11-Month-Old Baby’s Developmental Milestones - A Complete Guide

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At 11 months, your baby is at the crossroads of infantile development. He is on the verge of completing the landmark age of one year, but for now is still a baby that surprises you with new skills every day. He babbles more than before, stands on his feet independently, cruises around the house using support, eats messily with hands, and seems to have a personality of his own with a unique set of likes and dislikes. The age of 11 months can thus be quite interesting.

While you wait for that first birthday to arrive, you wonder if he has achieved all his developmental milestones for 11 months. Wonder what those milestones are? In this MomJunction post, we explain about the various developmental milestones your baby will reach at 11 months and how you can help him grow better.

An 11-Month-Old’s Development Chart

Achieved Developmental MilestonesEmerging Developmental Milestones
Can stand without support, walks with supportWill start taking steps without support
Follows basic instructionsCan understand complex instructions and commands
Manipulates objects such as toys through nimble fingersWill develop sharper finger control with wider range of motion
Addresses parents with correct nounWill remember relations and address relatives with correct noun
Knows names of personal objects like toysCan remember the names of other objects in the house
Repeats easy and small wordsWill speak complex words after hearing them from parents
Eats more food items than beforeWill develop a keen taste for solid food
Recollects familiar faces from a group of strangersWill greet familiar faces with a smile
Displays frustration through basic babblingWill get vocal about his frustration
Remembers the use of some objectsWill start learning the use of several more objects

[ Read: Baby Development Month By Month ]

An 11-Month-Old Baby’s Developmental Milestones

We have categorized the developmental milestones of an 11-month-old into three parameters:

  1. Cognitive
  2. Physical
  3. Social and emotional

Let’s now see the major landmarks under each these categories.

Cognitive Developmental Milestones

In this category, we cover the major milestones pertaining to the baby’s cognizance, rationality, and decision-making capabilities.

  1. Recognizes people by their names: Tell the name of his sibling and your 11-year-old will point his tiny finger straight towards her. It is the same with household items that have simple names as well as toys that he plays regularly.
  1. Explores new ways to play with toys: He now seems to have an advanced play with his toys. Babies at this age can fit an object into a tight-fitting space and then undo it (1). It is a key indicator of the fact that their brains are capable of calculating the shapes and sizes of objects and then manipulate them.
    Your baby will be better at stacking the blocks on top of each other and removing them one by one. Overall, this is an indicator of improved senses of the baby and his ability to coordinate.
  1. Knows the use of certain objects: He now knows how to drink from a cup and if you have combed his hair several times he will pick up a comb and put straight to his head. An 11-month-old baby can do a basic correlation between objects and their respective purpose if he has repeatedly witnessed their usage.
  1. Understands “no”: He is making a racket with his rattle. You sternly say “No”, and he promptly stops while looking at you. This works the other way around as well. For example, if he does not like what he is eating, he will turn his head from side to side and say a feeble “No!”. 11-month-olds understand the usage of ‘No’ and are aware that it stands for disapproval for a negative action (2). They will also leverage this word to show their discontent on a matter.
  1. Obeys simple instructions: If he understands ‘no’, it means he is bound to comprehend some other instructions as well. For example, babies at 11 months, he can pick and hand over objects when asked to do so. He can also roll and pass the ball when asked. You may have to use some non-verbal cues such as placing your hand in front of him but he will get the point far quickly than ever before.
  1. Will repeat simple sounds: Your baby will tend to repeat the words and even sounds that he hears you say (3). Do not expect him to repeat them perfectly. In fact, you may have to strain your ears to understand his words. But, the feat itself is an indicator that his vocal chords are more developed than before.
  1. Experiments with speech and language: An 11-month-old will experiment with words beyond repetitions. This means he will make subtle sounds of basic vowel and consonant sounds that will sound like gibberish but actually are signs of speech and language development. He will babble some sentences that he may remember hearing you speak.

[ Read: Baby Language Development ]

Physical Developmental Milestones

Here, we will see an 11-month-old’s milestones relating to his physical growth, muscular capabilities, and motor skills.

  1. Changes positions to reach an object: If it takes him to bend forward to reach an object while seated, then he will do that exactly. The eleventh month old baby takes advantage of all that extra muscle he has in his body to grab objects beyond his reach.
  1. Stands on his own: Your baby can stand without support. He will be wobbly in the beginning and try to hold on to something to balance, but in most cases, he will stand independently.
  1. Walks with support and takes a few steps without support: Your baby will now try to experiment with his legs by taking his first steps using some support. This is referred to as cruising and be prepared for a lot of this. His leg muscles now have the strength to propel him forward. He can be quite an explorer, which brings us to the next developmental milestone.
  1. Is capable of climbing stairs: No obstacle is too great for your cruising little one. You will notice his first attempts to climb over stairs and other obstacles. He will be clumsy though and will not climb over an array of stairs but will surely scramble over the first step. It is, for this reason, you must baby-proof your house to prevent any hazardous event.
  1. Makes better use of his fingers: His fingers will develop a better grip than before and it is indicated by the fact that he can hold a spoon and feed himself. You will notice that he now uses his thumb a lot more than before to establish a grip on objects. An 11-month-old baby will also use his fingers and limbs to move objects around him to the desired place or position thanks to the improved fine motor skills. You will see the display of these skills in more practical ways like raising his arms while being dressed or undressed.
  1. Has four teeth: By the age of 11 months, the baby’s gums usually sprout a pair of central incisors both on the lower jaw and the upper jaw (4). Your baby’s smile now looks adorable with two pearly white teeth sticking out from each jaw. Despite the presence of four incisors, your baby is far from chewing solid food since these teeth primarily help in biting than chewing.
  1. Varied diet and better sleep: He may not have many teeth but he has surely developed a taste for food beyond breast milk. Your baby is no longer exclusively breastfed and now eats a variety of pureed and mashed solid foods in significantly larger quantities than he did before. Along with diet, the other thing that has shown improvement is sleep. Your little one now sleeps more predictably than before usually in large blocks during the night.

[ Read: How To Teach Your Baby To Walk ]

Social and Emotional Developmental Milestones

Here are those milestones of his life that relate to his emotional temperament and ability to develop social bonds with people in his life.

  1. Says ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ to the correct parent: Gone are the days when he would randomly call say “mama” or “dada”. An 11-month-old now knows who the mom is and who the dad, and addresses them with the respective word flawlessly (5). What can be more incredible is that he may call a parent selectively depending on the situation. For example, if he is hungry he may exclaim “mama!” and if he usually plays with father then will call “dada!” when having trouble with some toy.
  1. Will look for familiar faces in a group of strangers: You are having a family get-together and there is a barrage of relatives visiting you. Expect your baby to spend more time with the ones he knows and remembers from his past. At this age, babies have a sharper memory than they had when they were younger. This is quite evident from the way he interacts with people around him. It is for this reason he may get excited on seeing a familiar face. This is him forging his first social bonds with other human beings in his life. On the flip side, he may seem nervous and uncomfortable when offered to be held by a stranger since he does not know and, therefore, does not trust that individual.
  1. Displays frustration and becomes upset: Here come the tantrums! The 11-month-old babies display a wider range of emotions and do not hesitate to display their displeasure. For example, if it is time to sleep and you take away his toy to coax him to the bed, he may refuse to move and throw a tantrum. He will also display frustration when he is unable to achieve the desired outcome to an action like while playing with a toy.
  1. Shows his first disobedience: You read that right. Babies at this age can understand instructions while at the same time they are inquisitive. When the two clash, his inquisitiveness wins and makes him ignore your instructions. For example, if he is trying to break apart a toy and you say “No!” he may pause for a moment, but then continue breaking the toy. He is more determined than ever before and now seems like a resilient little human!

It is an amusing experience to witness your little 11-month-old develop several life skills. As parents, you can take steps to support your baby in his endeavors.

[ Read: Social & Emotional Development Activities For Babies ]

7 Tips To Improve The Development Of Your 11-Month-Old

Help the baby grow by incorporating these tiny steps in your day-to-day routine with your baby.

  1. Play fun games and activities: Playtime is the best time to sharpen his new-found skills. Play plenty of games and activities where he can use his fine motor skills and expend his energy in a more constructive manner. Taking him to a local park to play with other children and siblings is a nice way to keep the physical development right on track.
  1. Encourage him to be independent: If he shows interest in eating with a spoon then let him do so. If he loves combing his hair then get a baby comb for him. Your baby can learn new actions and activities only when he is allowed to practice them regularly. Letting him be independent and nurturing the explorer within, is a way of ensuring his development.
  1. Let him meet new people: Meeting and interacting with new people is a good way of making him more social and comfortable with new faces around. It is also a way of stimulating his memory since he is quite likely to remember people he meets.
  1. Have meaningful conversations: It is time to cut down on baby talk and have some logical conversations with your little one. The 11-month-old understands instructions and can link words with actions. If you want your baby to improve his basic vocabulary, then speak sentences that are meaningful and are actual conversation points rather than rudimentary baby talk. How does this help? The next point elaborates.
  1. Reinforce good behavior: Having a meaningful conversation can be the difference between good and not-so-good behavior of an 11-month old baby. Your little one is now developing a personality and the best way to infuse good traits is to reinforce good behavior. For example, if your baby tries to eat food off the floor, dissuade him by giving a stern vocal instruction like “No, don’t do that”. You may also put your hand ahead to say “Give it to me”. Your baby eventually learns that he is not allowed to eat food that fell on the floor. Even though he is far from understanding the real science behind it, your job is done since he is less likely to repeat it.
  1. Read and narrate stories to him: In the past, you may have relied on picture books but now you can introduce him to simple story books with brightly illustrated images. Sit with him and read these books in a manner that you are narrating the story to him. He may not understand every word but when you point at a familiar image he may try to say its name. This activity will help improve his vocabulary and boost his ability to recall words.
  1. Encourage independence: While it may seem too early, now is the time to encourage your 11-month old to be independent. This can be simply done by prompting him to do things that he would otherwise ask an adult to do for him. It need not be complicated but simple tasks such as putting his toys in a box or putting his shoes together. These simple activities can lay the foundation for more complex independent activities such as wearing clothes and tying shoelaces. Acquainting him to independence at this age is the best way of making him understand its importance later in life.

The milestones are not uniform for all the babies. Some meet them quite early while some may go slow. While you make an effort to support your baby, you need not have to put pressure on him to learn things. But if the milestones are delayed beyond a reasonable point, it might be a point to worry for you.

[ Read: 12 Month Old Baby Development ]

When To Be Concerned?

These red flags could be an outright indicator of some underlying problem.

  1. Baby doesn’t crawl at all: About 20% of infants never crawl, and therefore go straight to standing/pull to stand. But this age, if your baby can barely crawl or take steps, then it should be a matter of concern. A baby may not crawl due to a multitude of reasons ranging from underlying physical deformity to some neurological disorder. Book an appointment with a pediatrician to have your little one checked.
  1. Cannot stand even when supported: When encouraged with support, a baby will prop himself up to stand on his own feet. Do it a few times and the next thing you know he is standing right next to you. But in case your baby is having trouble standing on his own even when supported then there could be some problem. Observe his legs to make a better inference; if the legs seem shaky and loose when he stands, then it means there is some issue. Visit a doctor immediately.
  1. Does not utter even a single word: An 11-month-old does not have a flourishing vocabulary but words like ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ are the bare minimum he will speak – with his adorable variations. He will also babble some random words that he hears his parents speak. If a baby does not speak even a single word on, then that is a red flag. Babies with neurological disorders may not speak at the right age.
  1. Does not respond to basic commands: Your 11-month-old baby now has a stronger grasp at instructional cognizance. This means he will decipher basic instructions and commands quite easily especially if said by a parent. If a baby seems unresponsive, blank or totally disoriented when dictated something, then that is a matter of concern.
  1. Poor coordination of the senses: Call out to your baby from behind the curtain and he will immediately turn his head towards it. He will keep looking at the curtain since he realizes the source of the voice is behind it. This basic analysis requires a coordination of all the senses and thorough processing by the brain. If your baby shows a poor functioning of his senses then it could mean a problem.

Remember, babies have personalities and are unique. Your 11-month baby may not achieve the milestone today but may do so tomorrow or the day after. It is important to be patient and provide your baby all the resources to grow normally and become a healthy human being.

Hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have anything to share with us, do leave a comment below.

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Rohit Garoo

Rohit Garoo is a zoologist-botanist turned writer with over 8 years of experience in content writing, content marketing, and copywriting. He has also done an MBA in marketing and human resources and worked in the domains of market research and e-commerce. Rohit writes topics related to health, wellness and development of babies. His articles featured on several notable websites, including... more