Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chapter 19 - 11 Month Milestones

Weeks 41-44

Gaining Strength. By this week, pulling up might be a piece of cake for your baby - and if you hold both of his/her hands for balance, he/she'll probably go for a stroll with you. He/she's able to sit down from a standing position with some grace, rather than just plopping painfully down on his/her bottom. Even more adorable, kids this age love to sway, bop, and hum to music, creating their own funny way of dancing along. Dancing helps strengthen your baby's leg muscles and perfect his/her sense of balance, so put some tunes on, stand him/her up, and let him/her boogie.
As your baby plays, it's obvious how curious she's become. It might seem like she's getting into everything these days - opening drawers and dumping out all their contents or reaching her hand down to see how steep the step from your kitchen to your living room is. Don't be surprised if you leave the room for two seconds and come back to find that your little tike has opened the entertainment center doors and pulled out every DVD you own. She might also like to experiment with climbing in and out of kiddie-size chairs, and because she's not great at judging sizes, you might catch her trying to hop onto a dollhouse-size chair. At this age, get ready to do a lot of chasing around and redirecting when she inevitably does something she shouldn't.
Brain Booster. Your baby's getting smarter every day! At 10 months, he/she's starting to grasp concepts such as time, distance, depth, and cause and effect, and he'll incorporate them into his/her play. Your baby continues to learn about the properties of objects by crumpling, ripping, tasting, and throwing anything he/she can get his/her increasingly dexterous hands on.
And what a personality he/she's getting! Kids this age begin to show a huge range of emotions - from fear and sadness to twinkle-eye glee - and everything in between. Baby might look sheepish when you catch him/her doing something forbidden; expectant when you put him/her in his/her high chair; and excited when he/she sees someone he/she loves. They might smack their lips and murmur, "Mmm!" when they taste something yummy, stomp their feet in time to music, or even daydream, staring off into space as though they have a lot on their minds. Encourage your baby to express him/herself - and help him/her learn the actual words to describe how he/she's feeling - by saying things like "You look so excited, honey!" or "Isn't this delicious?"
Social Butterfly. Got a little copycat on your hands? Around this age you might notice that your baby imitates everything you do. He/she might try to feed you a spoonful of the applesauce he/she's eating, rub you with his/her washcloth while you're bathing him/her, or bang on the computer keyboard if you hold him/her on your lap while dashing off an e-mail.
Babies learn a ton through this monkey-see, monkey-do approach, but it's not just your positive behaviors he/she'll pick up on. If you yell at your children, chances are they might take to shouting. Get stressed out or frustrated pretty easily? He/She"ll likely copy that too. No one says you have to be a saint, but if you find yourself getting angry or nearing wits' end, give yourself a quick time-out before you blow up in front of baby.
He/She's beginning to understand that him/her belongings are distinct from others; he/she might be able to find his/her own toys in the playroom, for example, and prefer them to his/her brother's. He/she's also learning that his/her voice, face, and body parts are different from everyone else's. You can reinforce this by picking up his/her favorite stuffed animal and naming each of its body parts - then IDing the same parts on your body. After several repetitions, try asking your baby where his/her head, eyes, ears, and toes are. You might be amazed to find his/her pointing to them soon.
Increasing Vocabulary. By this age your baby might be able to say one or two words, usually to indicate the things that he/she loves or pays a lot of attention to in his/her daily life. You might be waiting to hear "Mama," but "Dada" is actually more likely to pop out first - not because your little one loves his/ her father more, but because those hard D sounds are easier to make.
This is also the stage when your baby learns to point. That's his/her way of asking you what he/she's looking at so he/she can further expand his/her vocabualry. Let him/her know that yes, that is a duck, or that the thing he/she sees in the sky is an airplane. You might find yourself in a nonstop game of point-and-say, but remind yourself that you'll see the results when he/she starts to say some of those new words him/herself. If your baby's not pointing yet, hand over your cell phone. The irresistable urge to push the buttons will strengthen his/her little fingers.

For more information on these Milestones, Please visit
Have an Oh So Wonderful Day!

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