McKenna Pre-Toddler Summary: 12 Months Old

A full summary of life for this 12 month old. Find out what daily life was like and find a 12 month old sample schedule to follow.

12 month old McKenna eating cake

And just like that, she is no longer a baby.

Can I just say I am thrilled to have the term “pre-toddler” for my use? I am glad I don’t have to jump from “baby” to “toddler.” She is a pre-toddler.

Read: All About the Pre-Toddler Age Range

On the first day of this week, McKenna turned 12 months old, aka one year old. Let’s stick with months for now.

I used to think we moms used the term “months” instead of years for several reasons.

One was to confuse those not in the secret mom club and make them do a quick math calculation in their head to figure out how old our child was really.


No, the real reason is because the difference between a 17 month old and a 1.5 year old truly is significant–as those in the secret mom club are aware.

But now I think there is one more reason. If we say “X months,” we can avoid the whole term “years” and thus hold on to our baby a bit longer. 12 months old sounds younger than one year old.

It seems like the first week of your child’s second year is as changing as the first week of your child’s life. Let’s discuss some stuff.


Lots going on in the food department this week. I did indeed make it nursing for one year! But the day after her birthday, we stopped nursing. We were done.


She and I both handled weaning well. I wasn’t sad due to the biting going on. But that doesn’t mean it has all been smooth sailing.

With Brayden and Kaitlyn, we move to one sippy feeding a day with the other three being bottles. We slowly moved them over to sippys as they got better about drinking milk from sippys. We also transitioned to milk from formula. They were both accustomed to the flavor of formula. It was a slow, but steady, process.

McKenna is different. First of all, she long ago refused to drink from a bottle and I never did put forth the effort into making sure she did. She also very much dislikes the taste of formula. So, we have had to just go cold turkey.

McKenna drinks water well from a sippy, but not milk. I just do my best to get milk in her and hang on to the knowledge that she will come around. She also eats a lot of cheese, so I know she is getting dairy there.

I was able to mix her cereal with milk. I started with about 25% of the liquid being milk and 75% being water, and by then end of the week 100% was milk. I get it in where I can.

I started to give McKenna a sippy full of water during independent playtime. That way, I am sure she won’t get dehydrated. I also offer her water before each nap. I am trying to not freak out about the lack of milk going into her body, but I am honestly a bit uneasy about it.

Read: Pre-Toddler Milk Intake


I am starting to slowly back off of having the purees so much. Fruit is really coming to be available around here, so I will feed her purees of the veggies but have started to not feed purees in fruit so much.

It will be a slow process. At this age, Kaitlyn was off purees totally, but she always hated the texture and preferred the solid chunks.

Traditionally, I would feed her purees of fruit and purees of vegetable to start each meal. Then I would give her finger foods at lunch and dinner. I would do fruits, veggies as appropriate, breads, and cheeses–along with whatever else was at the meal.

But I am starting to just do veggies, then rely on her to eat the appropriate amount of fruit. It is hard for me to hand over control, but it must be done.

Food Amounts

McKenna is still eating a whole lot of food at each meal. I am amazed at how much she eats.

I have always said on this blog over the years to take cues from baby for when baby is done…well, with McKenna, I have to just call it at some point. I decide she has eaten enough and take her out of her high chair.

I don’t know where she puts it. You might read that and think she must be a huge baby, but she isn’t. She was born small, and while she has moved up her growth curve significantly (started at 4% and rested at about 30%), she is smaller than the “average” baby. I have never seen a baby eat so much food.


Here are our various playtime activities broken down:

Independent Playtime

McKenna does independent playtime in her playpen in her room each morning. She typically does it for about one hour. I could also break it up into two shorter increments of 30-45 minutes, but this just seems to work best right now.

Read: Independent Playtime: The Ultimate Overview

Blanket Time

McKenna made a huge improvement on blanket time this week. I was able to put her on the blanket, set the timer, and do things around the room without her ever trying to get off.

I won’t fool myself into thinking she will be this way forever more. I am sure we will have retraining moments, but I am thrilled to have a major breakthrough!

Read: Blanket Time Full Guide

Free Play

For McKenna, our free play is that I let her crawl around the room I am in and play with her toys. In the kitchen, we have Leap Frog Fridge Magnets (fabulous, I might add). I will also give her bowls and spoons to play with.

In other rooms she and I spend time in, I keep a couple of toys to pull out to play with.


Sleeping is going really well. McKenna takes two naps each day and sleeps about 12.5 hours at night–sometimes 13. This is more than the average child, but it is what she needs.

Sleep Routine

I thought it might be of interest to discuss our sleep routine at one year. As you may know, we did Hogg’s 4 S’s when she was a newborn with fabulous success (though we only had to use the first three of the four S’s).

I know some people have concerns over how baby would sleep in the future when you use these things as newborns. So what is life like one year later with a Babywise baby who does that?

When McKenna is all ready for her nap, I stand next to her crib and hold her. I sing her lullaby as I hold her. She often presses her cheek or forehead against my face. I sway back and forth as I sing. When I am done with the lullaby, I kiss her face, put her in the crib, tell her I love her, etc. etc., and then leave the room.

I don’t really know what other people do to put her down for naps or for bed. She does fine with whatever they do. My husband often puts her down and my Dad puts her down at least once per week.

With Brayden and Kaitlyn, I had them in bed while I sang to them and I rubbed their tummy while I sang. I have done that with McKenna sometimes purely out of habit and she still slept fine.

So, my moral to this story is that she is a great sleeper and quite flexible.


Many parents wonder when to introduce a pillow. With Brayden, he didn’t start sleeping with a pillow until he was around 3. He just didn’t want it. Kaitlyn was two. McKenna now has one.

McKenna was always taking her bumpers down and using them as pillows. I wanted to take her bumpers out because she was also rolling around in her newly taken down bumpers and getting them wrapped around her body. So I gave her a pillow, and she loves it.


Also as a follow up to newborn days, McKenna no longer uses gas drops. Over the last couple of months, I slowly stopped giving them to her.

By about 11.5 months old, she didn’t take them at all. I still have them on hand. Brayden was a gassy baby, and there were a few nights during toddlerhood he woke up crying in gas pain. So I have the drops in case, but we don’t use them routinely.


McKenna doesn’t say as many words as Brayden and Kaitlyn did at this age. She says “Dada” and “Mama.” She says “boo.” She says “done” and “all done.” That is about all that I have recognized for sure from her.

She signs “all done” and “more.” I need to choose a new sign to work on. I think it will be “drink.”

McKenna’s attempts at talking have greatly increased this week. She jabbers and babbles “sentences” to you and looks at you waiting for a response. I am excited to see what words come out over the next month.


Of course, this has been a big week for McKenna. Here are a couple of significant events.

Birthday Party

I keep the first birthday party quite low-key. We invited family and our closest friends, but I didn’t seek out kids McKenna’s age.

One friend is close, but that is purely coincidental. We had a full house.

McKenna actually ate her entire cupcake. She is the first baby I have known to do that. She ate it and loved it.

And yes, I gave her a real, sugar-filled and sugar-topped cupcake. I don’t routinely give her sugar; this was her first time.

Daddy gave her one the next day (she has him wrapped around her littlest finger), but she hasn’t had one since. I am not one who sees a problem with the occasional treat.


McKenna’s doctor appointment went well. She is healthy and right on track with everything. She is such a little show-off and loves to make people laugh, including her doctor.

12 month old pretoddler schedule pinnable image


I have plans to change this a bit now that she can start meals at the same time as Brayden and Kaitlyn (since I am no longer nursing), but for this week, here it is:

8:30 AM–wake, eat (prunes or peaches/apricots and oatmeal, milk, yogurt). This is when we do a bath (four days a week) and independent playtime. We then do sibling playtime.
10:30 AM–nap.
12:30 PM–wake, nurse, solids (green veggie and applesauce. Sometimes mix with blueberries or cherries. Milk. Finger foods–including cheese). She then “helps” me put Brayden in rest time (which just means telling him to go) and Kaitlyn down for her nap. We then do blanket time followed by free play with me in the same room.
2:30 PM–nap
4:30 PM–wake, milk, solids (yellow veggie and bananas or pears). Then time with Daddy.
5:30ish PM–dinner with family. Finger foods and what we are having. Then time with family.
7:15-7:30 PM–nurse, PJs, story, prayers, bed.



23 thoughts on “McKenna Pre-Toddler Summary: 12 Months Old”

  1. Happy Birthday McKenna!I also just want to let you know how much I enjoy your weekly summary! I look back for weeks corresponding to my child's age and love reading the current ones to know what to look forward to. Thank you so much for your blog! I really love it and refer to it almost daily. Thank you!

  2. Hi Valerie — just wanted to comment that my 13-mo-old had trouble with sippies. I had great success with the Safe Sippy straw cup. Within 24 hrs she was drinking out of it 100%! The spout is short and wide, which I think was key. This cup is not spill-proof, which is why it is so easy to drink out of, but after a few weeks on it her muscles developed so that I was able to switch her to the foogoo straw thermos, which has a spill-proof top, and which I love. I go to great trouble to get organic raw milk, and did not want my baby to miss out on any of the nutrition from not being able to drink out of sippies. That's why I didn't switch her over until I found one that she could get significant amounts of milk from. Good luck!

  3. Hey val, OK tell me if you already have this posted some where or if there is a good book to read about this. but my question is When do you start disciplining and how do you stop hitting and head butting and mini tantrums through out the day. it has just recently become a problem. He communicates well but it happens more when I tell him no or I don't do things his way. just let me know. thanks

  4. I love these summary posts! 🙂 How long has McKenna been able to do an hour of independent play in the play pen? My son is 9 months and can handle about 20-25 mins. right now in the play pen. He can play on the floor by himself for a long time as well, if someone's in the room (even if they're not playing with him). Should I be trying to stretch the play pen time?

  5. How exciting! Happy 1st Birthday to McKenna!I know we are in different circumstances since my DS2 is 10 months old, but I too have had to come to terms with uneasiness over milk/formula intake. I had to go with what worked, or else be anxious every day and risk passing on that attitude to my baby. When I just went with what my baby was willing to do, he got happy. Suddenly he is laughing, boisterous, gaining weight, and showing his new abilities to my wonder. An outside observer would not know there was anything to be concerned about. With that knowledge and knowing that he gets regular doctor check-ups, I have finally relaxed.He has his ways to get nutrition and liquids in the way he will take him. I feel I have to follow his lead on eating and drinking (while setting the parameters and the opportunities) because ultimately it is up to him, unless I were to put him in the hospital to be force-fed or something! Of course I try to train him to take what is recommended by my research, and I'm always working at it, but otherwise, I'm trying not to think of it as such a problem.Whew, it makes me more relieved even to just type this out, so thanks for giving me the opportunity. 🙂

  6. Val, don't stress too much about the milk. Neither of my twins will touch milk. Even in their cereal. I just make sure they get their dairy requirements from cheese, yogurt and vitamins from veggies (calcium from broccoli etc.). I find it interesting that you use sippies only at specific times of the day? Any reason? My kids have a drink shelf in their playroom that always has a sippy filled with water in it. They drink on and off all day long and pick it up/put it back on the shelf. Somedays they are thirstier than others.Any reason for restricting water to certain times? I'm just curious.

  7. Happy Birthday McKenna! I'm so glad for your weekly updates, because my 'baby' (who just turned a year too) isn't drinking her milk very well either. We weaned at her first birthday, and she drinks from a bottle, sippy cup and straw very well. She just doesn't seen to want milk very much. I offer it to her three times a day..sometimes four just to see if she'll take it. The last few days she took 2-3 oz. tops. This morning we lucked out and she drank 5. We tried switching over to sippy instead of the bottle for a couple weeks and she was taking in less and less milk, so I decided to put it off for a month or two. I'd been warming it up less and less so she would take it cold, but I quit that too to see if she would take more if it was warmer. I am kind of concerned, but she is still sleeping great and eating well, so I guess we'll see what the doctor says at her 1 year checkup this weekend. It's nice to go through something the same time as someone else (especially someone more experienced!)If anything starts working for you, please share!

  8. Thank you so much for doing the weekly summaries for the past year, I can not tell you how much you have helped me and honestly thank you is just not enough I wish I could do more. Also it is interesting that McKenna does not like milk because Keagan does not either (he turned one on the 29). I give him lots of yogurt (not a fan of cheese yet) and hope he is getting enough calcium that way. I too offer him water before his naps and bedtime and he seems to drink a lot just like he does during meals. Are you doing anything special or even offering milk to McKenna? I offer it at every meal and before every nap in hopes that one day he will drink "some".Thanks again and I look forward to your new summaries throughout this first year of McKeena's life.Angelica

  9. Val-I had no idea Mckenna stopped taking a bottle! My son is now 11 months and started refusing the bottle when he was around 6 months. I can't tell you how much better I feel after reading this today. I have stressed so much about weaning him next month. His Dr. says that he will get enough calcium through cheese, yogurt etc. but you can't help but worry after a year of having the great nutrients of breast milk! He doesn't even drink much water in the sippy. Do you even attempt "formal" drink sessions or do you only put milk in the sippy during mealtimes? Do you offer her milk right before bed? He is used nursing as part of his bedtime routine, I just hope it is not an issue when I stop. I always thought I would just give him a bottle to get that extra milk in before bed, but don't anticipate that happening now…:)

  10. My William turned one on the first and I too made it a year breastfeeding! Woo-hoo! William does not like formula and does great with sippies. The problem is that he has a milk allergy-I think he is lactose intolerant. I have been giving him lactaid this past week and he will drink an ounce or two and every now and then he will take 3 or 4 but it is completely random. I have continued to nurse three times a day because I'm worried about his milk intake. I do give the milk sippie before I nurse. I'm happy to see I'm not the only one worried. I have thought that I should just quit nursing cold turkey and everything will be fine. The problem is that he won't be getting much dairy in other parts of his diet because of the milk allergy. He can have a little yogurt but not too much. Any ideas on what I should do? We are headed to the doctor tomorrow for his one year and I'm hoping they will have some answers for me too.

  11. Anna,There is a HUGE difference between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance. A milk allergy is an immune system response to the proteins (usually the whey protein) in any dairy product. It can be mild (like just having eczema flare up or a few hives pop up) or life threatening. Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest the lactose in dairy. If you do suspect a dairy allergy you should try to avoid all milk products and see an allergist to get a real diagnosis. My son is allergic to dairy, eggs, and peanuts. He drinks soy milk (sort of-he's not a real fan of it) and eats soy yogurt or coconut milk yogurt. I haven't found a good tasting cheese substitute yet. If you have any questions or concerns, I'd be happy to help you out. My son just turned two a few weeks ago and we found out about his allergies when he was 18 months old. So I've been managing it for over a year now and would be more than willing to help you out if you would like. Just let me [email protected]

  12. also, if you suspect lactose intolerance (NOT allergy) you can give them Lactaid or Lactose Free whole milk. When mine were drinking whole milk from bottles that's what I gave them. I still try to offer whole milk and they still refuse it (ha) but it's always lactose free.

  13. Amy,First, know that he is at a common age for difficulties. He is definitely old enough for discipline. Here are a bunch of posts that can help get you going:BW II: Freedoms: •Childishness vs. Foolishness : •Teaching Your Baby "No": •The Choice Addiction (for Toddlers) :•Considerations for Correction : •Considerations for Correction : •Discipline Foundations :•Discipline Methods: 10 Months and up : •Discipline Strategy: Surrender with Dignity : •Obedience Percentages :•Obedience Percentages :•Substitution: Toddlerwise : •Discipline: Progress is a Spiral : •Discipline: Progress is a Spiral : •The "Mini-fit" : •Tantrums and Discipline: •Toddlerwise: Discipline Points : And in case that isn't enough for you ( 😉 ), see the discipline blog index for a complete list:

  14. Jessica, I think around 9 months we probably did about 30-40 minutes. I think she would have done longer, but her amount of time awake didn't make it possible to do that.There is a post titled "independent playtime lengths"–put that into the google search box on this page. It depends more on physical ability than age at that point.

  15. Thanks Val. McKenna loves her cheese. I have dairy updates for next week :)Brayden and Kaitlyn have sippys at all times. I offer it to McKenna just because she isn't old enough to ask for it. So I leave it with her at independent playtime so she can drink at will, then I offer it at other times just to see if she wants it. If she were able to ask, I would never say no. It is just the nature of her age and abilities right now.

  16. jshrayber, I know–it is easy to worry, especially when you aren't used to knowing how many ounces they are or aren't drinking 🙂 I think you will like info I put in next weeks post.With McKenna, she drinks best if I put her in her high chair and offer her some milk before she can even see any other bite of food. Then I offer it throughout the meal–but casually and as though I don't actually care if she drinks or not. I will elaborate on that more next week, too 😉

  17. Anna, I have no experience with allergies/intolerances, but thanks to Janelle and Val for ideas! I am sure your pedi had good input, too.

  18. Don't worry too much about the milk. We were just there a few months ago, so I can tell you, it'll come with time. I started giving my daughter sippy cups with water at about 6 or 7 months of age, when were outside in the heat quite a bit. When she turned 1, I tried to put milk in these same sippy cups, but she would hardly drink a thing. She'd begun refusing bottles (of my pumped milk) at 9.5 months. I was pretty worried, but I kept nursing (just when she woke up and before bed), and gave her plenty of cheese and yogurt to make sure she was getting the diary she needed. I tried warming the milk a little, diluting it (b/c of the flavor), and then I switched sippy cups. Suddenly, she started drinking milk, and she would drink a little more out of it every day, much to my relief. Just give her time and consider switching cups, but I think with time, she'll start drinking more milk.

  19. Thanks for the advice from all! The pediatrician suspects lactose intolerance and suggested I give him lactaid, almond milk, or rice milk. He says they all have the same nutritional value. I have tried lactaid and he didnt' drink but a couple ounces a day, same with the almond milk. The pedi did say that he would get what he needs and not to worry too much about it.It is the quality not the quantity. I found some rice cheese at whole foods that I am trying out. So far he doesn't seem interested but I will keep offering it. He does love yogurt and is able to eat about 2 ounces without it bothering him. Right now I give him 2 ounces twice a day. I'm also still nursing twice a day and plan on cutting that out next week. Maybe then he will increase his milk intake.


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