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"Physical development consists of both gross motor (GM) and fine motor (FM) development," says Cheryl Wu, M.D., of LaGuardia Place Pediatrics in New York City. "And while every child develops at his own pace, there are certain milestones I expect most of my patients (90 to 95 percent) to achieve by the first birthday."
By 12 months, children are either very proficient crawlers and/or are cruising easily around using furniture as support, says Dr. Wu. They may also be walking or "toddling" quite well. You can encourage cruising and walking by letting your child move around without help, so be sure to childproof your house sooner rather than later. Try not to pick him up and carry him too often. Although it might take you a little longer to get from room to room, you want to give him as much opportunity to move freely in a safe environment as you can. You might also want to arrange furniture so that it's easier for him to grab hold and move from place to place while cruising.
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