Baby development at 10-11 months: what’s happening
Your baby is very interested in conversations. You’ll often hear baby’s first word around this age. Baby is still mainly babbling but might try out 1-2 words they know the meaning of, especially ‘dada’ or ‘mama’.
But if your baby isn’t talking yet, don’t worry – your baby communicates with you using body language like waving and pointing. Your baby also stops what they’re doing when they hear ‘no’.
When you sing with your baby, they might join in. Your baby also enjoys looking at pictures in books and loves reading with you.
Over the past few months, your baby has learned to show emotions like caution and fear. But now they might start to feel more comfortable around strangers and show fewer signs of stranger anxiety than they used to. Your baby is also more aware of their own needs, and they can let you know what they want.
Your baby is busy learning all the time. Your baby loves finding hidden objects – for example, a toy hidden under a cup. Your baby also likes it when you show them how things work – for example, how to put a lid on a container. And your baby is reaching out and grabbing things, using them and maybe even throwing them!
Your baby will probably need help to stand, but they might try standing on their own for a few seconds. Babies are more comfortable walking around if they can hold onto furniture, or they might want to hold your hand. But your baby might want to try walking on their own without your help too.
At this age your baby might also:
- bounce to music
- copy simple sounds
- cooperate more when getting dressed
- easily pick things up using their thumb and pointer finger.
Helping baby development at 10-11 months
Here are a few simple things you can do to help your baby’s development at this age:
- Talk to your baby: your baby is interested in conversation, so talking about everyday things, like what you’re doing, will help your baby understand what words mean. The more talk the better!
- Listen and respond to your baby’s babbling: this builds language, communication and literacy skills, and it helps your baby feel ‘heard’, loved and valued. It’s important to respond by talking or making sounds in your own warm and loving way. Your baby enjoys hearing your voice go up and down and loves watching your facial expressions as you talk.
- Read with your baby: you can encourage your baby’s talking and imagination by reading books together, telling stories, singing songs and reciting nursery rhymes.
- Play together: sing songs, play peekaboo, ring bells, hide toys and make funny sounds or animal noises together. Surprise toys like a jack-in-the-box are fun from around 10 months on. Playing together also helps your baby feel loved and secure.
- Encourage moving: moving and exploring help your baby build muscle strength for more complex movements like pulling to stand and walking. If your baby is crawling, you could try getting down on the floor and crawling around with them or playing a game of chasey.
- Make your home safe so your baby can move about without getting hurt.
Sometimes your baby won’t want to do some of these things – for example, they might be too tired or hungry. Your baby will use special baby cues to let you know when they’ve had enough and what they need.
Parenting an 11-month-old
As a parent, you’re always learning. It’s OK to feel confident about what you know. And it’s also OK to admit you don’t know something and ask questions or get help.
When you’re focused on looking after a baby, you might forget or run out of time to look after yourself. But looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally will help your child grow and thrive.
Sometimes you might feel frustrated, upset or overwhelmed. It’s OK to take some time out until you feel calmer. Put your baby in a safe place like a cot, or ask someone else to hold your baby for a while. Try going to another room to breathe deeply, or call a family member or friend to talk things through.
Never shake a baby. It can cause bleeding inside the brain and permanent brain damage.
When to be concerned about baby development
Seeing, hearing and communicating
- isn’t making eye contact with you, isn’t following moving objects with their eyes or has an eye that is turned in or out most of the time
- isn’t babbling
- isn’t turning their head towards sounds or voices.
Your baby doesn’t smile or show whether they’re happy or sad.
Your baby can’t sit on their own or uses one hand a lot more than the other.
You should see a child health professional if you notice your baby has lost skills they had before.
You should also see your child and family health nurse or GP if you or your partner experiences the signs of postnatal depression in birthing mothers or postnatal depression in non-birthing parents. Symptoms of postnatal depression include feeling sad and crying for no obvious reason, feeling irritable, having difficulty coping and feeling very anxious.