As they start to move into toddlerhood and are likely on the brink of walking and talking, their growth can leave you in awe of them. Some babies take their first steps earlier, while most experience those steps around their first birthday. Same goes for their first words, but timing is not exact. Either way, here’s what you might see in your 10-month-old.
Your 10-month-old baby’s cognitive development
Your baby's world is filled with curiosity, spending most of their waking hours figuring out how things work. Right now, they learn that different objects have different purposes and begin to explore how to use them. They do this both by copying you, and through trial and error. Prepare yourself, and anyone in the general vicinity, for the banging, poking, mouthing, and throwing of playthings—it's all part of the discovery process. They also pick up on how to use everyday objects, such as bringing a cup to their lips or a toy to their ear like a phone.
Your 10-month-old’s motor skills
Now’s the time when your baby might sit up on their own, sit unsupported, crawl, or pull themselves up by holding onto something like the edge of the sofa. Better strength and coordination allow them to stand while holding onto you or furniture. They might take a few steps while holding onto something for support. This stage of walking is known as cruising. With improved coordination in their fingers, they might explore the inside of a container or bang blocks as play. They can also feed themselves now too. It’ll be messy, but it’s a start.
Your 10-month-old baby’s communication skills
Do you hear that? It’s your baby’s first words. Okay, they might not sound exactly like the words you use, but it’s still considered an early word when your baby links particular sounds with people or objects. "Mama" and "Dada"—used as your names—are common first words for about half of all babies. Your baby might also name a bottle or blanket "ba ba." This development is an important leap forward, as your baby attaches sounds to objects and tries to say them the way you do.
Your 10-month-old baby’s social skills
By mimicking and copying behavior, your 10-month-old baby learns how people interact. They may try to brush their hair just like you or match the behaviors and sounds of their siblings. They can be pretty social with loved ones at this age. Although, unfamiliar people can bring your child distress, or stranger anxiety, as it’s called. This is a sign that your baby knows their family members and has become aware that strangers are different from the people in their group. They may get stressed out at your absence around this time too.
Separation anxiety is a normal result of two developments: your baby's strong attachment to you and their emerging understanding of object permanence—the idea that things they can't see (like you) are still out there somewhere. Don’t worry! This reaction is actually a sign of their mental maturity and their bond with you—and it's usually short-lived.
Some children briefly digress and seem to lose newly acquired skills when working on other developmental tasks. For example, they stop walking when learning to speak. This is typically brief and not a sign of a developmental problem so, no need to worry. If you encourage your baby at every stage, they’ll hit each milestone when they’re ready.
Watching them grow up before your eyes is endless fun. Your 10-month-old’s development is sure to be impressive—but of course it doesn’t stop there. As they continue to delight and amaze us with their progress, get ready for even more incredible developments next month.