What Should My 10-Month-Old Be Doing?

9/25/10 by Nativity Lennon

Photo courtesy of Kodomut via Flickr

I think it’s normal for parents to feel paranoid about the development of their child.  When I was pregnant, I worried all the time that my child would be born with some kind of life-threatening illness.  And then after she was born, I worried that she might have developmental problems.  I guess it was that maternal instinct at work.  Now that she’s older, I’ve calmed down quite a bit, but when she was still a baby, I freaked out on a regular basis.  I was always comparing her to other kids her age and worrying about her progress.

For example, when my daughter was 10-months-old, she wasn’t crawling like the other kids in her daycare.  Her doctor told me that I had absolutely nothing to worry about but I was scared that she would be bound to a wheelchair for life.  She could barely roll over like she was supposed to at that age, and crawling was simply out of the question.  The good news is that she ended up skipping the crawling stage and going straight to standing and walking.  I was so relieved, and in retrospect, it was silly of me to be so concerned.

You see, all babies are unique.  You can look at charts and measure your child’s developmental progress to some extent, but there is no “one-size-fits-all” chart available.  Children meet milestones at their own pace, so if it seems like other kids your child’s age are ahead of your child, don’t fret.  Your kid will catch up, eventually!  This is especially important to remember if your child was born prematurely.  Premees usually need more time to reach their milestones.  I know it’s hard not to feel antsy, but just try to be patient; your child’s time will come!

So, while you can’t expect your child to reach all of his milestones at set times, the following are some general guidelines for what a 10-month-old should be doing:

Parallel Play

Many parents worry when they notice that their 10-month-olds aren’t playing with other kids, but there’s no reason to be concerned about that.  Why?  At this age, babies still don’t understand the concept of friendship and do not interact with other children.  Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to set up play dates so your baby can learn to play alongside other children.  Play dates, even if the babies don’t interact, build a foundation for developing valuable social skills.

Understands Instructions

If I had to answer the question, “What should my 10-month-old be doing,” with one word, I’d say, “exploring.”  It’s natural for 10-month-olds to want to explore everything around them, but make sure you set some boundaries.  Your child will probably be able to understand simple instructions, so teach him what is safe vs. what is unsafe and what is right vs. what is wrong.

Babbles… A Lot!

What else should a 10-month-old be doing?  Talking!  To encourage your baby to talk even more, have conversations with him.  It might feel silly to converse with your babbling child, but it will help him develop his language skills.  And although it will be tempting to spout baby talk, try to refrain from doing so because using real words is more beneficial to your baby’s development.

One easy way to yap along with your baby without resorting to gibberish is providing play-by-play descriptions of everything you do.  For example, if you’re grabbing some potatoes from the fridge to boil and mash for your baby, you could say, “I’m getting potatoes out of the refrigerator.  Now I’m going to boil them.  Once they’re done boiling, I’m going to mash them and put them on a plate to feed to you.”  Being this descriptive helps your baby develop language skills more quickly.

More Control of Fingers

By this age, your baby will most likely be able to pick up small objects and hold them in between his index finger and thumb.  Now, more than ever, you have to be careful about leaving objects lying around the house, so your child doesn’t grab something dangerous off of the floor and try to put it in his mouth.

Increased Mobility

Little by little, your 10-month-old is gaining independence.  By this age, your baby may be able to stand up, crawl, sit up, and perhaps even take a few steps.  If you’re worried because your baby still doesn’t crawl or move around like other kids his age, don’t panic.  Like I said before, I freaked out when I read all the “What should my 10-month-old be doing?” charts and realized that my child wasn’t quite there yet, but she turned out just fine.

If you have any questions about your child’s development, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider.  More likely than not, you’ll discover that your child is perfectly healthy.  Even if your child isn’t accomplishing all of the above milestones at 10 months of age, he probably will very soon.  Milestones just mean that your child has the potential to accomplish them by a certain age; it doesn’t mean that he has to have them all accomplished already.

Be Sociable, Share!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “What Should My 10-Month-Old Be Doing?”

  1. […] 9 to 12 Months […]

  2. […] for the bigger tasks like feeding or changing. Again make sure you don’t see any changes in infant behavior from your little […]

Leave a Reply

Type your comment in the box below: