Your challenge: Wasn't your baby just too little to hold up their own head? And now, all so suddenly, they are off to the races by crawling, rolling or even running all around the house. You're excited, but also slightly terrified by the prospect of keeping them safe, responding to their maturing needs and modeling good habits.
The solution: Yes, your best bud is watching you and reacting to your cues. How amazing is that? Now is the time when your bond will really deepen, which means a whole lot more laughing together rather than just at the cute things your baby does.
Encouraging 'helping' behaviors: Researchers have noted that children as young as 11 months old have the desire to help others—especially when they observe these behaviors in others. Just like adults, they also enjoy the feeling of completing a task or figuring out a new toy, so now is a good time to "put them to work" with tasks like removing objects from a basket or dropping balls into a toy.
Easing separation anxiety: You weren't sure if you should feel offended when your baby didn't mind getting handed off to someone else. But now they certainly do care and they are sure to let everyone know by crying and reaching for you—and you can barely stand the heartbreak. Nearly all children experience separation anxiety between the ages of 7 and 18 months as they are becoming more aware of the world around them. The phase will likely pass soon enough, but until then you can help ease the goodbyes by expressing (or faking) a positive attitude as you're leaving and encouraging baby to initiate the separation by turning to play with a toy.
Teething: You've both probably been suffering through the symptoms of teething for several months now, but it doesn't seem to be getting any easier. As a side-effect of baby's improved hand-eye coordination, they are also skilled at putting anything and everything into their mouths. Offer them some safe teething relief with toys designed specifically for gnawing on.
Walking: Sitting? Check. Crawling? Check. Pulling to stand? Check. You know what that means: walking is next on the list! Help your not-so-little baby put one foot in front of the next with a walker or by encouraging cruising along a low surface by scattering out toys.
Pro tip: Lot of attention is paid to those gross motor skills, but you can also help baby develop finer skills like the pincer grasp by giving them small items to pick up from their highchair table under supervision.
You've got this.
Motherly + Kids 2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
The milestones presented are averages. Any questions you may have about your child's development should be shared with his or her doctor.
Return to Go2Guide: Ages 9-12 Months