How exciting! Your baby is nearing the ten-month mark. You have seen some wonderful changes in your baby, and even more, are in store. In the coming weeks, your baby will be gearing up to walk and will be learning more words each day than you think you can count.
Your baby is sleeping a little less these days. Morning naps may be gone. Other children will opt for short naps throughout the day with a more extended sleep period at night. Whichever option your child takes, they should be getting around fourteen hours of sleep each night.
Cognitive and Personality
Social and cognitive development have gone hand in hand throughout these first several months. However, your baby is probably starting to develop personality traits that have little to do with cognitive function. Favorite toys, foods, and people show the development in action but are personal traits that differ from child to child.
Many babies like to snuggle mom, dad, or other family members, but this is the age when they may begin to prefer certain toys, especially when they are stressed out. Babies are still fearful of strangers, so they may adopt a security object. These are usually blankets, stuffed animals, or the taggy blanket you may have bought months ago. Wash this object only when your baby is likely not to miss it. Yes, it will probably get disgusting. I guess that’s one way to build the immune system. If you can, have a backup plan. Things get lost or left behind. Nearly every parent has spent a Saturday afternoon retracing steps looking for a lost snuggly toy.
The Power of No
Your baby’s language development is strongly centered around the word “no” right now. He or she is also not likely to understand that the rules are sometimes situational. Dumping his blocks on the floor will not get the same reaction as trying to push your laptop off the table. There will be days you will feel that you have said no too much. You will think that’s all you have said all day. Keep in mind that these situations are teaching your child about appropriate behaviors. However, if everything your child tries to do is off-limits, try finding something they can do.
Learning the Hard Way
Unfortunately, some lessons have to be learned the hard way. No, I do not encourage letting your child pull the dresser over. Anchor it to the wall. However, he or she does need to be able to explore the world without bubble wrap. Falling down, hitting themselves with a toy, and pinching fingers in drawers (even with safety latches) will happen from time to time. While I do not advocate for the lack of baby proofing your home, I do want you to give yourself a break when an accident happens. Ice packs come in cool shapes for kids for a reason—they get hurt. Stock up on a few and keep them readily available. Many kids call the reusable cold packs (with cherry pits or rice inside) boo-boo pillows. That’s a good name for them. Boo-boos happen. Sometimes they can help your baby make the connection of why you said no the last 215 times.
As your child continues to move toward walking on two feet rather than all fours, changes will happen fast. Some of the changes will be visible, while others will be less apparent.
Feeding will continue in much the same way, but as babies gain more teeth and muscle control, eating chewier and more dense food becomes easier. Don’t let your child have anything they could choke on, like whole grapes or carrot slices, but steamed, softened carrots or quartered grapes may be a great place to start. Keep pushing new foods. If your baby seems hesitant to try one or more of them, keep trying. Some babies take several tries before attempting a food. Offer it at each meal for a few days. Eventually, he or she might try it. Also, if your baby tries a food and seems to dislike it, keep trying as well. Sometimes they just need to eat it a few times. Babies prefer sweet foods, so salty foods or savorier may take more tries. Some babies also never want pureed meat, but once they can eat small pieces of chicken nuggets, they are hooked. Keep giving your child a balanced diet.
Waving Hello or Goodbye
Babies at this age have often learned to wave hello and goodbye. They have also learned these concepts. Your little one might even be trying to say hi, hey, hello, bye, or similar greeting and departure related words. Blowing kisses can also be adorable at this age. They often just smack their lips together or touch their faces. The coordination of these greetings seems small, but they will help with coordination and muscle tone.
If your baby is still not trying to move through crawling or standing yet, you will want to discuss this with your doctor. As some children do not crawl, you should not be concerned if this is the only task they aren’t completing. If your baby is pushing to a stand and trying to walk, muscles are probably not an issue.
Likewise, babies who are not social at all may have hearing, speech, or other delays that can be treated with early intervention. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
You have done an amazing job so far. Your baby is on the move, and you are probably exhausted. Don’t worry too much about the little things. Be a loving and supportive parent, and your baby will get everything they need.