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.