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Baby Care: Your 10 Month Old Baby

Feb 25, 2022 | 3 Minutes Read

Your little one is gaining more and more independence now as they learn how to use their body and control their movements. This means there are bound to be some falls and tumbles as they perfect their skills and become better coordinated. Finding the balance between being protective but still allowing them to explore can be quite challenging. Make sure the areas where your baby plays are safe and child friendly. For the next couple of years, you will need to place breakable items up high and ensure heavy objects are secured. Although baby proofing your home may change its appearance, it is far more important to have a safe environment and one where you feel your baby can play without worry.

Feeding and sleeping at 10 months old

At 10 months, many babies decrease from 3 to 2 naps a day. The morning nap can often occur around 9AM or 10AM after getting up early and having some breakfast. Signs of being tired at this age are fairly consistent and include yawning, fussing, wanting to be held, or even falling asleep during play.

Ten-month-old babies tend to be quite vocal as well and can protest when they want to stay up, tired or not! It usually helps parents to stay calm and focused and try to follow the same regular sleep routine for both day and night.

Milk is still an important component of your 10- month-old’s diet but solid foods are equally vital now. Try not to limit your baby’s intake by always offering them the same foods. Be creative and cook for them yourself. Home-cooked foods generally taste better and have a lumpier consistency than processed foods. From 1 year onwards, most babies limit the range of foods they will eat, so if your little one is already used to a diverse variety of foods, their diet won’t become as restricted. Remember to offer food multiple times before assuming it is a food they do not like!

Behavior at 10 months old

This is a social age for your baby. Look for their responses when they are exposed to other people. They will search for eyes first, then mouths and ears, and then scan the whole face. So much information is being gathered by your baby’s senses that it is no wonder they still need a couple of daytime naps. Your baby’s brain is at its most receptive now and will literally be molded by the experiences they have. You cannot change your baby’s personality or their temperament, but you can support them to feel secure and safe in their little world. You are still number one in your baby’s life just now, so if you feel they need you and sometimes just want some reassurance and cuddles, follow your heart. Parenting is not an exact science and there is rarely one right way to approach it.

If your baby isn’t too willing to play with other babies yet, don’t worry. they are still a little young for this. You will need to keep a close eye on them when they are with other children and animals because they are simply too young to know what sort of behavior is appropriate and safe.

Developmental milestones at 10 months old

Your baby is likely to be crawling well now and can get around in their own unique way. Some experts believe that crawling is strongly linked with learning ability as a child matures, because the opposite leg and arm movements involved help to link the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Walkers are no longer recommended as they limit the opportunity to crawl. They are also a safety hazard. There is no better place for your 10-month-old than the floor. That means you’ll need to pay close attention to keeping the floor surfaces relatively clean, at least for a few months.

Your baby may be able to pull themselves up to stand or even cruise around the furniture this month. They will easily be able to get themselves into a sitting position from their tummy and rotate their bodies, swiveling their arms and legs with the greatest of dexterity.

Listen for your baby when they learn to say mama and dada. It’s no accident that in most of the world’s languages the names for mothers and fathers and even babies relate to these early words. Teach your baby to wave bye-bye this month and play more peek-a-boo and other games. Your baby will try to initiate games with you and engage you in activities that they find entertaining. Although you may run out of interest before they do, repetition is an important concept in helping to consolidate memory and recall.

Growth at 10 months old

Your baby will be getting close to tripling their birth weight between now and 12 months. Babies all grow at their own individual rate and genetics is a major influence on size and growth. But it is also a child’s environment and food intake which play a major role. If you are worried about your baby’s growth, talk with your pediatric healthcare provider, and see how their weight and height measurements are looking on their growth chart.

If it is summer, you are less likely to notice your baby’s growth reflected in their clothing. But you may use their crib, stroller, or how they position themselves in your arms as a guide to how big they are getting. One day you may just look at your baby and be surprised how big they have become! The rate of growth in this first year as well as during adolescence is never higher.

Keeping well at 10 months old

It will be impossible to keep your baby perfectly clean at 10 months. If you’re out, they’ll want to get on the ground which can make things tricky. Get into the habit of taking their stroller everywhere you go, plus a blanket to keep them on. Assume everything in the near vicinity will find its way into your baby’s mouth.

If you are renovating your house and suspect lead-based paint is present, have it tested. Babies and children are particularly sensitive to elevated lead levels in their bloodstream, which can lead to learning disabilities. Consider the cleaning products you use in your house: pesticides, fertilizers, and general household products. Residues can pose a risk to health so be cautious with what comes into your house and finds its way into the cleaning cupboard.

Play and interaction at 10 months old

This is the month when you may want to redesign your household to create safe zones. Gates across doorways can be an excellent way of keeping them out of harm’s way. If you have older children who value their personal space, a gate across their room can minimize unwanted interference from the little one. Your baby is likely to want to join in what everyone else is doing now so keeping them separate from the rest of the children will be impossible. There is so much value and learning gained when children of different ages play with each other. Siblings often need to negotiate their way around each other’s needs and preferences, and this starts at a very young age.

Watch your baby as they engage with their older siblings. Babies are very skillful at drawing attention to themselves. It’s not just adults who fall for their charms!

What about mom?

At 10 months, there should be more of a pattern or structure to your day which will help with planning. If you still feel yourself struggling to get through each day, consider having a thorough check-up with your healthcare provider. Genuine medical problems can be disguised by extreme fatigue, and it can be easy to overlook our own needs. Arrange for someone to care for the baby while you go for your appointment. Write down a list of the symptoms you are experiencing and questions you have.

If you are not well and healthy you won’t be in the best condition to care for your baby. By 10 months you should be feeling a full return of your energy without a sense of overwhelming fatigue. Problems which include the thyroid, endocrine system, and nutritional deficiency can all have an impact on energy levels.

Your emotions
If you are becoming resentful about having to do most of the housework, you aren’t alone. Most women say they do most of housework and childcare, even if they have returned to work. Speak honestly with your partner about how you are feeling and discuss what would be a fair and equitable arrangement when it comes to keeping up the house. Check out The Post-Baby Conversation by Alison Osborne (Rockpool Publishing) for some excellent ideas.

Your sleep needs
Don’t be too quick to jump out of bed when your baby cries at night. If you are satisfied that they have been fed, are safe and comfortable, and there is no evident reason for them to need you, hold back a little. Give them the opportunity to self-soothe and settle; many babies at 10 months do just that.

Don’t neglect your own comfort needs. Make the time to change your own bed sheets, fold your clothes, and de-clutter your room if you can. Invest some time and thought into what could create a soothing environment for you. Children need not absorb all your energy. Even if the rest of the house is messy, it’s important to have somewhere to retreat to at the end of the day.

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.