Your Active 11-month-old
Baby talk -- it's so sweet and yet so important to a lifetime of communication for your child. Isn't it amazing how much baby's connecting with the world around him? And he needs your help more than ever to learn about the language of life.
Milestones this month | Helping your baby master the wonderful world of words
Milestones this month*
*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your 11-month-old hasn't yet reached these milestones, rest assured that he will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development, discuss them with her doctor.
Helping your baby to master the wonderful world of words
- Your baby now walks while holding onto furniture.
- He uses the "pincer grasp" to pick up tiny objects between his thumb and forefinger.
- Baby can stand alone.
- He drinks from a cup.
- Baby says "mama" and "dada."
- He says a few other one-syllable words (like "hi").
- Baby communicates his wants with gestures and words instead of cries.
- He talks in conversational gibberish.
- Talk simply, talk often Use simple, one-word labels to identify every component of your child's life. Go for a stroller ride and point to every tree, flower, or bird you pass by. Continually name all the objects in his bedroom and the toys in his closet. And use your baby's name often so he develops a real recognition for it.
- Listen Patiently listen as he weaves an incomprehensible tale, then respond appropriately and courteously. Try to pick out "real" words, then say them back to your child as a way of trying to understand him.
- Introduce concepts Point to objects and describe them as big or little, empty or full, up or down. Illustrate ideas with objects or actions whenever possible.
- Name colors When you label objects, identify their color.
- Name numbers When you talk about objects, identify how many there are. ("You are wearing two blue socks today.") Sing counting songs like "This Old Man."
- Don't always put words in your baby's mouth Instead of saying "I'll bet you'd like a snack," ask "Would you like a cracker or a piece of cheese?" This allows him to answer, either verbally or with hand gestures. Repeat his response: "You chose a cracker -- here you are."
- Share the world of books with your baby Reading to your baby is among the most precious gifts you can give him. Make it a part of your daily routine; snuggling up with a few age-appropriate stories before nap time or bedtime will help both of you relax as it strengthens your bond and shows baby the wonder of words.
My, how you've grown!
As impossible as it must seem, your baby has experienced almost an entire year of life. So many changes have sprung up at every turn, all leading you to even more fun and fulfillment. Only yesterday, baby just fit into the crook of your arm; today, he may be walking (which, of course, means that running is imminent).
Monitoring your baby's growth provides a constant in a world of change. As you record his monthly height and weight, you'll gain comfort in knowing that your little one is on a strong and healthy course.
During the eleventh month, it's common to notice a slight slowing in his growth. If your baby was larger than average at birth, he's probably now moving closer to his more genetically predisposed size. If you and your partner are short, it's only a matter of time before your baby drops down from the 90th percentile in height.
Most doctors are less concerned about graphs than they are about your baby's overall health. If he's eating, sleeping and maturing at a normal rate, the numbers on a chart don't mean quite as much.On the go baby
Because your baby is more mobile, you may be more inclined to include him in outdoor family activities.
- Bicycling Make sure baby sits in a bicycle seat that has a safety belt. The seat should attach over the rear wheel and have spoke guards. It should have a high back and some support for his head. Bicycle helmets are available in infant sizes. Your baby always should wear a helmet, as should every member of your family.
- Strolling Make sure your baby is safely secured in the stroller with both a seat belt and a strap between his legs. The stroller should have a brake to lock the wheels so it won't roll off unattended. Look for a stroller with a wide base and a basket that hangs at a low level to prevent tipping.
- Shopping The same precautions apply whenever your baby is seated in a grocery cart. Use either the attached safety belt or a baby carrier designed specifically for shopping carts.