You’re nearly there! Your tiny baby is now a chattering busy little child. She doesn’t know it but her first ever birthday is on the way. Here are the changes and milestones you can expect in the final month of her first year.
Movement and Independence
Your 11 month old baby should be standing with help now, and if she hasn’t taken steps while holding on, she very soon will. Some babies will have taken their first independent steps by now, but don’t worry if yours is still working on it. Either way you will be doing a lot of bending and hand holding. It is tiring, especially if you are tall. If you usually like to wear heels, consider flats or sneakers for the next month or two when you are out with your baby.
Walking is tiring for babies too, and sometimes she will just want to crawl. If she is in a safe place like your home or a playgroup you can help her to become more independent by not always immediately following her as she crawls. Be sure that your stairgate is up and you can see or hear her, and check on her frequently. Choosing to move away from you when she feels secure is a welcome milestone as she approaches her first birthday. Make sure she can always find you again so that she continues to feel safe and loved.
Shopping for Baby Shoes
Once she has reached her walking milestone your reward is take your baby shoe shopping. This is usually a fun adventure where specially trained staff will measure your baby’s feet for length and width, and you will get to pick the cutest pair they have to offer. You will be visiting this store again frequently. Your baby’s feet should be measured every 6-8 weeks once she is wearing shoes. If you notice any irritation or her shoes feel tight to you, make an extra visit.
Like the rest of her body, baby feet experience growth spurts and then at other times don’t seem to grow at all. Remember to buy bigger socks too. Tight shoes or socks can prevent children’s feet from growing properly. Baby feet are so soft and squishable that she may not even notice her shoes and socks are too tight, so it is up to you to check. Bare feet are still best for walking at home and in other safe clean places.
Choosing and Helping
In her 11th month your baby continues to become more self-aware. You can support her development by giving her opportunities to make choices. Keep it really simple at first by showing her two things and asking her to choose. Would she like to wear the top with the teddy or the puppy this morning? Should we try the swing or the slide first?
Once she realizes she can make these choices she will enjoy them, and start to initiate them. Be clear about what choices she can make and when, and which ones you will make for her for now. If the top she wants is being laundered you can show her and explain. This is how she learns about how the world works.
She can now cooperate as you wash and dress her, perhaps by lifting her arms or closing her eyes. You can engage her in helping Mommy by putting things in a box or handing them to you when it’s time to tidy up. In reality it might take longer than if you did it yourself, but you are training her in the best way possible. She wants to please you, and to do the things that you do.
11 month baby diet
16 – 20 oz of formula or breast milk is still an important part of the 11 month baby diet, but she should also be eating many other healthy foods at every meal and for her morning and afternoon snacks. Her palate is developing fast now. Foods she didn’t like a month or two ago can become firm favorites. Try offering them again at a time when she can see you eating and enjoying them.
You may remember being told to make a clean plate and not waste food as a child. Your family may also encourage you to follow this example. Research has shown that forcing children to eat can contribute to overeating in adulthood, as well as other eating disorders, so try to resist any pressure or frustration around food. So long as you are giving healthy foods she will know when she has had enough, and she will not willingly go hungry.
Games and skills for 11 Month Babies
There are so many things to learn about the world, and almost everything you do with your baby helps her to learn. Chat with your baby about everything you do together, and remember to let her join in. Although you may not recognise most of her words she will copy your tone and body language to get her point across. She will enjoy naming familiar colors and things, and it’s a good time to start learning numbers too.
Here are some fun ways you can help your 11 month old baby develop.
- Take turns and speak as if she is making sense to you.
- Point and name things and colors everywhere you go.
- Count out loud as you climb steps or stairs.
- Sing counting songs with actions like “12345 once I caught a fish alive” “Five Fat Peas” or “Ten in the bed”.
- Get messy with safe paints on her tray or a washable floor.
- Offer her coloured pencils or crayons and name the colours. Make sure they are non-toxic, and watch to make sure she doesn’t eat them.
- Sort toys by color as well as by size. Make a pile of red things and a pile of blue things.
Me time for Parents
It’s not always easy to make time for yourself as a parent. There is always more to do than time to do it. Remember that a happy healthy parent is able to be a better parent.
- Get enough sleep, you will feel better and be safer.
- Get out of the house. A walk in the country or green space has been proved to reduce depression. Your baby will be interested in the scenery or lulled by the moving stroller.
- Visit friends or a parent group most days. It is good for you to talk with other adults, and it is good for your baby to see this as normal.
- Talk with your partner every day.
- Get a babysitter and go out on a date once a month.
- Celebrate your first anniversary as a parent, even if just with a cake a candle and a camera.