Baby Calendar Month 11
Your baby is busy learning so many things and combining skills. For instance, his memory skills and language skills are closely tied. Take advantage of this intellectual growth by playing interactive games. Give your baby a chance to respond to directions whenever possible. If baby has been answering "No!" either verbally or with an emphatic head shake ask baby questions that give her a chance to say no or yes, like "Do you want a drink?" Prompt baby if necessary. Babies also love gestures at this age, especially pointing. Build on this by holding up two options when picking out clothing, "Do you want the blue jeans or the red pants?" or food, "Do you want carrots or pears?" or toys, "Do you want to play with the ball or your truck?" Whenever possible build on the labeling of objects in baby's environment by adding color words or shape words as well. Babies learn this concept through this exposure in simple natural way.
On the gross motor skill development side, eleven month olds are also combining these skills. Depending on their development rate, your little one may be starting to bend and pick up items while standing, turning while cruising, or pushing or pulling toys while taking steps, supported by you or big furniture pieces, or possibly while unsupported. By including some toys in baby's walking or cruising time you can help baby refine those gross motor skills. Have baby kick at a ball, or let her pick it up from the floor while leaning against the couch, or one hand on a table.
While not exactly a nutritional issue, pacifier use may be coming to a natural, or not so nature ending right now. This is actually an ideal time to "wean" baby from the pacifier as if the practice continues it will become very difficult to stop for a good long while. It's usually best not to go cold turkey by hiding or throwing it away altogether especially since most children this age are still struggling with separation anxiety particularly at bedtime. Talk to baby about pacifier being for night-night or car trips only, perhaps. Eventually wean away at bedtime as well.
You might try introducing the baby to drinking from a cup if you haven't already, or to drinking without a sippy lid especially if baby does this while at the high chair. Giving baby a cup of juice without a lid and while not strapped at the table safely is only begging for carpet cleaning duty. You might also give your little one a dish set with safe utensils like a spoon and fork, and his own special plate. Do not however substitute a sippy cup for a pacifier. You've seen those children sucking at cups of juice. You can almost see the cavities forming before your eyes. Sippy cups are not soothers but for the purpose of drinking only.
Babies don't usually have a well check this month. One thing you might want to be especially cautious with now however, that concerns baby's safety is his bath time. Baby's love of standing, climbing and jumping don't end at bath time, although it would be great if they did. NEVER leave a child unattended even for a second at this age. A baby bath ring or seat is not a safety device, but rather a convenience device. It's like having an extra hand, not a flotation device. If yours tips or is at all unsteady, stop use immediately. Keep baby's water around 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and consider getting a cover for the water spout so baby doesn't so easily bonk her head on it. It's common for little ones to pop up and fall, possibly gashing their chins so keep a hand on baby at all times. They are quick now and very slippery. An older child watching for just a minute is a disaster or tragedy waiting to happen. Only adults should supervise a busy baby's bath time.
Tips for Mom and Dad
Baby's love of words, books, language and gestures make reading a fun bonding time for parent and child. Books can be expensive, but invest in ones that can stand up to heavy baby love which typically includes dragging, chewing, and flinging. Get a few titles every couple weeks from the local library to make book time even more special. Don't limit yourself to the text. Consider it an option, a starting point or springboard. Have conversations about the story.
- "What will Jimmy do next?"
- "What is that Puppy is chewing on?"
- "Where is the ball?"
- "Show Mommy the bird."
Give baby plenty of opportunities to use the pointing finger she loves to use so much. Babies love rhythm, rhymes and silly humor now in their books. Having a special night time book is a great bedtime ritual to help ward off those separation anxiety tears.
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