10-Month-Old Baby: Development, Milestones And Growth

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When you look at your 10-month-old baby’s development, you’ll realize that you are just a few months away from your baby’s first birthday. They have acquired their personalities by this age and have become skilled in so much. They have also developed intellectual abilities.

All of these abilities result from your baby reaching various developmental milestones. This post discusses all of the important developmental milestones that occur at the age of ten months and their many variations.

10-Month-Old Milestones Chart

Achieved developmental milestonesEmerging developmental milestones
Crawls and pulls to standWalks with support (cruising)
Understands meaning of some wordsUnderstands and speaks simple words
Moves from tummy to sitting positionCan sit up from standing position
Understands requestsUnderstands other basic instructions
Imitates basic actionsRepeats activities after observation
Searches for hidden objectsRemembers the location of objects by memory
Reacts to scary or distressing situationsResponds to more number of circumstances
Has pincer graspCan use full hand to hold objects
Improved depth perceptionBetter depth perception and hand-eye coordination
Has some teethCan have eight teeth by the first birthday

10-Month-Old Baby Developmental Milestones

An infant achieves his developmental milestones in cognitive, physical, and social and emotional stages. Specific achievements in each category ensure the baby’s overall growth and development.

Cognitive Developmental Milestones

10-month-old enjoys looking at picture books.

Image: iStock

A 10-month-old’s cognitive developmental milestones comprise intelligence, brain development, and overall thinking prowess.

  1. Develops object permanence: The ability to recognize the existence of an object is referred to as object permanence. At ten months, the baby knows that a hidden object continues to exist and does not disappear (1). This ability makes him less anxious when a parent is not in the line of sight.
  1. Searches for hidden objects: Object permanence leads to inquisitiveness. A baby will find objects that are hidden or have moved out of his field of vision (2). For example, if a toy car slips under the sofa the baby will lean a bit to find it. If you hide a toy under the blanket, he will not stop looking for it unless he finds it.
Quick tip
Parents can engage the child in various forms of play, such as peek-a-boo, treasure hunt, and hide-and-seek, to enhance their object permanence.
  1. Enjoys looking at picture books: The 10-month-old will enjoy sitting in the parents’ lap and looking at image-rich books. He loves listening to stories and will visually absorb all the colorful illustrations. The infant’s brain is learning to better process the images and sounds, and picture books are a great help.
  1. Associates meaning with words: As part of the 10-month-old’s language development, he now understands the meaning of some basic words such as “hi”, “no”, “go”, and remembers the sounds of nouns such as the name of his favorite toy or food.
  1. Repeats actions: An essential attribute of a 10-month-old’s behavior is the ability to imitate actions. An infant forms a memory of an action and remembers the response to it. He then does the action to observe how others react to it.
  1. Says “mama” and “dada”: The infant now uses the correct nouns to address parents. He may not get it right with the correct parent, but it is nevertheless quite an achievement from the previous month.
  1. Understands request: Request the baby to hand over something, and he will slide it slowly into your hands. At ten months, the baby can discern requests, which is a significant social development milestone (3).

Physical Development Milestones

10-month-old crawls well.

Image: iStock

These milestones are an insight into a 10-month-old’s motor skills and principal physical development traits.

  1. Crawls well: A 10-month baby masters crawling, which is an essential physical development. Watch as your little one will leave no corner of the house unexplored.
  1. Uses pincer grasp: Pincer grasp is the ability to use the index finger and the thumb to pick small objects (4). The essential physical development facilitates the introduction of finger foods.
  1. Moves from tummy to sitting position: When the baby is bored of tummy time, he will roll into the sitting position. Stronger back and abdomen muscles help with this.
  1. Pulls to stand: Standing is the first step towards walking and eventually running. And, by the end of nine months, an infant may pull himself up to a standing position while using an object for support (5).
  1. May move forward while standing: Once on his feet, the baby may make his first attempt to walk by moving a foot forward, while holding on to support. Eventually, he walks taking the support of one object after another. This is called cruising.
  1. Can have all central incisors: The two lower central incisors erupt at eight months, and the pair on the upper jaw may emerge by ten months (6). It coincides with the phase when the baby is ready for finger foods and makes biting convenient.
  1. Improved visual depth perception: Eyes develop constantly, and by 10 months, the baby will have an enhanced depth perception with better hand-eye coordination (7). Activities such as crawling and pulling to stand further boost visual development.

Social And Emotional Developmental Milestones

The baby may clutch on to the caretaker.

Image: iStock

Here’s when your baby is preparing for all the social gatherings and emotional temperament.

  1. Waves goodbye: Seeing off the baby now has its special moments. 10-month-olds learn to wave goodbye and develop an understanding of this social gesture. They may even chirp something that sounds like “bye-bye”.
  1. Stranger anxiety: A baby may not be comfortable in the company of strangers or if left alone with them. He may resist going into their arms.
  1. Separation anxiety: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies develop heightened separation anxiety after ten months (8). The baby may clutch on to the caretaker and even throw tantrums to prevent them from leaving.
Quick tip
Separation anxiety can be relieved with practical coping strategies and regular exercises. Some ideas to ease the stress may include practicing and scheduling separation sessions, goodbye rituals, promise-keeping, and setting limits on consistent contact.
  1. Reacts to situations: The baby will cry if you take away a toy from him. He may be nervous, if he hears a loud noise. Your baby will now have a wider range of reactions.
  1. Enjoy playing hide-and-seek: Babies achieve various skills at different ages. While some babies pick those skills faster, some may take a little more time. So worry not! But, at the same time, be on the lookout for roadblocks!

When To Be Concerned?

Baby failing to recognise familiar people.

Image: iStock

You must watch for the following signs of delayed development in a 10-month-old:

  1. Does not crawl: Babies crawl effortlessly by 10 months, and if an infant is unable to do so then it could be a sign of developmental delay.
  1. Makes no sounds: A 10-month-old may not speak but will make an array of sounds and noises. If the baby is unusually quiet, then you must take him to a doctor.
  1. Cannot stand with support: The baby is now capable of pulling himself into a standing position with support. If he fails to do this, then it indicates a developmental delay. Pulling to stand is important as it lays the foundation to walking skills.
  1. Fails to recognise familiar people: If your baby is not recognizing known individuals and everyday objects, then it could indicate a cognitive trouble or a problem with the baby’s vision.

If you spot any of these signs, then do not panic. Instead, take your baby to a pediatrician and let the medical professional make the assessment. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends getting your baby checked by a doctor periodically for a timely detection of any developmental delay (9).

A medical check-up combined with a little care and caution, can go a long way in ensuring the baby’s smooth development.

Tips To Improve 10-Month-Old Baby’s Development

Get your baby a push car

Image: iStock

There are some simple and easy ways to stimulate your 10-month-old’s development and ensure that his growth stays right on track:

  1. Provide ample crawling space: It is time to move that furniture and roll out the rug. Your baby would love to crawl and the more he crawls, the better his muscles prepare for important activities such as walking. Give your baby adequate space to exercise his crawling skills. Baby proof the house to ensure maximum safety.
  1. Assist pull to stand: Get your baby a push car that is heavy enough to support the baby’s weight. The infant can pull to stand with the help of the car. The baby may, however, take a few steps in case the car is wheeled and moves easily. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends toy push car and stationary walkers . They, however, advise against the use of baby walkers  (10).
  1. Have meaningful conversations: It is time to cut down on that baby talk a bit and have some useful chat. Babies at ten months understand words such as “no” and “go”. The more new words you introduce in the little one’s vocabulary, the better is his vocabulary.
Point to consider
Parents responding to the baby when they say words such as “ma” or “da” increases their likelihood of forming associations between the sound and the person.
  1. Play games that nurture: Have an activity schedule where you play games that improve various growth milestones. You should also spend time having group activities that can help cut down the baby’s separation anxiety and fear towards strangers.
  1. Try new finger foods: Introduce new finger foods to the baby and let him eat by himself. Show the little one how to grip the food and the correct way to eat it, and then let him be. Eating finger foods by himself helps in making baby-led weaning easier by the first birthday.

It is exciting to assess your 10-month-old baby’s development through the milestones they have achieved. Your baby will crawl, try to stand, and roll from tummy to sitting position by this age. They will also display stranger anxiety, wave goodbye, and love playing hide and seek. You may further improve their skills by playing games and communicating with them. If your child did not achieve some of these milestones, do not worry since each child is unique and will achieve them gradually. However, you should talk to a professional if your child is way beyond age and has not started crawling, recognizing people, or making sounds. Timely diagnosis and treatment of developmental delays can help manage them efficiently.


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