(reading time ~8 1/2 minutes)
Parents are concerned about the development of their babies, and rightly so. They want to see that their little one is developing as expected, and so we have milestones that track typical development.
It's important to realize, however, that developmental milestones are flexible. Not every child will hit each milestone precisely on time, and some will hit many milestones early. There is a likelihood that your little one is early on some milestones and late on others. And that's just fine.
He's developing the way he ought to be, in his own time and way. Sometimes when parents become determined to have their child hit every milestone on time or early, they lose the magic of watching their little one grow up.
That's not to say there isn't a time to step in if you feel that essential milestones are not being met or that an area(s) of development isn't coming along as you believe it should. If you ever feel that something should be said about your child, it is best to speak with a pediatrician about it right away.
That's because there may be activities you can be doing with your little one to help in certain areas of development. Or perhaps your child needs more intensive treatment. But when in doubt, talk it over early with your pediatrician.
Also, just a mention that many babies skip the crawling forward phase and go straight to walking, so crawling is noted as an optional milestone. And since so many milestones typically occur over a range of months, this information is included, too, as we go through the milestones.
Now, just a brief word about preemie milestones. Infants born prematurely will more closely match the developmental milestones of their due dates rather than their birth dates. So if your baby was born a month prematurely, he would most closely follow the developmental milestone of a baby born a month after him.
And now, in easy-to-read bullet points, are the developmental milestones 10-13 months, taken one month at a time.
10-12 Month Milestones, Month 10
Cognitive Development Milestones, 10 Months
- He begins responding to simple, straightforward requests such as "come here"
- Understands what "no" or "no, no" means and reacts accordingly
- He has favorite pictures he likes in books
- He can remember where his favorite toys are
- He can remove round pieces from a puzzle board
- Can recognize everyday sounds and knows how to tell voices apart
- Can point to anything he finds exciting
- Can reach for an object behind him without looking at it
- Continues to learn more about objects and their properties through exploration
Motor Development Milestones, 10 Months
- Can sit up, possibly as long as she likes. Can move from a standing position to sitting on the floor.
- Starts "bear walking," creeping around on her hands and feet without using her knees
- By using furniture can pull up to a standing position (ranges from 6-10 months). She will try standing in a few different ways using different kinds of support, for instance, your legs or by pulling herself up with the crib. Can stand for a few moments without support.
- Begins cruise-walking while grabbing onto furniture (ranges from 9-13 months)
- Can walk while both her hands are being held for support
- May start to walk on her own (milestone ranges from 9-18 months)
- She starts to crawl forward (milestone ranges from 6-10 months). But she may skip this optional milestone and go straight to walking.
- Climbs on and off of chairs and other furniture
- Develops a pincer grasp, which uses the thumb and index finger to grasp small objects
- Can partially unwrap a present
- Can take and place objects from one container to another
- Can sit up from lying down on her belly or back (ranges from 6-10 months)
- Can hold a spoon (ranges from 9-12 months)
- Starts feeding herself finger foods
- Knows how to use her hands in a variety of ways
- May be able to wave "bye-bye"
- Places and removes objects from a container, box, or cup
- Can remove a loose container top
- Deliberately places objects in specific places
- Can use hands in conjunction with one another, for instance, by alternating hands while putting rings on a cone
Communication and Language Milestones, 10 Months
- He can listen to a book for a more extended period, perhaps for one or 2 minutes more
- Makes simple exclamations like "uh-oh!"
- Gives you cues when he wants to play, for instance, by clasping his hands together
- He starts to babble simple sounds on his own, such as "ba," da," or "ma" (ranges from 8-12 months)
- May be able to say "mama" or "dada"
- Starts showing understanding of simple phrases, such as sticking out one's hands when mom or dad says, "it's time to wash your hands" or "get the ball" (ranges from 9-14 months)
- Understands the association between words and what they refer to
- Can imitate the rhythm of conversations and facial expressions more accurately than he can words.
- "Conversations" are babbling replies mixed with a few intelligible words.
Social And Emotional Milestones, 10 Months
- She shows her toys to others
- Will imitate movements of children and adults
- Will enthusiastically explore a new play area
- Is often more interested in playing or exploration than eating, making things difficult
- Only lets one parent take care of her (ranges from 9-12 months)
- Begins having separation anxiety (ranges from 6-10 months)
- Starts to display guilt after doing something wrong
- Tries to avoid disapproval and seek approval
- May decide not to cooperate sometimes
10-12 Month Baby Milestones, Month 11
Remember that actual progression can't be rushed or pushed forward faster than your baby can go. Burget says, "What's more important is to enjoy every phase of development as it's occurring. When you crave fast progress, you can miss the magic of the moment."
Each baby is on her own timetable. So don't worry about keeping up with the other babies in your parenting group.
Cognitive Development Milestones, 11 Months
- Can imitate two gestures one after the other
- Starts moving to the sound of rhythm, although not in time with it
- She can see very clearly now, making out faces that are about 20 feet away
- She can listen closely, and sound is now integrated with her sense of sight
- Can point to a few different body parts when asked
- Turns lights on and off. Plays with other action and reaction activities, such as playing with water.
- She's able to take rings off a stacking toy
- Recalls details of activities performed a few minutes before
- Is gradually becoming more aware of her actions and consequences
- Associates people, animals, and things with characteristics. May meow for a cat, snort to indicate a pig, and point to the sky when an airplane is mentioned.
Motor Development Milestones, 11 Months
- Can stand without help for a few seconds (milestone ranges from month 11-13)
- May have no problem cruising, which is walking while holding furniture (milestone ranges from 9-13 months). Able to walk fairly smoothly holding an adult's hand (milestone ranges between 11-13 months). Attempts to get from the floor to standing position by getting on hands and knees, then pushing hands and straightening legs.
- Begins to walk unassisted (ranges between 9-18 months)
- He can use both hands interchangeably. However, he may start to use one hand much more than the other
- Can put objects into a container one at a time He can use a pincer grasp, holding objects between the tips of his thumb and forefinger
- May be able to hold a spoon (ranges from 9-12 months)
- Can crawl independently up the steps. Will go back down the steps, crawling backward.
- Can visually track objects as they move
- His fingers prod, poke and rip things up. It's all part of the exploration process.
- May use his armpit or mouth to carry the third object when both hands are full
Communication And Language Milestones, 11 Months
- She can understand one-word requests
- May start imitating animal sounds
- She may hand you a book when she wants you to read to her
- May repeat sounds or actions to get your attention
- Starts babbling single syllables, for instance, "da," "ba," or "ma" (ranges from 8-12 months). By the time she is one year old, she probably knows 1 to 3 words that she can use.
- Shows her understanding of simple phrases, for instance, by sticking her hands out when you say "time to wash your hands" (ranges from 9-14 months)
- Babbling starts to indicate give-and-take conversation
- Starts to say "dada" or "mama" (ranges between 11-14 months)
- Can make sounds with changes in the tone of her voice that sound like speech. She is able to pronounce some small words by imitation.
Social And Emotional Milestones, 11 Months
- He has favorite things, people, and activities
- Likes to be in view of an adult all the time
- Will let only one parent take care of him (ranges from 9-12 months)
- Will show fear of certain situations, people, and things. Strong negative reaction when separated from his mother or father. Wants them nearby, especially when in new places.
- Enjoys playing with water in the sink or during bath time
- Is particularly interested in actions adults perform
- Feeding becomes more difficult as your baby becomes more independent
Developmental Milestones 10-12 Months, Month 12
Cognitive Development Milestones, 12 Months
- She starts to recognize people who are outside her immediate circle
- Her eyes follow where you point
- She can make detours to get to something that she wants
- Her hearing is more accurate, and she listens more closely
- Loves to look and listen simultaneously, for instance, having a book read to her while she looks at the pictures
- Likes the feeling of different textures and cool sensations
- May group some items by color and shape, for instance, all circles or all red objects
- Imitation is improving, shown, for instance, by rubbing her body with soap or trying to feed others.
- Understands simple orders such as, "take this ball to your mother" and "please bring me the toy"
Motor Development Milestones, 12 Months
- He can pull up to stand. May be able to stand unassisted.
- He may start to cruise, walking along while holding onto furniture (ranges from 9-13 months). May be able to venture a few steps on his toes while cruising. He may even take his first unsupported steps (milestone ranges from 12-15 months, but some take a bit longer).
- May begin to walk backward (ranges from 12-21 months)
- While standing, can rotate his torso 90 degrees to both sides
- He may be able to fall into a sitting position. He can stand up from a lying down position.
- Can place a block on top of another if shown how.
- Can easily hold a crayon. Starts playing with crayons.
- Is able to hold a spoon (ranges from 9-12 months)
- Drinks from a cup and may brush his hair correctly
- Can pick up small things between her thumb and forefinger, such as a ring
- Can pour water cup to cup in the bathtub
- Continues to sense objects around him using his hands and mouth
Communication And Language Milestones, 12 Months
- May repeat a sound or gesture if someone laughs about it
- Starts babbling single syllable words such as "ba," "ma," or "pa" (ranges from 8-12 months)
- May plateau in speech development as she learns to walk, or she may say her first intentional word.
- Begins to say "hi" and "bye"
- Begins to use single-word sentences like, "go!" Can vocalize about three words and understand many more. Tries to imitate the sound and words of favorite toys. Begins to show frustration when she is not understood.
- Begins to show her understanding of simple commands such as sticking out her hands when you say "it's time to wash your hands" or "pick up the ball"
- Begins to say "mama" and "dada" (ranges from 11-14 months)
- May shake her head "no"
- Makes exclamations like "uh-oh!"
Social And Emotional Milestones, 12 Months
- Reacts less to "no" and starts showing more independent behavior
- Ignores the rules and acts impulsively
- Offers his toys to an adult he knows
- Only lets one parent take care of him (ranges between 9-12 months)
- Begins to solo play for more extended periods
- Starts to enjoy a doll, blanket, or other comfort objects
- A greater understanding of words and greater mobility contribute to an increased sense of his belonging to the group
- Understands events better; for example, he may go over to his highchair when lunch is made
So there are the 10-12 month milestones and what you might typically expect for a child, though, of course, each child is different.