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Behavior of a 10 Month Old Child

by Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell

Your 10-month-old is on the brink of many delightful and fascinating milestones. As your little one gets close to wrapping up her first year of life she may be uttering a few intelligible words and expressing herself through non-verbal communication such as pointing and waving. Crawling at breakneck speed, standing on her own two feet and taking a few steps while holding your hand is all in a day's work for the typical 10-month-old.

Social and Emotional Fluxes

A 10-month-old may seem to have a split personality at times. One moment your baby is sociable, receptive and loving and before you know it she's tentative, fearful and holding on to you for dear life. Don't worry, your infant's mood swings are perfectly normal for her age and have nothing to do with your approach to parenting, explains HealthyChildren.org, a website published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Erratic, roller coaster type behavior patterns are common because she's developmentally mature enough to know the difference between familiar situations and uncharted territories; the former makes her happy while the latter can cause anxiety. Feeling out of sorts around people she doesn't know is often one of your 10-month-olds' first emotional milestones. Your baby may even shy away from familiar caregivers and relatives who she was perfectly at ease with a few short months ago.

Dealing With Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety -- feeling engulfed in fear when you're out of her sight -- may become quite obvious around 10 months. She's learning -- with much anguish -- that you're out there somewhere, even if she can't see you. You can expect her to cry and fuss each time you're out of her sight. Separation usually intensifies until around 18 months, then fades away as your baby approaches her second birthday. When possible, schedule time away from your baby right after a nap or meal. Being well-rested and having a full tummy can make her less apt to be irritable and turn your leaving into a monumental deal.

Physical Strides

Your baby's gross and fine motor skills are really taking off. You may notice him maneuvering his little body into a sitting position on his own and staying put without support. He can probably move from sitting to crawling with ease. As his leg muscles gain strength you'll catch him pulling himself up to stand -- perhaps with the assistance of a nearby sofa or coffee table. He may take a few tentative steps while holding or "cruising" along the furniture. Hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are also showing signs of improvement. Your 10-month-old likely has the dexterity to pick up tiny items such as pieces of cereal, explains FamilyDoctor.org, a website published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Language and Cognitive Development

A 10-month-old is becoming a master at non-verbal communication such as pointing to what she wants. It won't be long before she's putting her desires or demands into words. She may start with syllables like "ga" or "ba." If she utters the word "ma" or "da" oblivious to their meanings, an excited reaction lets her know that she's stumbled upon something that makes her parents happy. She may start saying "mama" or "dada" just to grab attention and watch for a positive reaction. Your 10-month-old probably comprehends much of what you say, even though her language skills are limited. One thing is certain; she understands the meaning of the word "no," points out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Talking to your baby often helps further improve her understanding. For example, tell her that you're picking out her pink pajamas because the little yellow teddy bears on them are "so cute." When you wash her hair comment on how sweet the shampoo smells and tell her that her hair will be clean and shiny when you're finished.

Considerations

A 10-month-old is curious by nature. Your little one will watch with fascination as he follows the path of an object as it falls. If he sees you hide something you can bet he'll go look for it. Your baby will give you a book when he's in the mood to hear a story and loves to play "pat-a-cake" and "peek-a-boo." A note of caution: 10-month-olds have a potentially dangerous habit of putting things in their mouths so it's important to always keep tabs on what your tot is up to.

About the Author

Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.

Photo Credits

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