10-month-old baby: Development, milestones & growth

Nikki Stevenson

Nikki Stevenson

Nikki is a parenting writer and a mom to three wild boys who keep her on her toes (and occasionally make her question her sanity). With over 15 years of experience in the parenting industry, she has more tips and tricks than Mary Poppins on speed dial. When she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her sipping on coffee, hiding in the bathroom for five minutes of...
Updated on Jul 06, 2024 · 13 mins read
10-month-old baby: Development, milestones & growth

Your baby has hit the 10-month-old mark, and things are getting more exciting by the day.  


Gone are the days of immobile newborn cuddles; now you’re dealing with a curious little explorer who’s keen to touch, taste, and see everything in sight. This month, you’ll witness a flurry of new skills and milestones that showcase your baby’s growing independence and personality. Ready to keep up with your active little one? Here’s what to expect as you navigate this lively stage of your baby’s development.

10-month-old baby milestones at a glance


Your 10-month-old is achieving a lot, making every day a new adventure. This period is all about gaining independence, improving coordination, and enhancing communication skills. You’ll see your baby becoming more adept at moving around, exploring their environment, and interacting with people and objects in new ways.

Here are the key milestones you can expect from your 10-month-old:

Physical development
Your baby is likely a crawling pro by now, and some may even start confidently being in standing position or taking those first tentative steps while holding onto furniture. Their coordination has improved significantly, allowing them to move around more confidently and explore their surroundings with greater independence.

Fine motor skills
At this stage, your 10-month-old baby’s pincer grasp is becoming more refined. They can pick up small items between their thumb and forefinger, making feeding themselves a fun and messy affair. They also enjoy putting objects into containers and taking them out, a favourite activity that helps develop their dexterity.

Language development
Your baby’s babbling is getting more complex, and they might be starting to mimic the tones and rhythms of your speech – sounding like baby talk. Many babies understand simple commands like “clap hands” or “wave bye-bye” and can even associate words with familiar objects or people. Keep the conversation going to encourage their budding language skills and general baby development.

Emotional development
Separation anxiety can peak in your baby’s tenth month, so don’t be surprised if your baby becomes clingy or upset when you leave the room. They’re also starting to show more defined preferences and dislikes, which means more personality shining through. Their facial expressions of joy, frustration, and curiosity are becoming more nuanced, making your interactions even more engaging.


10-month-old baby weight and length


Based on standard growth charts, here are the typical measurements you might expect for your 10-month-old baby:

  • Weight: Most 10-month-old boys weigh around 9.2 kilograms, while girls typically weigh around 8.5 kilograms.
  • Length: The average length for a 10-month-old boy is approximately 73.3 centimetres, and for a girl, it’s around 71.5 centimetres.

These are average weight and length figures. Every baby grows at their own pace, so slight variations are totally normal. If you have concerns about your baby’s growth, it’s always a good idea to consult your baby’s healthcare provider.


10-month-old baby food


Feeding your 10-month-old baby is an adventure in expanding tastes and textures. At this stage, your baby should be enjoying a variety of solid foods in addition to breast milk or formula. Here’s what you need to know about feeding your growing little one:

  1. Balanced diet: Ensure your 10-month-old baby’s diet includes a mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. Examples of nutritious foods include small pieces of steamed broccoli, soft fruits like banana slices, cooked pasta, and finely shredded chicken or fish.
  2. Finger foods: Your 10-month-old baby’s pincer grasp is improving, making it easier for them to pick up finger foods. Offer small, manageable pieces of food like soft cheese cubes, cooked beans, and pieces of toast. This not only helps with their motor skills but also encourages independence during mealtime.
  3. Texture variety: Introduce a range of textures from mashed to finely chopped foods. By now, your baby should be able to handle thicker consistencies and small, soft chunks. This helps them develop chewing skills and prepares them for more complex foods.
  4. Avoid any choking hazard: Steer clear of foods that could cause choking, such as whole grapes, popcorn, nuts, hot dogs, and hard, raw vegetables. Cut foods into small, bite-sized pieces and always supervise your baby while they eat.
  5. Hydration: In addition to breast milk or formula, offer small sips of water throughout the day, especially during meals. Avoid sugary drinks, juices, and any caffeinated beverages and don’t give cow’s milk on its own until after their first birthday. 
  6. Mealtime routine: Establish a regular feeding schedule with three main meals and healthy snacks in between. Try to eat together as a family when possible, as this helps your baby learn by watching you.
  7. Self-feeding: Encourage your baby to self-feed using a spoon and their fingers. It might be messy, but it’s an important skill that promotes coordination and independence.

Feeding your 10-month-old baby is about offering a balanced, nutritious diet while encouraging them to explore new tastes and textures. Enjoy this messy but rewarding journey as your baby develops healthy eating habits.

10-month-old baby feeding schedule


Creating a nutritious and budget-friendly meal plan for your 10-month-old is absolutely achievable. Here’s an example of a daily meal plan that incorporates affordable and easily accessible foods while ensuring your baby gets the nutrients they need:

Breakfast

  • 7:00 AM: Wake up and breast milk or formula.
  • 8:00 AM: Breakfast – porridge made with water or milk, mixed with mashed banana. A small handful of soft blueberries (cut in half if necessary).

Mid-morning snack

  • 10:00 AM: Plain yoghurt with a small spoonful of fruit puree, and/or water in a sippy cup.

Lunch

  • 12:00 PM: Small pieces of cooked chicken, steamed green beans and sweet potato, cut into small, manageable pieces, or cooked rice or couscous.

Afternoon snack

  • 3:00 PM: Slices of soft, ripe avocado, small pieces of cheese (such as cheddar or mozzarella), or water in a sippy cup.

Dinner

  • 6:00 PM: Lentil and vegetable stew (lentils, carrots, and peas cooked until very soft). Alternatively, whole wheat pasta mixed with a bit of olive oil and finely chopped tomatoes. Soft apple slices or mashed banana are also great. 

Evening

  • 7:30 PM: Bedtime breast milk or formula.

This meal plan provides a variety of foods and textures, ensuring that your 10-month-old gets a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. Adjust portions based on your baby’s appetite and nutritional needs. Always supervise your baby while they eat to ensure safety.

10-month-old baby health and safety


At this age, your baby’s health and safety become even more critical as they explore their world with increasing curiosity and mobility. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Regular check-Ups
Continue with regular GP or Child and Family Health Nurse visits to monitor your baby’s growth and development. These check-ups are crucial for catching any potential health issues early and ensuring your baby is meeting developmental milestones.

Vaccinations
Ensure your 10-month-old is up to date with their immunisation schedule. Vaccinations at this age help protect against various diseases and are an essential part of maintaining your baby’s health.

Teething care
Teething can be uncomfortable for most babies. Provide teething rings or a clean, cold washcloth to chew on to help soothe their gums. Maintain oral hygiene by gently cleaning their gums and if baby’s teeth are emerging with a soft, damp cloth or a baby toothbrush.

Baby-proofing
With your 10-month-old becoming more mobile, it’s time to double-check your baby-proofing efforts:

  • Secure furniture to prevent tipping.
  • Cover electrical outlets.
  • Install safety gates to block off stairs and other hazardous areas.
  • Keep small objects that could be choking hazards out of reach.

Safe sleep environment
Ensure your baby’s sleep environment is safe:

  • Use a firm mattress with a fitted sheet.
  • Keep the cot free of pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals to reduce the risk of suffocation.
  • Place your baby on their back to sleep.
  • Lower the base of the cot now that your little one is able to pull up and stand

Nutrition and hydration
Ensure your baby is getting a balanced diet with a variety of nutrients. Continue breastfeeding or formula feeding, and offer small amounts of water throughout the day. Avoid sugary drinks and juices to prevent tooth decay.

Supervised play
Always supervise your baby during playtime, especially when they are exploring new environments. Encourage safe play by providing age-appropriate toys that do not pose choking hazards.

Water safety
Be vigilant about water safety, especially during bath time:

  • Never leave your baby unattended in or near water, even for a moment.
  • Use a non-slip mat in the bathtub to prevent slips.
  • Ensure the water temperature is warm, not hot, to avoid burns.
  • Empty all containers of water immediately after use to prevent accidental drowning.

By staying vigilant and proactive about your baby’s health and safety, you can create a secure environment that allows them to explore and grow confidently.

Development tips for your baby this month


As your baby continues to grow and learn, supporting their development becomes a dynamic mix of engaging activities, encouraging exploration, and nurturing their budding independence. Here are some tips to help your 10-month-old thrive this month:

Creative crawling courses: Set up fun crawling courses using pillows, soft tunnels, and safe obstacles. This not only makes crawling exciting but also helps develop their motor skills and spatial awareness.

Dance time: Turn on some music and dance with your baby. Movement to music helps with their rhythm, coordination, and can be a delightful bonding activity. Plus, it’s a great way for them to burn off some energy.

DIY sensory bags: Create sensory bags filled with different textures like water beads, gel, or rice. These are fascinating for babies to squish and explore, stimulating their sense of touch and curiosity.

Mirror play: Place a baby-safe mirror at their level. Most babies love looking at themselves, which can help with self-recognition and social development. Encourage them to make faces and watch their reactions.

Outdoor exploration: Take your baby outside to explore nature. Let them touch grass, leaves, and flowers. This exposure to different textures and environments can be very stimulating and educational.

Homemade instruments: Use household items like pots, wooden spoons, or plastic containers filled with rice to create musical instruments. Making and playing music can be incredibly fun and aids in auditory development.

Reading variety: Introduce books with different textures, flaps, and sounds. Interactive books keep your baby engaged and make reading time more enjoyable, fostering a love for books early on.

Peek-a-boo with toys: Babies this age love interactive games like hiding toys under blankets or in boxes and encourage your baby to find them. This game helps develop what is called object permanence – the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they can’t be seen.

Routine review: If you haven’t already, establish a consistent daily routine. Babies thrive on predictability, and knowing what to expect next can make them feel more secure and confident.

Talk through tasks: Narrate your daily activities to your baby. Whether you’re cooking, cleaning, or getting dressed, explaining what you’re doing helps develop their language skills and keeps them engaged.

Encourage imitation: Babies learn a lot by mimicking. Provide safe household items like a plastic spoon or a soft cloth so they can imitate what you do, whether it’s stirring a pot or wiping a table.

Safety check: Regularly review your home for new hazards as your baby becomes more mobile. Ensure sharp corners are padded, and small items are out of reach to prevent accidents.

By mixing up your activities and introducing new challenges, you can keep your baby engaged and help them develop a wide range of skills in a fun and supportive environment.

Items you will need this month


As your 10-month-old becomes more active and curious, here are some essential items to have on hand to support their development and ensure their safety:

  • Push toys: To encourage walking and help strengthen leg muscles as your baby practises taking steps.
  • Activity centre: A multi-functional play station with buttons, levers, and sounds to keep your baby engaged and stimulate cognitive development.
  • Non-slip bath mat: For added safety during bath time, preventing slips and making bath time more enjoyable.
  • Soft building blocks: To enhance fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through stacking and knocking them down.
  • Safety gates: To block off staircases and unsafe areas, providing a secure environment for your baby to explore.
  • Interactive books: Books with flaps, textures, and sounds to captivate your baby’s interest and promote early literacy.
  • Snack catcher cup: A spill-proof container that allows your baby to self-feed with less mess, fostering independence.
  • Musical toys: Simple instruments like maracas, tambourines, or toy pianos to stimulate auditory development and rhythm.
  • Outdoor play mat: A portable mat for safe outdoor play, allowing your baby to explore different environments.
  • High-contrast toys: Toys with bold colours and patterns to captivate your baby’s attention and support visual development.

Checklist for this month


  • Update baby-proofing: As your baby becomes more mobile, revisit your home’s safety measures. Ensure all sharp corners are padded, and hazardous items are securely out of reach.
  • Introduce new foods: Expand your baby’s diet with a variety of new textures and flavours. Focus on nutrient-dense options that support their growing needs.
  • Encourage independent play: Set aside time each day for your baby to play independently. This fosters their ability to entertain themselves and develop problem-solving skills.
  • Maintain routine: Stick to a consistent daily routine, including meal times, naps, and bedtime. Predictability helps your baby feel secure and understand what to expect.
  • Schedule a health check-up: Keep up with regular visits to your doctor of Child and Family Health Nurse to monitor your child’s development and growth and stay current with vaccinations.
  • Ensure safe bath time: Make sure bath time is safe with a non-slip mat and always supervise your baby. Introduce bath toys to make the experience enjoyable.
  • Explore new environments: Take your baby on outings to parks, gardens, or even different rooms in the house. New surroundings stimulate their curiosity and sensory development.
  • Foster social skills: Arrange playdates with other babies to encourage social interaction. Observing and interacting with peers helps develop empathy and cooperation.
  • Engage in sensory play: Use household items like rice bins, water play, or sandboxes to provide sensory experiences that enhance cognitive and motor skills.
  • Create a quiet corner: Set up a cosy space with soft toys, books, and blankets where your baby can relax and unwind. This can be especially helpful for managing overstimulation.

Sources


9-10 months: baby development (2024) Raising Children. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/development/development-tracker-3-12-months/9-10-months

Your baby’s growth and development — 10 months old (2023) Pregnancy, Birth & Baby. Available at: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/babys-growth-and-development-10-months-old 

Infant development: Milestones from 7 to 9 months (2022) Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/infant-development/art-20047086

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