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Your baby is now 10 months old. Her world is growing and she loves to play. Babies learn from playing. Play is their work. When you talk, sing, hug, play with and read to your child, you are helping your child’s brain grow.
Encourage your child’s natural curiosity and follow her lead. Research shows that babies are incredible learning machines—constantly experimenting and testing.
They touch, hear, smell, taste and see. That’s how they learn. Providing inter-active learning experiences for your baby is an important part of parenting; it can also be a lot of fun.
Skill in using a spoon does not develop overnight. Help your infant develop spoon skills by giving her foods that stick to the spoon when scooped up.
Cup skills, like spoon skills, develop slowly with practice. Some 10-month-old babies are quite good at using a cup and may prefer it to a bottle or the breast. Others are less skillful. Encourage your child to use a cup even if spills are frequent. For most infants, the period between nine and 12 months is a good time to encourage the gradual transition to a cup. Until your baby is a year old, continue to give formula instead of milk, in either cup or bottle. If your baby seems reluctant to give up the breast or bottle, continue to feed her this way. There’s no need to be concerned.
When deciding where to store your child’s toys, you might consider:
If you want to use a toy chest, find one with a lid that your baby can lift and that does not close or lock automatically. Hinges should be designed to protect tiny fingers.
Keep all medicines, including vitamins, out of your baby’s reach. Chewable children’s vitamins can be a hazard. If your child accidentally swallows something, try to find out what it was, then call the Hawaii Poison Center or 911. If you take your baby for emergency treatment, bring the container of whatever was swallowed.
Babies need a few, carefully set limits. When your baby is old enough to understand the meaning of “no,” begin setting these limits.
Limit setting involves both encouragement and intervention. Encourage your baby when she does something appropriate. Intervene when she does something you don’t want her to do. Setting limits means you must be involved. Don’t yell at or threaten your baby.
Being consistent with your intervention will help your baby learn what she can and cannot do.
Sometimes your baby will not be happy with the limits you set and will make a fuss. You may be tempted to give in to her demands. Keep in mind that setting limits is necessary for your child’s safety and welfare.
Hitting your baby will not teach her to do what you want her to do. Babies can’t make the connection between their behavior and your hitting. She won’t understand why she is being hit and she may become afraid of you or hit you back.
Set limits while allowing your child the freedom to explore and grow. To limit the “no’s”, baby proof your home. Stick to the few limits you set. Remember that you can be both firm and loving.
Protect yourself from future back problems. When you pick up your baby, bend your knees and kneel or squat, keeping your back as straight as possible. Make your legs, not your back, do your work.
Use the same motion with your back straight when you want to pick up something from the floor. This will help prevent back strain.
When standing or sitting, hold your back straight and pull in your stomach. Good posture will help prevent future backaches.
Your child is unique and has her own timetable of events. You have to wait for her “happenings” as they occur. If you have any questions about your child’s development, call your doctor or H-KISS.
Q – My baby is 10 months old. I’ve heard that some babies are toilet-trained by their first birth-day. When is the best time to begin toilet training?
A – The best advice about toilet learning in your baby’s first year is: don’t try!
A baby’s muscles are not well enough developed to control bowel movements until 18 to 24 months. Keeping dry will come later, probably at two-and-a-half or three years. Toilet learning started too early will just frustrate you and your child.