Baby development and milestones: your 11 month old

Baby development and milestones: your 11 month old

At 11 months, your baby will start to become more adventurous, and explore the world around him! Read on to find out more about your baby’s development.

Your baby is now a bouncy 11-month-old cherub, and you’re pretty excited about his/her first birthday! However, just because the first year is a milestone, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to look forward to at the 11-month-old mark. 

Here are some of the important things that you should know about your 11-month-old baby’s development. Do keep in mind that every child is unique and may meet milestones at varying times. If you are worried about any aspect of your child’s development, speak to a paediatrician. 

11 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child On Track? 

Baby development and milestones: your 11 month old

Physical Development

At this stage, your child’s median length and weight* should be as follows: 

  • Boys
    – Length: 74.4 cm (29.3 inches)
    – Weight: 9.4 kg (20.8lb)
  • Girls 
    – Length: 72.8 cm (28.7 inches)
    – Weight: 9.0 kg (19.9lb)

And your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 45.8 cm (18 inches)
  • Girls: 44.58 cm (17.6 inches)

By this time, your baby should already be moving around the house, albeit still holding on to you or the furniture to keep steady while he/she explores the world around him/her.

This is the time when you need to be really careful and keep a close eye on your little one, since he/she will get rather adventurous, even climbing on to furniture or out of his/her own cot. 

Your baby will be more independent, so this is a good time to let him/her explore things alone, within safe limits set by you. 

Tips

  • It’s important to keep your home safe, as your 11 month old will open drawers, doors and cabinets, etc.
  • Anything that he/she can see is something new and interesting, so keep any dangerous chemicals, as well as any sharp or dangerous objects well away.
  • Make sure to cover electrical sockets.
  • Your baby develops independence at this stage, so embrace his/her newfound independence by encouraging him/her to walk around and explore the world around him/her (under your supervision, of course).
  • While you might be tempted to give your baby shoes since he/she will start to walk at this stage, it’s still best for your baby to walk barefoot as long as he/she is indoors or on grass or another soft, clean surface. Shoes or sandals might make it difficult for your baby to find his/her balance.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your baby,

  • Still has trouble standing, even with support. 
11 month old development and milestones

Your 11 month old tot is getting cheekier and more active by the day!

Cognitive Development

At 11 months, your baby will start to become aware of what’s happening in his/her surroundings. Your baby will observe what other people do and try to imitate them. 

Your baby may also be fascinated by colourful storybooks and will reach for them from time to time. He/she will enjoy turning the pages one by one. 

At this stage, your little one can comprehend what “no” means, but won’t always follow. 

Tips:

  • When reading to your baby, make sure he/she is thoroughly engaged by reading words animatedly or pointing and naming certain objects and characters. 
  • Help boost your baby’s development at this stage by exposing him/her to new items. You can let baby touch different textures, objects, and teach him/her basic shapes or textures. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child,

  • Seems aloof and listless.
  • Is not observant and receptive to people and sounds. 

Social and Emotional Development

At this age, your little one will start to have his/her own personality. Your baby knows what he/she likes, and dislikes, and can also experience a whole range of emotions that he/she didn’t experience before.

Some babies this age also start to play with kids of their age, while other still prefer solo play. 

Your baby might start throwing tantrums if you take away a favourite toy, or if he/she doesn’t particularly like the food that you’re giving him/her. Your little one may learn to use crying as a way to get what he/she wants, so it’s important to know how to handle your little one during this stage. 

11 month old development and milestones

Give your 11 month old baby plenty of colourful board books to stimulate cognitive development.

Tips

  • Now is a great time to start teaching your baby various social skills, as well as setting some simple rules for him/her to follow.
  • Don’t force your child to be social, just let it happen naturally, as parallel play is usually preferred by little ones this age. 
  • Be firm when saying no, especially when your child touches something that could harm him/her, like a hot cup or breakable objects. Of course, you don’t need to harshly discipline your baby. A simple no and a stern voice will usually suffice.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your baby,

  • Is constantly crying for attention. 
  • Does not want to engage in any type of play with other babies.  

Speech and Language Development

Chances are, you’ve already discovered the “big word” that your kid learns at this stage. That word, of course, is “no”. You’ll start hearing it a lot, especially since at this time, your 11 month old may become picky when it comes to food. He/she may also resist if  he/she still wants to play and it’s already nap time.

Your baby will be able to say a few very simple words, so it’s good to start reading and talking to him/her even more in order to get his/her brain ready for learning more words. You can start teaching baby different words for objects, and how to use them.

Your baby’s memory will also improve at this stage, so he/she will understand more words as the months go by.

Tips

  • Talk to your baby and encourage him/her to communicate. Even babbling, though unintelligible, is a vital part of language development.
  • Make sure to sharpen baby’s memory by repeating certain words, or even pointing and naming familiar people and objects. Teach new words and reinforce those words by using them often.
  • Boost your child’s attention span by playing games like peek-a-boo or opening and closing your hand while singing. Not only will this improve focus, he/she will find this entertaining, too. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child,

  • Is barely cooing or babbling.
  • Rarely makes eye contact.  

Health and Nutrition

By 11 months old, you can feed your baby four small meals a day, with each consisting of around 1/2 cup or bowl of food. Baby can also be given two snacks between his/her milk feedings. 

Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:

  • Boys: 758.6 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 723 Kcal/day 

Their nutrition should be composed of the following: 

  • Protein

This is an essential nutrient needed to fuel all that growing and development your child is doing.

Your child needs around 23.7 grams of protein daily. This amounts to approximately an adult female palm-sized portion of fish, or a child palm-sized piece of red meat or chicken or turkey, or five to seven tablespoons of dry beans and peas, or an egg, or 5-7 dice-sized cubes of tofu. 

Give your child oily fish such as sardine or pink salmon as these are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain development. Lean red meat is better for your baby than fatty meat. 

  • Fruits 

A good intake of fruit is essential for your baby’s proper vitamin and mineral requirement. It also keeps baby’s digestive system healthy. Your baby needs about 1/4 cup of fruits every day. This can include 1/4 medium banana, or half of a medium avocado, or 1/4 of a medium papaya, or half a small mango. Avoid dried or canned fruits if possible as these have a high sugar content. 

  • Vegetables 

Your child needs 1/4 cups of vegetables every day. This amounts to about 1/4 cup of cooked vegetables like pumpkin or sweet potato, half a cup of raw leafy greens like spinach or kale that is cooked, steamed or sauteed, or half a medium carrot cut into sticks and steamed.

  • Grains 

Introduce 1.5 ounces or about 42.5 g of grains in your child’s meals daily. This amounts to 1.5 slices of whole grain bread, one cup of cooked pasta or oatmeal, or one cup rice. You should try to avoid heavily processed white bread, pasta and rice and opt for wholemeal/wholegrain varieties if possible. 

  • Milk/Dairy 

Your child needs around 700-1000 ml of milk per day. Avoid giving cow’s milk until next month. 

In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):

  • Fruits: 1/4 for boys; 1/4 cups for girls
  • Vegetables: 1/4 cups for boys; 1/4 cups for girls
  • Grains: up to 1.5 ounces for boys and girls
  • Proteins: 23.75g for boys and girls 
  • Milk: 20-35 ounces of breast milk or 24 ounces of formula for boys and girls
  • Water: 800 ml for boys; 800 ml for girls

Of course, providing your baby proper nutrition is very important, so make sure to feed him healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and protein-rich foods, like fish, beef, and chicken.

Tips

  • Let your baby feed himself/her using his/her fingers. You can also start introducing how to handle a spoon. 
  • Your baby should now be able to drink on his/her own, or with a little assistance.
  • When it comes to food, this is when your baby starts to become more picky about what he/she wants to eat, so it’s important to be patient. Keep offering different types of food to your baby.
  • Avoid too many sweets, as baby might develop a sweet tooth at a young age. Breastfeeding is still highly recommended at this age if possible.
  • Added salt and sugar should be avoided completely, or limited as much as possible. 
  • If you have a picky eater on your hands, just be patient when introducing new food. A baby usually needs several feedings before getting used to a certain taste. 

When to speak to a doctor

If your baby

  • Breaks out in rashes after eating. 
  • Vomits after all, or almost all meals. 
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
By now, your baby should have had the following vaccinations: 
  • BCG
  • Hepatitis​ B (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • DTaP (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • IPV (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • Hib (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate (1st and 2nd dose)

To read more about your child’s vaccination schedule, click here

Has your baby had his/her first common cold yet? While it’s stressful to see your little one ill, sickness in kids is inevitable and in fact, helps build up baby’s immunity. Other than the common cold, little ones may also be prone to common illnesses like Hand, Foot Mouth disease, seasonal strains of influenza and coughs and rashes. 

Mums and dad, you should never medicate your baby on your own unless you are doctors yourself. Please seek medical advice for any illness in your child, even common ones. However, you can ease your child’s symptoms through, for example, saline drops for a congested nose or lukewarm sponging for fever. 

Tips

  • Never force feed your child if he/she loses his/her appetite when sick. Just make sure your baby is well hydrated. 
  • Do not ever medicate your baby unless you are a doctor yourself. 
  • If your baby is prescribed antibiotics by the doctor, it’s essential that you finish the course, even if baby seems to be better. 
  • If baby bumps his/her head, apply an ice pack (wrapped in a cloth) immediately to prevent bruising. 
  • Basic hygiene practices should be strictly followed by all family members. This includes washing hand before meals and after using the bathroom. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child, 

  • Has an unusually poor appetite or is severely underweight for his/her age.
  • Has a fever over 38 degrees Celsius.
  • Has a chesty or phlegmy cough that does not ease after two days. 
  • Wheezes or finds it hard to breathe (you should call emergency).

Reference: Web MD

*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards.

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Next month: Baby development and milestones: Your 12 month old

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