11-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 01, 2024 · 11 mins read
11-month-old baby: Development, milestones & growth

Take a deep breath - your baby is nearly one year old! With an 11-month-old, you might find yourself comparing your baby's milestones with other babies at playgroup or among your friends.  


Here’s the scoop: while there’s a guide to follow (below), all children are different. Each baby develops at their own pace, so embrace the unique journey your little one is on. Let’s explore what you can expect this month as your 11-month-old continues to grow and thrive.

Your 11-month-old baby's developmental milestones


Your baby is making impressive strides in all areas of development. This period is marked by rapid progress in physical abilities, fine motor skills, language, and emotional growth. As an 11-month-old, your baby is hitting a wide array of milestones that go beyond just physical and cognitive development. Here are some unique milestones to watch out for this month:

Social interaction
Your 11-month-old baby is becoming increasingly social and may start to show a preference for certain people over others. Most children at this age enjoy waving bye bye or hello, blowing kisses, or even playing simple games like peekaboo. 

Problem-solving
You might notice your 11-month-old baby engaging in more complex problem-solving activities. They may figure out how to open drawers, remove lids from containers, or navigate around obstacles to reach a desired toy. Providing safe opportunities for them to explore these skills can be very rewarding.

Imitation
Imitation is a big part of learning at this stage. Your 11-month-old baby might start mimicking your actions, such as brushing their hair, pretending to talk on the phone, or using a spoon. This imitation is a sign that they are observing and processing the world around them and is a developmental milestone.

Independence
Your 11-month-old baby is likely showing signs of wanting to do things on their own. This could include attempting to dress themselves, feed themselves, or choose which toys to play with. Encouraging this independence while ensuring their safety is key.

Sensory exploration
Sensory play continues to be a significant part of their development. They will enjoy activities that involve different textures, sounds, and sights. Providing a variety of sensory experiences can help stimulate their curiosity and learning.

Spatial awareness
As your 11-month-old baby moves around more, their understanding of space and distance improves. They might start navigating tighter spaces, understanding the concept of in and out, or even beginning to climb onto low furniture. This growing spatial awareness is an important part of their physical and cognitive development.


Your 11-month-old baby's growth


As your baby nears their first birthday, you might notice that their rapid growth rate has started to slow down a bit. This is completely normal for most babies as their activity levels increase and their bodies adjust, but you will still notice some growth.

Weight: The average weight of boys is typically around 9.4 kilograms, and girls typically weigh around 8.7 kilograms.

Length: The average length for boys is approximately 74.5 centimetres, while girls measure around 72.8 centimetres.

Physical development
Your 11-month-old baby is becoming more adventurous and mobile. They may be pulling up to stand, cruising along furniture, and possibly taking their first steps. Encourage this newfound mobility by providing safe spaces for exploration and walking. Don’t forget plenty of praise for their walking efforts.

Fine motor skills
By now, your baby’s manual dexterity skills are more refined. They can grasp small objects between their thumb and forefinger with greater accuracy, making self-feeding and playtime more engaging. Toys that encourage stacking, sorting, and manipulating objects are perfect for this stage.

Language development
Most babies have become quite the chatterbox by this age, even if it’s mostly babbling. They might have said their first word like “mama” or “dada” and understand simple directions such as “no” or “come here.” Encourage more words by talking to them, reading books, and singing songs together.

Emotional development
Your 11-month-old baby’s emotional world is expanding. They are likely to show a range of emotions, from joy to frustration, and might experience separation anxiety when you leave the room. Providing comfort and reassurance is key during this time to help them feel secure.


11-month-old baby health and safety


As your baby becomes more mobile and socially active, their health and safety needs become increasingly important. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind this month:

Common illnesses from social interaction

As your baby interacts more with other children at playgroups or childcare, they might pick up common colds or minor infections. This is a normal part of building their immune system.

  • Boosting immunity: Ensure your 11-month-old has a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (over and above the breast milk or formula milk they are still getting – no cow’s milk yet) to support their immune system.
  • Hand hygiene: Teach good hand hygiene early. Use baby-friendly hand sanitisers when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Regular cleaning: Clean toys and high-touch surfaces frequently to reduce the spread of germs.

Supplements
Most 11-month-olds get the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula and solid foods, but there are exceptions.

  • Vitamin D: If your baby doesn’t get sufficient sunlight, a vitamin D supplement might be necessary. Consult your GP for advice.
  • Iron: Some babies, especially those born prematurely, may need an iron supplement. Always consult with your doctor before starting any supplements.

Vaccinations
Vaccines are essential for protecting your baby from serious illnesses. Ensure your baby is up to date with their vaccinations.

Water and sun safety
With your baby’s increased mobility, water and sun safety are crucial.

  • Water safety: Never leave your baby unattended near water. Use safety gates around pools and always supervise bath time. Also remember that your pet’s water bowl can also pose a threat.
  • Sun protection: Protect your baby’s skin with baby-safe sunscreen, long-sleeved clothing, and hats. Avoid direct sun exposure during peak hours.

Building a strong immune system
Support your baby’s immune health with these practices:

  • Nutritious diet: Provide a variety of healthy foods to ensure they get the necessary vitamins and minerals. They should still be consuming breast milk or formula milk – but no cow’s milk until after their first birthday.
  • Adequate sleep: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule to support their overall health and immune function.

11-month-old baby sleep


Sleep is crucial for your baby’s growth and development, and understanding wake windows can help you create an effective sleep schedule for most babies. 

Wake windows
Wake windows are the periods of time your baby is awake between naps and bedtime. For an 11-month-old, these wake windows typically last between 3 to 4 hours with two naps during the day.

How to incorporate wake windows into a schedule

Morning 3-hour wake window:

  • Wake Up: 7:00 AM 
  • Start the day with a nutritious breakfast. Engage in some gentle playtime and morning activities.
  • First Nap: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Keep the environment quiet and soothing.

Midday 3.5-hour wake window:

  • Midday activities including lunch, playtime, and learning activities. This is a good time for most babies to go on outings and enjoy social interactions.
  • Second Nap: 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM (1 hour nap)

Afternoon 3.5 hour wake window:

  • Late afternoon and early evening activities. Dinner, followed by quieter play to wind down.
  • Bedtime: 7:00 PM. 
  • Establish a calming bedtime routine that might include a bath, a bedtime story, or some gentle rocking to help your baby settle down for the night.

Tips for managing wake windows

  • Watch for sleep cues: Yawning, rubbing eyes, and fussiness are signs that most babies might be ready for sleep. Adjust wake windows slightly based on these cues.
  • Consistency is key: Try to keep sleep and wake times consistent each day to help regulate your baby’s internal clock.

Development tips for your baby this month


At 11 months, many babies are rapidly developing and exploring their environment with increasing curiosity and independence. Here are some unique tips to support your baby’s milestones this month:

  • Introduce pretend play: Start to play simple pretend activities with your little one. Use a toy phone to “talk” or a stuffed animal to “feed.” This helps develop their imagination and understanding of daily routines.
  • Encourage self-feeding: Provide a variety of finger foods that are easy to pick up. Allowing your 11-month-old to self-feed helps improve their pincer grasp and fosters independence.
  • Set up a treasure basket: Fill a basket with different safe items of various textures and shapes. Let your baby explore these objects to enhance their tactile skills and curiosity.
  • Use simple puzzles: Introduce simple puzzles with large pieces that your baby can manipulate. This helps your baby learn problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • Engage in water play: Let your baby play with water in a safe environment, like the bathtub or a shallow basin. Use cups, spoons, and floating toys to make it fun and educational.
  • Explore textures: Provide toys and materials with different textures, such as soft fabrics, rough surfaces, and bumpy objects. This enhances their sensory development.
  • Read interactive books: Choose books with flaps to lift, textures to feel, and bright pictures. Interactive books make reading time more engaging for many babies and can improve cognitive skills.
  • Introduce rhymes and songs: Sing nursery rhymes and songs with actions. Music and movement can boost language skills and provide a fun way to bond.
  • Encourage clapping and waving: Teach your baby to clap their hands and wave bye bye. These simple gestures are great for social development and physical coordination.
  • Explore nature: Take your baby outside to experience nature. Let them touch leaves, feel the grass, and observe insects. This can be a wonderful sensory experience.
  • Practise throwing and rolling: Use soft balls to practise throwing and rolling. This activity improves their gross motor skills.

Items you will need this month


As your 11-month-old continues to explore and grow, here are some essential items to have on hand:

  • Interactive books: Look for books with flaps, textures, and bright pictures to make reading time more engaging and fun.
  • Push toys: Encourage walking and balance with sturdy push toys that your baby can use for support.
  • Stacking toys: Toys like stacking rings or blocks help develop their hand-eye coordination.
  • Sensory balls: Balls with different textures and sizes provide a great sensory experience and are fun to roll and throw.
  • Bath toys: Make bath time enjoyable with floating toys, cups, and squirters.
  • Activity table: A table with buttons, levers, and sounds to keep your baby entertained and engaged.
  • Snack catcher cups: Spill-proof cups that allow babies to self-feed with less mess.
  • Soft toys and dolls: Toys that your baby can cuddle, which can also be used for pretend play.
  • Outdoor play mat: A portable mat for safe outdoor play, allowing your baby to explore different environments.
  • Baby-friendly musical instruments: Simple instruments like tambourines, maracas, or a xylophone to stimulate auditory development and rhythm.

Checklist for this month


  • Update baby-proofing: Ensure all potential hazards are secured as your 11-month-old becomes more mobile.
  • Introduce new foods: Expand your baby’s diet with new, healthy foods to explore different tastes and textures – watch for any that may be a choking hazard.
  • Encourage independent play: Set aside time for your baby to play on their own to build confidence and independence.
  • Brush their teeth: If you haven’t already, now is a good time to start caring for your baby’s teeth and gums. Prevent tooth decay by gently cleaning their gums and first tooth with a soft, damp cloth or a baby toothbrush.
  • Maintain a routine: Most babies prefer a consistent daily routine for meals, naps, and bedtime.
  • Schedule a health check-up: Regular Child and Family Health Nurse visits to monitor growth and development.
  • Plan the first birthday party: The time has come, and if you haven’t started, now would be a good time to think about how you would like to celebrate their first birthday. Even if it is something small and intimate, it’s wonderful to celebrate how far you’ve come before you start to prepare for the toddler years. 
  • Practise good hygiene: Wash hands frequently and sanitise toys, sippy cup and surfaces regularly.
  • Engage in sensory activities: Provide opportunities for your baby to explore different textures and environments.
  • Read daily: Spend time reading with your baby to promote your baby’s development of language and cognitive skills.
  • Stay safe: Always supervise your baby around water and ensure they are properly secured in car seats and high chairs. Install baby gates for protection around the house now they are in standing position.
  • Plan playdates: Arrange for your baby to interact with other children to develop social skills.

Source


Your baby’s growth and development — 11 months old (2022), Pregnancy, Birth & Baby. Available at: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/babys-growth-and-development-11-months-old

Baby Awake Windows & Routines 9 to 12 Months, Tresillian. Available at: https://www.tresillian.org.au/baby/routines/9-to-12-months/

Nutrition – babies and toddlers, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Available at: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Nutrition_babies_toddlers/

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