Baby on the move! When to install those furniture guards.

Exciting developments are underway as your baby moves toward the end of their first year. Most 11-month-olds are on the brink of walking and speaking single words. Some have already taken their first steps (possibly even skipped crawling), but most do so around their first birthday. Often, first words are spoken at or around this time, too, but there’s a lot of variety when children begin to speak and how quickly they add new words. So many of these rapid-fire changes are the happy result of the close bond you’ve built, the good nutrition you’ve supplied, and the nurturing environment you’ve created for your baby.

Here are some of the developmental highlights you can look forward to this month.


As your baby’s brain continues to develop, you’ll find that they are making great strides in focusing their attention, listening, and observing everything that’s going on around them. They are discovering that everyday objects have purposes and begin to practice using them, for instance, punching the buttons of a phone or swiping at a tablet screen. They experiment by copying you and through trial and error. They spend many of their waking hours trying to figure out how things work. Playthings offer endless opportunities for them to bang, poke, mouth, and yes, throw.


Your little one has likely progressed from sitting unsupported to sitting up on their own, to crawling, and now to pulling themselves up by holding onto something (such as the edge of the sofa) in order to stand. Better strength and coordination help, but they likely still need to hold onto you or furniture to stand well. They may even venture a few tentative steps while holding on, a stage of walking known as cruising. They will still be likely to drop down to crawl when there’s nothing handy to hang onto, or they may venture a few steps between pieces of furniture. Improved coordination in their fingers means they can feed themselves and try new kinds of play, such as exploring the insides of cups or banging blocks.


Your baby is increasingly skilled at using gestures—pointing, nodding, and shaking their head— to express their feelings and wants. Be on the lookout (or listen) for their first words. Keep in mind that their words might not sound exactly like the words that you use. It’s considered an early word when your baby links particular sounds with specific people or objects. Using “Ma ma” or “Da da” as your names is a common set of first words for about half of all babies. Your baby might also reliably refer to their bottle or blanket as “ba ba.” This is an important leap forward, as they attach sounds to objects and tries to say them the way you do. First words are almost always nouns.


Watch closely, and you’ll realize that your 11-month-old is likely mimicking and copying you. It’s how they learn and practices their social skills. They especially love to observe and copy the constantly changing behaviours and sounds of other children. As social as an 11-month-old can be with loved ones, unfamiliar people may cause distress. At the playground, for example, the sudden appearance of several new kids might set off tears and spark them to crawl away. Actions are their way of solving a problem: “I don’t know these people; I want my Mommy.” Their solution—move away and call out for you—shows just how well their brain and body are working together.


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