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The First Year: 10 Month Milestones (page 2)

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Updated on Jun 14, 2012

Uses Language with Purpose. All of those months of unintelligible babbling starts to really pay off this month, when your baby goes from a language novice to more advanced applications. "Infants will begin to use mama and dada to communicate to their parents and imitate sounds and names of objects, pets, food items," notes Melisa Brown, a pediatric speech language pathologist.

  • Use the correct names for objects. Your little one will probably make up his own words for items that he has trouble saying, like using "baba" for bottle. Make sure that you continue to use the proper words, even if your little guy's made-up ones are adorable. It just means he'll catch onto proper names and pronunciation faster.
  • Grab a book or magazine with common items depicted inside. You can test your baby to see what items he knows by asking him to point out the cat, the apple, or the baby. He'll love this basic version of "Where's Waldo," and you can help him round out his vocab.

Gets Mobile. Your baby should now be creeping, crawling, and even walking with your help. Babies who seem uninterested in movement altogether should be seen by a pediatrician, since there might be some developmental issues. Of course, each child is an individual, and a late bloomer doesn't automatically indicate a problem. Even if your little guy isn't on his feet just yet, he'll find other ways to get around.

  • Offer your hands or a wheeled toy to help your little one get used to putting pressure on his legs. After months of crawling and scooting, walking can feel weird to a newbie, so be patient. Once he learns the benefits to walking upright with assistance, he'll probably beg to try it again and again; hey, it's good exercise, right?
  • Block off your stairs. Even though your baby might be an expert crawler, stairs are difficult for him to navigate; typically kids can go up easily, but struggle with the downward crawl. Save that lesson for when your little one is older and steadier.

Wants Independence. Fastest way to get your almost-toddler to melt into a fit of screams? Take away his independence. About this time, your little one is learning to assert himself, get what he wants, and check out new environments all on his own. While setting limits is important, you'll probably pick up on likes, dislikes, and other personality traits more this month than before.

  • Check out new environments for your little one to experience. Whether it's an indoor toddler playground or your backyard, you can find safe spaces where your baby can roam free, whether crawling or walking with a little help from you.
  • Be creative in getting your little one to behave. He understands the word "no" is negative, so you'll probably get backlash if you interrupt his play agenda with a stern word. Instead of saying "no" constantly, try redirection or distraction as a way to stop dangerous behavior; it'll help diffuse a possible tantrum while still giving your little one room to roam and feel more independent from you.

You should clearly be able to see the change happening in your baby during the next couple of months. You might actually find yourself a little nostalgic for those first few months where he needed you to do everything. But new independence and development definitely has its perks; more sleep, a more predictable routine, and concentrated playtime might have you feeling a little more independent too.

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