Ages 8 to 12 Months—5 Months of Magical Milestones
What can you expect as your baby approaches year 1?
Every baby moving toward toddlerhood develops at a slightly different pace. What babies between the ages of 8 months and 1 year share are developmental mile markers that each will reach, sooner or later. Hold on tight, parents, and enjoy the ride!
Feeding schedule at ages 8 to 9 months: At 8 to 9 months of age, your baby will likely be drinking 7 to 8 fl oz of formula or breastmilk, 3 to 4 times a day.
Feeding schedule at ages 9 to 12 months: Between 9 and 12 months, your baby will likely be drinking 7 to 8 fl oz of formula or breastmilk, 3 times a day
Your baby’s world at 8 months
Generally, at 8 months, your little one is starting to crawl, cruise, and experiment with all-new ways to explore the world around her.
She’s on a roll. By the end of this month, she will likely be able to:
Say “dada” without necessarily knowing what it means
Move from laying on her stomach to a sitting position
Fine-tuning fine-motor skills. Support your baby’s fine-motor skills by:
Helping her stand when she is near a table or sturdy object and use it for balance. Encourage her to “cruise” along the furniture by holding a favorite toy just out of reach.
Encouraging her to bounce while supporting her in a standing position.
Placing a toy out of reach and encouraging her to crawl toward it.
Safety tip: Make sure baby’s crib mattress is in the lowest setting once she can pull up to stand.
For a good night’s sleep, create a routine. Now is a great time to create regular bedtime rituals. A soothing activity that lasts 10 to 30 minutes, such as reading a picture book or doing quiet activities together, is ideal. This will help your baby look forward to bedtime and find it easier to adjust when you finally leave the room.
Your baby’s world at 9 months: time to shake, rattle, and roll!
At this age, your baby might be developing the ability to grab anything within reach. She might be able to say “mama,” too, although it’s completely normal for babies to go months longer before they start saying recognizable words.
Taking a stand for independence.
All babies develop at different rates. In general, by the end of your baby's ninth month, she will likely be able to:
Pull herself to a standing position
Walk (cruise) while holding onto furniture
Use her thumb and index finger to grab objects
Understand the word “no”
Building up her big brain.
Your baby has learned so much during the past 8 months. Here are some simple ways to help continue to build her cognitive skills:
Read her books while naming and pointing to objects and people
Play hand-eye coordination games, such as “patty-cake” and “peek-a-boo”
Your baby’s world at 10 months: this little one’s got skills!
At 10 months, babies are typically interacting more with people and showing off new skills at every chance. Help your baby adapt to her expanding world by reciting nursery rhymes, singing songs, and taking her to new places for the first time.
Let the good times walk.
All babies develop at different rates. In general, by the end of month 10, your baby will likely be able to:
Walk with you slowly while holding hands
Say “mama” and “dada” and know what they mean
Stand while holding onto something
Protest if you take a toy away
Play hand games and wave bye-bye
Build her budding imagination.
It’s never too early to inspire your baby’s creativity. Here are fun, simple ideas to spark her imagination:
Buy or make puppets from old mittens or socks. Make the puppet “talk” to your baby and encourage her to talk back.
Make a scrapbook of familiar objects such as toys, animals, and family members. Help your baby point to the pictures as you name them.
Sing her familiar songs and read her nursery rhymes.
Your baby’s world at 11 months: put on your running shoes!
Your baby might be more active than ever and begin to explore her surroundings more. Whether she’s cruising around the living room furniture, standing on her own, or climbing up (but not down) the stairs, consider taking new steps to make your home safe from her curious roaming.
She’s right on track.
All babies develop at different rates, so don’t worry if your baby does something later or earlier than other children. In general, by the end of her eleventh month, your baby will be able to:
Walk with one hand being held
Drink from a sippy cup
Say one word other than “mama” or “dada”
Point or gesture to ask for something
Bolster baby’s brain.
Eleven months is a great age to nurture your baby’s growing brain and developing hand-eye coordination with these activities:
Help her walk with (or without) support
Ask her to find her favorite toy in her toy basket
Provide push/pull toys for her to play with
Roll or toss a large soft ball back and forth
Encourage her to stand and pick up a toy off the floor without holding on to anything
Safety tips for a baby on the move.
It’s a good idea to install safety gates or other barriers at the top and bottom of stairs. Here are some other tips to help keep your baby safe:
Clear her play area of hard, sharp-edged furniture
Lower her crib mattress so she can’t crawl out or fall while she stands
Install childproof locks on drawers, screens, doors, and windows
Move pots and pans containing hot foods away from the edge of counters and tables
Insert plug protectors in any unused electrical outlets
Store toxic substances (like household cleaners and products)
Your baby’s world at 12 months: a year of leaps
Your baby is developing a personality all her own, and it shows. She’s about to start the physical changes of leaping into toddlerhood, so it’s time to prepare for the next growth spurt.
Time flies when you’re turning 1.
You’ve both come so far in the first year, and your baby will continue to develop at her own pace. Generally, by the end of month 12, your little one will be able to:
Take her first solo steps
Say two words other than “mama” and “dada”
Speak in “baby-talk” sentences
Imitate your actions
Drink from a sippy cup without help
Support brain development.
Help keep your baby’s brain growing through play in social settings and during your individual time with her.
Introduce her to brief playdates to practice playing in groups. There won’t be much interactive play just yet, but she’ll get used to the playing environment.
“Read” a picture book together. Identify what you see on each page to help her learn new words and objects.
Prepare to wave “bye-bye” to the bottle.
If your 1-year-old is still on the bottle, these tips could help her transition to a sippy cup:
Begin to offer her a sippy cup in place of midday bottles
Don’t let your baby roam with the bottle and limit where she can have it, such as only while on your lap or at the table
In the beginning, introduce water in a sippy cup with one meal per day
This also might be a good time to add in a toddler drink, like Go & Grow by Similac®. It’s designed to help balance a toddler’s diet and support brain, eye, and physical development from ages 12 to 36 months.