You’re almost at your baby’s first birthday, and so much has changed over the course of this last year. You may be having trouble keeping up with your little one, who is now, no doubt, moving about with ease -- and getting into everything in your home, if you’re not careful.
In this portion of WebMD’s month-by-month guide, you’ll discover what baby milestones you can expect your child to achieve when he’s 11 months old.
Eleventh Month Baby Milestones: Motor Skills
At 11 months, your baby should be cruising around while holding onto the furniture or your hands. He might even let go of your hands to try out a few tentative steps alone or he might even be walking independently. Some babies at this age experiment by standing on their toes or on one leg.
A few particularly adventurous 11-month-olds find that climbing is a fun way to explore. They’ll scale counters, get over their crib railing, and put themselves into some pretty precarious situations. If you have one of these little climbers, don’t provide an easy access route. Move chairs away from tables and countertops so your baby can’t get up high enough to take a nasty spill. Your baby will also love opening drawers and cabinets, so be sure to lock up any chemicals, cleaning products, or cosmetics that are within his reach.
As your baby’s hand-eye coordination improves, he’ll enjoy learning how things work by arranging toys by size and color as well as taking them apart and putting them back together. Stacking blocks and nesting cups are excellent toys for these pursuits. As he plays and explores, many objects end up in his mouth. If he is the baby of the family, make sure that older siblings keep smaller parts to toys out of reach.
Eleventh Month Baby Milestones: Eating
Your baby should be feeding himself by now with fingers and starting to explore use of a spoon. Fill your 11-month-old’s diet with a variety of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy products -- cheese and yogurt -- and protein -- beef, chicken, fish, tofu. Offer a snack in the morning and afternoon to give your baby enough energy to make it through the day. Crackers, fruit, and dry cereal are all good snack options. You will still give 16-20 ounces of breast milk or formula per day, increasing the use of the sippy cup during the day over a month until you switch entirely.
Be careful to avoid grazing with a juice filled sippy throughout the day. Keep sippy filled with water and baby can stay hydrated.
Your baby’s sense of taste is developing, so keep adding different flavors to the mealtime repertoire. If you have a particularly picky eater who constantly pushes away the spoon, don’t give up. Keep trying new foods. Sometimes, babies have to be exposed to a food eight to 12 times before they’ll eat it. At the same time, never force your baby to eat. It’s better to let young children decide for themselves when they are full. Research has shown that kids who are made to clean their plates often turn into overeaters later in life.
Eleventh Month Baby Milestones: Communication
Eleven-month-olds realize that they’re unique people. They have a strong sense of their likes and dislikes, and they’ve learned to use their emotions to get what they want -- like throwing a temper tantrum when you try to take away a favorite toy. Your baby may already have discovered the word “no.” If so, you’ll probably be hearing it a lot.
Communication begins to take on a more mature rhythm at 11 months. Babies at this age can engage in a regular back-and-forth conversation. When you ask a question, you’ll get a response, although you probably won’t understand most of that response. When you name something -- like the family dog -- your baby can point at it. You’ll also probably notice that your baby has a longer attention span and can focus on you or a game for more than a few seconds at a time.
Tips for Your Baby’s Eleventh Month:
- Now that your baby is crawling and walking with help, let him explore many different types of textures, including grass, carpet, and the floor.
- Read together with your baby every day. Involve your child in the experience by pointing to people and things in the pictures and asking your baby what they are. You can also involve him by letting him turn the pages.
- Start reinforcing good behaviors with praise, and correcting inappropriate behaviors with a firm “no.”
- Encourage your baby to start becoming more independent while dressing, eating, and getting ready for bed.
- If your baby is now motoring around on two feet, put socks with treads on him or a pair of comfortable baby shoes when you go out. Stick to bare feet at home until your baby is actually walking.