Your baby is now 10 months old. If this is your first baby, you will feel that you have achieved a landmark as you reach the end of your baby’s first year. And even if not, this is still an exciting time. So much has happened, and your little one is not such a baby anymore.
If you have a little girl, her hair might be getting long enough to make her look a little less baby-like. Although you are still doing a lot of the usual baby routine, such as changing nappies, cuddling, singing, and playing with your little one, you will see a big difference from the newborn that you brought home from hospital almost a whole year ago. Your baby is now becoming a little person.
So let’s take a look at what your baby is either doing at this time, or will soon start to do. And remember that this is only a rough guide, as every child has their own personal rate of development.
At this age, your baby has probably started to crawl. In some cases, when a baby is almost one year old, it is possible that they are almost walking. Some babies at the age of 10 months are cruising, i.e., they can walk along without much support, by holding on to furniture and other objects. If that is the case, it is possible that they will be almost walking by a year and will probably take their first proper steps at the age of one.
However, if your baby is not even close to walking at this point, it is not necessary to worry too much. There are some babies who don’t start walking until they are around 18 months old. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including genetics. As long as your baby is monitored by the clinic and has received all the necessary checkups, there is no reason for concern.
Your little one is also developing their fine motor skills and can now grip objects between the thumb and forefinger. Many objects will land up in the baby’s mouth, as this is still your infant’s main method of exploration. For this reason, you still need to make sure that all baby stuff is safe – soft toys, or objects that don’t have any sharp edges, peeling paint, or small, detachable parts that could easily fall off and cause choking.
As part of baby first year development, speech is starting to really kick off. Your baby can now understand simple statements, such as, “no!”, “come to Mummy,” and, “Where’s the nappy?” You will also find that the baby will begin to answer you with nods, shakes of the head, and as they draw closer to a year, even a few simple words.
The best way to stimulate speech development is to continue talking to your baby. At this stage, you can start teaching “please” and “thank you,” even if you don’t get any ready responses. If you ask the baby to “please sit down”, and you say “thank you” for bringing the sippy cup, you will subtly start to instill basic manners and courtesy.
Around this age, you will find that baby will continue to have separation anxiety and still be very wary of strangers. Separation anxiety has its pros and cons. On the one hand, your baby does need to develop self-confidence. On the other hand, children need to cultivate certain barriers towards strangers in order to protect themselves. As time goes on, the correct balance will be struck as your baby matures.
When it comes to play, your baby will still play alone, though they may enjoy playing alongside other children, especially if they have older siblings. You may already be sending your little one to a playgroup, where they will also play alongside other babies. Such social interaction is extremely healthy and facilitates the growth of positive character traits, such as sharing, giving, and caring about others.
At the age of ten months, a lot of baby foods will be even closer to what the rest of the family is eating. By now, it is no longer a question of whether you should give baby solids. Solid baby food is the mainstay of your child’s diet. Infants of almost a year can eat wheat, so you probably give your little one small pieces of bread to chew on. This can be an ideal in-between snack, and the crusts can be great help when teething.
At ten months, you may start the baby on eggs. It is best to start gently with the yoke of the egg before the white. Your little one will probably still enjoy baby rice cereal with mashed bananas for breakfast.
Once your baby is actually a year, you can start with dairy foods, such as cheese and cow’s milk. It is a good idea to hold off from giving sugar and salt for as long as possible, however, in terms of the development of your baby’s teeth and kidneys and also because you want to wait as long as you can before your little one gets too used to eating sweetened foods. And under no circumstances should you ever give the baby honey before a year as this could actually be dangerous.
Around this time, your baby will definitely be teething. You may have seen some first teeth by now – and then again maybe not. Some babies will only produce their first teeth a month or so after their first birthday.
At this point, baby feeding may no longer involve the breast or bottle at all. Although some women do continue to breastfeed until their child is two, this is not the majority. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding until this age, but many women find that the baby will lose interest long before that time.
Other women prefer to give up breastfeeding now for various reasons. It could be because Mum feels that it is time to regain exclusive ownership of her body. Sometimes she has just discovered that she is pregnant again. And if Mum has a full-time job, she might find that now that her baby is eating most regular foods, the inconvenience of breastfeeding at this time is no longer justified.
In short, weaning baby is a very personal decision.