing self in a mirror
  • Can be clingy with familiar adults
  • Has favorite things and people
  • Shows dislike for certain people or toys
  • Extends toys to show others
  • Holds own bottle
  • Can eat with fingers
  • Naps 1 to 2 times during the day
  • Does not resist when you dress them

Learning, Thinking, and Problem Solving Skills

  • Shows interests in sounds or objects
  • Plays “peek-a-boo”
  • Plays 2 to 3 minutes with a single toy
  • Watches the path of something as it falls
  • Responds to facial expressions
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it's named
  • Finds hidden things easily
  • Throws objects
  • Listens to speech without distraction
  • Understands “no”
  • Takes apart toys such as puzzles or ring sets
  • Shows curiosity for things out of reach

Speech, Language, and Communication Skills

  • Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”
  • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
  • Begins to say consonant sounds: “b,” “m,” “p,” “d,” “t,” “n,” “g,” “k,” “w,” “h,” “f,” “v,” “th,” “s,” “z,” “l,” and “r”
  • Responds to own name

What can I do to help with my child's development?

  • Place toys at different heights (e.g., on furniture, behind child) and position around the room to encourage your child to move and change positions.
  • Once your child begins standing, help him or her practice walking by holding them at their tummy.
  • Provide toys that encourage your child to use both hands.
  • Provide toys that encourage your child to take objects out of a container and put them back inside.
Talk to your child's doctor if you notice that your child:
  • Uses only 1 hand to play
  • Has difficulty crawling or does not crawl
  • Can't sit without support
  • Doesn't respond to own name
  • Doesn't point to things
  • Loses skills he or she once had
  • Does not like to change position
  • Does not like changes in environment (such as noise level or lighting)

Although your child is undergoing cancer treatment and may not feel energetic, it is still important to encourage movement, communication, and play as part of his or her daily routine.

If you have questions about your child's development, ask your child's doctor if a referral to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) Physical and Occupational Therapy team would be helpful.

MSKCC Physical and Occupational Therapy
(212) 639-7833
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm