Baby Developmental Milestones: By 8 to 12 Months
Finds hidden objects easily
A few months ago, if you hid a toy under a blanket while baby was watching, she'd do nothing. Now, she finds it easily. She's learning "object permanence" -- that things exist even when she can't see them. Add a twist to peek-a-boo: Throw a blanket over your head and let her pull it off to find you.
Begins to use objects correctly
Nearing 1 year of age, the baby who was banging on his play telephone not long ago is now dialing and holding the receiver to his ear. He's learning that objects have names and purposes. Give him a hairbrush, a cup, or a spoon, and see how he plays with them now.
May be shy or anxious with strangers
Your outgoing baby is suddenly anxious around others, even relatives and babysitters. Stranger anxiety is one of baby's first emotional milestones. Around new people or in new places, hold him and give him time to adjust. Ask relatives to let baby make the first move.
Cries when mother or father leaves
With stranger anxiety comes the start of separation anxiety. Your baby is realizing that she's separate from you and that sometimes you aren't there. She may put up a big fuss, but don't sneak out. Always say "good-bye" and tell her you'll return. Eventually she'll realize that you always do.
Enjoys imitating people in play
Your baby is imitating things that go way beyond mimicking faces and sounds now. When playing, he enjoys imitating what people do -- whether it's talking on the phone or sweeping the floor. Give him a plastic bowl and spoon and let him "cook" with you or let him "drive" with a toy car dashboard.
Finger feeds herself
With baby finger-feeding herself, make sure it's food she can gum. This includes some cereals, shredded cheese, and small pieces of tofu, well-cooked fruits or vegetables, or ripe banana. Avoid foods like raw vegetables, hard fruits, whole grapes, nuts, raisins, popcorn, hard cheese, and hot dogs, all choking hazards.