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Baby Developmental Milestones: 8 to 12 Months

Gets to sitting position without help

During this time, your baby will push himself into a sitting position, where he can reach for and explore toys, books, and new activities. Help him develop skills like clapping with patty-cake and other hand games.

Creeps or crawls on tummy

Your baby is on the move! During this time, she may start crawling, creeping on her tummy, or scooting on her bottom. Don't worry about her style. As long as she uses arms and legs on both sides of her body to move, it's OK. Encourage motoring by putting an interesting toy just beyond her reach.

Rocks back and forth on hands and knees

Rocking on his hands and knees is your baby's last step before crawling. He's building his arm and leg muscles so they can propel him forward (or backward). Give him lots of supervised time out of the crib, car seat, and stroller so he can work on moving.

Gets from sitting to crawling

When she can sit well without support (usually about 7 months), your baby will learn to lean over onto all fours. Soon, she'll push off with her knees to crawl. As she becomes agile, set out pillows, cushions, and boxes for her to crawl over and around. Always supervise this activity!

May walk while holding onto furniture

Your baby is "cruising" -- walking while holding onto furniture to steady him. Make sure sharp corners are padded and furniture is secured. Hold your baby’s hands while he walks to help him practice. Or let him push a sturdy walking toy with supervision. His first steps alone are just around the corner.  

Can stand on her own momentarily and may take two or three steps

At around 8-12 months, your baby's torso and leg muscles are strong enough for her to stand without assistance. Rolling over, sitting up on her own, and crawling have boosted her confidence. Make sure toxic products and medicines are locked away and safety gates are up.

Uses pincer grasp

Your baby is moving from the raking grasp to a precise finger-and-thumb pincer grasp. For practice, give him little finger foods to pick up -- like cooked peas or O-shaped cereal. Keep away choking hazards, including older children's small toys and foods like grapes, nuts, and raw vegetables.

Bangs two cubes together and puts objects in and out of a container

Your baby's hands are busy, putting objects in and out of containers and banging them together. You don't need to invest in a drum set yet. Just about anything safe will work, including pots and pans, plastic containers and wooden spoons, and egg cartons.

Tries to imitate scribbling

Your baby has made her first scribbles -- some marks on a piece of paper! She's imitating what her parents and older siblings do. Encourage her to doodle on the sidewalk with thick sidewalk chalk. Or set her up to scribble with fat, sturdy crayons and thick paper.  

Uses body language to communicate and may respond to "no"

Though he isn't using words yet, your baby uses his body to talk. He points to things and may nod his head "yes" or "no." He may pause when you say "No!" and "Uh-oh." He may wave "bye-bye." Help him learn words with rhymes, songs, and books. Name objects for him often.

May say “dada” or other strings of sounds to imitate words

Did baby say her first word? Was it "dada"? If so, don't take it personally, Mom. She's stringing sounds together now, and "m" is harder to pronounce than "d." In fact, she probably stumbled upon "dada" by accident. But very soon she'll be saying both "mama" and "dada" and meaning it.

May shake, bang, or throw objects

What could be more interesting to baby than dropping an object and watching you pick it up over and over again? He doesn't mean to try your patience. He learns how the world works by shaking, banging, throwing, and dropping objects. Play together with texture books, balls, and squeeze toys.

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, raisins, popcorn, hard cheese, and hot dogs.

WebMD Medical Reference

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