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Your Baby at 10 Months Old

What to expect for your baby’s development, milestones, eating, and sleeping in the tenth month

 

As you enter the tenth month, you might be feeling like you have an explorer, not a baby, on your hands. Your little one wants to check out anything and everything. Trouble is, sometimes it’s easier to scale new heights than to get down from them, so always stay in arm’s reach. In addition to learning things firsthand, your baby is busy studying and mimicking the facial expressions, gestures, and vocalizations of the adults and kids in his or her life. So if you haven’t already been calling baby your mini-me, now’s the time to start!

Ten-Month-Old Development

Your baby’s appetite might appear to slow down a bit this month. It’s hard to stop to eat when there is so much to explore! Even with a slight drop-off in eating, babies still add just under a pound to their weight and ⅜ of an inch in length this month. Baby’s head circumference continues to increase slightly every month. Wondering about baby’s bowed legs? It’s normal. They’ll straighten out in the next year or so.

Movement Development

Motor

From sitting to crawling to standing, your baby is conquering some major milestones these days. At ten months, most babies can sit straight and unsupported for indefinite periods, thanks in part to their good head control. Up next is the ability to switch positions: by the end of the month many babies will be able to maneuver themselves into a seated position by pulling their torsos up if lying down, from their bellies, or squatting down from a supported stand.

Watch at playtime as your baby works on refining the pincer grasp using the thumb and pointer finger. What baby picks up these days will be released more consciously than before, although s/he continues to toss, not gently place, things s/he’s no longer interested in. Babies this age are also discovering that they can use their index fingers to point and poke, an ability they may put on display when looking at a board book.

When baby is not sitting, s/he’s probably on the move. In the next few weeks your baby will become a fast and efficient crawler, with places to go! Also on the agenda is standing practice. During this month you’ll likely see your baby grabbing onto anything – your leg, a chair, the cat – s/he can to use as a support while standing upright. Since this will include the furniture, make sure heavy and unsteady items are anchored to the wall so baby doesn’t pull anything down upon him or herself. Other essential babyproofing includes securing loose cords, padding sharp corners, and installing baby gates.

Senses Development

Hearing

At this point, your baby easily recognizes familiar sounds like family members’ names and your favorite songs. But just because you say his or her name doesn’t mean baby is immediately going to respond. Your little continues to fine-tune selective hearing, which lets baby pay attention to the noises and conversations of choice without being distracted by others.

Touch

Expanding mental capabilities like improved memory, and improving fine motor movements, such as individual finger skills, makes exploring objects by touch much more rewarding for babies at this age. For example, they know just what to do with noisemakers like maracas and the push buttons on their baby cell phone.

Social and Mental Development

Babies’ language skills take off in the last quarter of their first year. Their comprehension is rapidly improving and many are on their way to saying their first words. At this point any sounds used consistently for something is considered a word. Half of babies are saying mama and dada to refer to their parents, and some have other “words,” maybe ‘baba’ for bottle or ‘mok’ for milk. Help your baby’s language development by fulfilling their request for a bottle or milk, for example, and repeating the correct word. Engage in back-and-forth conversations with your baby as well, that’s how they learn!

You’ll notice your baby using a lot of nonverbal communication as well. From pointing and reaching to shaking their head no and holding out their arms to be picked up, babies communicate their needs. They are also increasingly aware that they are their own person, with thoughts, feelings, and wants that are separate from their mom.

Babies at this age want to become more independent, but they also continue to look to mom and dad for safety and security. That’s especially true as their improving memory and cognitive skills mean increased fears. Separation anxiety begins to peak at ten months, and you may notice your baby regularly looking up from playing to make sure you are still there. Some babies will experience separation anxiety more severely than others. It can be hard on parents to leave a distraught child, but remember that the tears and clinginess are the sign of a strong bond between parent and child. Try to make your baby feel as loved as possible, and know that this phase will eventually come to an end.

Your Month-to-Month Baby: Ten Months

  • There are a few things you can do to help your baby's month-by-month development.
  • Give your baby learning toys that will help her learn about letters, colors, shapes, and numbers.
  • Try to teach your baby concepts like taking turns and sharing. When you read to her or play games with her, show her how to share and take turns. She won't get it yet, but just introducing the concepts can help as she grows older.
  • Pretend play is just starting with your baby at 10 months. Many babies love to play with toy kitchens, including toy pots, pans, and food.

Milestones this Month

  • Baby is mastering crawling
  • Baby can stand with support
  • Baby is pulling up to stand and maybe standing alone for a moment
  • Baby has mastered the pincer grasp (thumb and first finger together)
  • Baby uses gestures to communicate, such as shaking head no
  • Baby feeds self
  • Baby says mama and dada and is beginning to try saying other familiar words

Feeding at Ten Months

Solid foods begin to play a more significant role in baby’s diet this month. What the rest of the family is eating are very possibly the same foods your baby can eat, so long as they are soft and finely chopped. Babies at this age enjoy self-feeding, which is messy but essential for practice and improving upon this skill. Your baby may eat ¼-½ cup of fruit, veggies, grain, and full-fat dairy once or twice a day. Honey and cow’s milk remain off-limits. Breast milk and formula should be on their way to becoming more supplemental. Your baby might nurse or take a bottle four times a day, for a total of 24-30 ounces.

Sleeping at Ten Months

Excellent news: nearly 75 percent of babies are sleeping through the night at this age. With a regular sleep and nap schedule consisting of 10-12 hours at night and two naps a day, babies continue to snooze about 14 hours every day. If your baby is waking up again at night after previously sleeping through, the source of the restlessness could be baby’s newfound mobility. As ten-month-old babies shouldn’t need to eat in the middle of the night, it’s ok to let babies this age fuss or cry a little in the hopes that they’ll settle themselves back to sleep.

Common Concerns at Ten Months

Playing with Food

If you were taught that you shouldn't play with your food, this stage of baby month-by-month development may be hard to handle. However, babies should play with their food. It's an ideal way to experiment with their personal tastes, as well as an excellent way to discover what food feels like. However, it is possible to teach your little one the beginning of table manners, such as to not throw food or to try to use a spoon.

New Parent Help: “Picky Eating”

Around 10 months, it's not uncommon for babies to become picky or resistant to trying certain foods, even if they've happily eaten them before. However, most kids go through a stage like this and then outgrow it all on their own. Keep offering healthy foods to your baby and don't force her to eat if she doesn't want to. Let her feed herself and play with her food so she can learn what she likes and doesn't like.

See what’s next with our month to month guides

There are so many exciting developments and changes in store for your baby in just the next few months! Take a look at what to expect at eleven months and beyond with our month to month guides.

 

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