Your baby is just one month short of being a year old, and already communicating through sounds, gestures, and maybe even words. They might enjoy playing or stacking blocks, and they can even follow instructions. Find out more about your 11-month-old baby below.
You might be finding it difficult to keep up with your 11 month old baby, as most will be crawling and cruising, and some may even have reached that much anticipated baby milestone, their first steps!
Read on to discover what other key physical, motor, mental, sensory and social & emotional developments you can expect from your baby as they reach the 11 month mark. Remember that some babies will reach these earlier or later than others. If you do have any concerns, talk to your doctor for advice.
The average 11 month old baby will weigh 7.6 – 11.5kg for boys and 7 – 11kg for girls, and measure 68–79cm, with a head circumference measuring 42–49cm.
WHO recommends that they should now be eating three to four meals of suitable 11 month old baby food a day, as well as drinking breast or formula milk. If your baby isn’t already drinking from a sippy cup, now’s a good time to think about introducing one as the American Dental Association recommends making this transition before age one.
Don’t be tempted to start thinking about potty training too early. Most babies are ready between 18 months and three years old, so your baby has quite a way to go yet!
Your active baby is likely to be crawling and cruising around the furniture, with most babies also able to stand alone for a few seconds, and a few able to stoop from a standing position. All this may be getting you excited for your baby to take his first steps! Remember, some babies are quite happy to get around in other ways, so the inclination to get up and walk won’t always be there.
If your baby is walking, save those first baby shoes for outdoors. Going barefoot indoors is best for foot development and grip.
Your baby will also be developing his hand motor skills, including his finger skills, which he’ll put to good use feeding himself with finger foods or a spoon. Some babies will even be able to hold a crayon, and enjoy making marks with it on paper.
Pat-a-cake is a fun game to play with your baby at this stage, and they might also like to play with stacking cups or blocks.
Your baby is working hard to try and make himself understood using both verbal and non-verbal communication.
Most babies will now be able to direct ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ to the right parent, and a few will be saying at least one other word besides. This word could be ‘no’ – which your baby is likely to relish saying often as soon as he is able! If not, you might see your baby shaking his head to say no, as well as using other gestures such as pointing or waving.
You can help your baby to increase his vocabulary by continuing to read with him every day. You should also engage your baby in ‘conversation’ by asking questions and responding to his babbled replies. Half of all 11 month old babies will be able to understand simple instructions – even if they can’t verbalize a reply just yet. You might even find your baby purposely ignoring you when you say no to him!
If you’re raising your child as bilingual, don’t shy away from using both languages. The optimum time for a child to learn a second language is from birth to 3 years, and learning two languages at once is unlikely to confuse your child or delay their speech long term – although it may take them a little longer to start talking.
As most babies are able to stand at 11 months, this is the ideal time to encourage their sense of touch by letting them experience different textures underfoot. These could include grass, carpet, tile, sand or even water.
Colorful, touch-and-feel-books are another useful tool for sensory development. Your baby may be able to hold a hard book himself now, and will love trying to turn the pages, lifting flaps and discovering new textures as you read.
You can also help your baby to keep developing their sense of taste by continuing to add different flavors at meal times – toss some rosemary in with that squash, liven up chicken with a dash of cumin, and give mashed potatoes a kick with a blend of paprika and parsley, but always skip the sugar and salt when preparing 11 month baby food for your little one. For more information on your baby’s nutritional needs, ask your doctor for an 11 month old baby food chart.
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SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Half of all 11 month old babies will be imitating the actions and expressions that they see on others. They’ll also be influenced by your reactions, which means that you can reinforce good behavior with praise and control bad behavior with the word ‘no’.This power to discipline is likely to be handy at this stage, when your baby may be showing an increased assertiveness of his own!
Click here to read about the importance of growing-up milk >>
You might find that your baby suddenly seems afraid of things that previously didn’t bother him – water or a family pet, for example. This is normal as they become more aware of the world, and should ease with lots of reassurance and comfort from you.