10 months mark the last quarter of your baby’s first year. Your little one is almost a toddler. How time flies! No longer a small baby, your kiddo exhibits a strong desire to be independent. Unlike several months ago when she immediately stopped crying when you held her and rocked her, today she knows where she wants to go and what she wants to get. She may also enjoy tricking you by dropping a spoon from the high chair over and over again.
Your adventurous little kiddo is always on the move. With much improved physical skills and hand-eye coordination, she is able to sit steadily for a long time to play with her favorite toys, if she hasn’t gotten bored. She also has no problem picking things up and banging them as she pleases. Yes, it is exciting to see how much she has grown. However, get ready for the next years to come when she is a toddler. You may appreciate the days when she was still little and controllable.
- Stands without assistance: Your kiddo now is likely able to stand on her own. Though still wobbly, she is very proud to be able to get go of your hands and be on her feet. Don’t be surprised if she raises a leg and tries to walk. She may even be able to take a few steps.
- Cruises along furniture: If you place your little one near a piece of furniture that she can hold onto, she may be able to cruise along. In just one or two more months, she will be able to walk without assistance. Attract her with her favorite toy to encourage her to keep practicing.
- Puts objects in a container: With the improved ability to control her arm movement, along with better hand-eye coordination, your kiddo has learned to move an object and drop it into a container. This is a great time to introduce toys and activities to help reinforce her newly gained skills. Sorters and balls are great options.
- Tries different positions to reach toys: Rolling over, crawling forward, pulling herself up…your kiddo has so many moves in her arsenal. If something she loves is out of reach, she is determined to get it by trying all different positions and movements. Compared to when she cried frequently as a younger baby, she now has learned to be self-sufficient and independent.
- Enjoys music: When she was still a newborn, soothing music calmed her down. The lullabies you sang were the most relaxing melodies before her bedtime. How time flies! Your 10-month-old now is learning to appreciate music as a work of art. She enjoys the melody and rhythm like an adult. It’s time to prepare a playlist of different types of songs for her.
Social-Emotional and Cognitive Skills
- Says “mama” and “dada” but does not necessarily understand the meaning: Remember how your little one used to babble “ma” and “da”? At 10 months, these are not some random words squeezed out without any intention. You may hear your little one say “mama”, and “dada” repeatedly. However, they are not necessarily directed at mommies or daddies, as your 10-month-old is still too young to comprehend the meaning of these words.
- May says simple words: Most 10-month-olds are still babbling and trying to vocalize. But if there are old siblings in the house, or your baby hears conversations all the time, she may have developed the ability to say a few simple words. But keep in mind, most babies don’t learn to say words until 12 months old.
- Pays attention to where you point: When she was a small baby and you wanted to show something interesting to her, say, a horse in the zoo, she never seemed to pay attention to you. How frustrating! Don’t blame her, this is a skill that she was still learning. At 10 months, your little one will be able to notice where you are pointing. She will follow your arm and look in the intended direction.
- Waves “bye-bye”: Another word your little one will be able to say, if she hasn’t already, is to say “bye-bye”. Not only that she understands the meaning of it, but she also knows how to wave her cute little hand to you while saying it.
- Shows personality traits: Your little one is not shy about showing who she is. She is down-to-earth and outspoken. If you haven’t already, you will notice your kiddo’s personality traits this month. She may be as adventurous as her mommy, or as chill as daddy, or she will have her own unique personality that is new to the family.
Activities with Your 10-Month-Old Baby
1. Stacking Up
Now that your 10-month-old baby has learned how to stack, it’s time to reinforce this new skill. Stacking is a great activity for your baby to utilize her core. As she moves her arms and leans her upper body forward, she is practicing how to stabilize her body and maintain balance. Stacking cups and blocks are wonderful choices for this exercise.
2. More Reading Out Loud
You have been reading to your baby for almost a year now. From the simple cloth book from the very beginning to colorful board books several months after, now your little one is more aware of the pictures and contents in the book. It enriches her vocabulary and sparks her imagination. Reading is a great habit to carry on for one’s entire life.
3. Push Toys
Now that your little one is able to stand herself up and even cruise long furniture. She is more than eager to take it further and start to explore the entire house on her own. Though walkers are generally not recommended by pediatricians, there are lots of pushing toys that are fun and safer to use for young babies. While strengthening the mobility to go around independently, your baby is also practicing how to balance her body and use her legs efficiently.
Though your child is not even one-year-old yet, her creativity may surprise you. Drawing is a great way for babies to learn concepts such as distance and size comparison. It also teaches her to focus and observe small details. If you worry that crayons are too messy or your baby will put them in her mouth, tablets or magnetic drawing boards are a good substitute.
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Dr. Leah Alexander, MD, FAAP began practicing pediatrics at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey in 2000. She has been an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey since 2005.