Congrats, your little one has hit the double-digit mark!

While only slightly older than their single-digit days, a 10-month-old may suddenly seem more active, energetic, and curious than their much younger self. That’s because, at 10 months old, your baby is busy exploring, learning, and getting in and out of some precarious situations.

If this is your first go-around with this age, you might be wondering what else you can expect during this month. The good news? You have plenty to look forward to as your little one moves through this stage month of life.

If you thought the last few months were busy, hold on, because life is about to get even more exciting. Here are some developmental milestones you can watch for in your 10-month-old baby,

  • Keep a good watch on your little one this month, because they’re working hard to stand up. This could mean that your baby is moving from pulling to standing or walking while holding onto furniture.
  • Mealtime is quite an adventure during this month as your little one’s hand-eye coordination continues to improve. Finger foods are easier to eat since babies can grasp items between the thumb and forefinger. Offer finger foods at meal and snack time and allow your baby to grasp a fork or spoon.
  • Verbal language at this age generally consists of babbling and trying to imitate certain words. Ask them about their babbling. Repeat what they said and see if they mimic you. Practice saying simple words like “mama” or “dada.”
  • Cognitive development is also moving full speed ahead. At 10 months, your baby can understand some of what you’re saying. They may also be able to respond to simple verbal requests. For example, if their favorite blanket has a nickname and you call out that name, they may look toward it.

Playtime encourages development

The best way to help your baby develop and strengthen new skills is through play. What exactly does that look like? Here are a few ideas:

  • Better hand-eye coordination also means your baby may spend a lot of time banging things together or placing objects like blocks in a container and taking them out. Give your baby plenty of opportunities to dump blocks or other safe, age-appropriate toys out of a container and put them back in the container. You may find they enjoy dumping and putting items away over and over again.
  • Hide-and-seek begins to take form at this age. And while hiding objects is a lot of fun, don’t count on your baby being too excited when you leave the room. They’re still unsure about you disappearing, which may lead to tears. Hide a toy or stuffed animal behind a piece of furniture and encourage your baby to search for it.
  • Body language and hand gestures open up new means of communicating as your baby learns to wave “bye-bye” and tests the limits by shaking their head “no.” At the store, practice waving “bye-bye” to the employees or other shoppers.

Although your baby is constantly on-the-go, they do still need plenty of rest. On average, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says your little one should sleep a total of 12 to 16 hours per day, which includes 10 to 12 hours each night with two naps during the day.

Some babies will drop their morning nap and tack that time onto their afternoon sleep session. If they take a longer afternoon nap, consider moving it earlier in the day, so they are not sleeping too close to dinnertime.

Getting enough sleep is critical for growth. But it also plays a key role in memory, attention, emotional regulation, learning, and physical health.

If there’s one constant in a baby’s life, it’s growing. At 10 months old, your baby continues to grow in length and weight, although not as rapidly as the first half of their life. Although babies come in all shapes and sizes, experts do provide general guidelines to track growth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 pounds, 4 ounces (9.2 kilograms) is the average weight for a 10-month-old boy, while 18 pounds, 12 ounces (8.5 kilograms) is the average for girls.

When it comes to length, the CDC says a boy in the 50th percentile (average) is around 28 3/4 inches (73 centimeters) and girls around 28 inches (71 centimeters).

But remember, these numbers reflect averages, and the growth chart ranges from the second percentile all the way to the 98th percentile. Your baby may be much higher or lower, especially if they were born heavier or early.

If you have questions or concerns about your baby’s growth, your pediatrician is your best source of information.

Your child’s doctor will measure and record your baby’s length and weight at each well-child visit. They will track your little one’s rate of growth and share any concerns they may have during these visits.

If you’ve consider eating “mealtime madness,” you’re not alone. That’s because 10-month-olds are experts at having a whole lot of fun with food and leaving you to pick up the mess.

At this age, your baby will consume a combination of breast milk or formula and some solid foods. According to the CDC, most 6- to 12-month-olds will need infant formula, breast milk, or solid foods about five to six times in 24 hours. This equates to a feeding every 2 to 4 hours.

When it comes to solid food, offer your little one finger foods like fruit, vegetables, grains, and small pieces of meat. Aim for a 1/2 cup three to four times a day.

They can also start practicing with a spoon by feeding themselves yogurt or oatmeal. Skip foods that may cause choking, such as hot dogs, grapes, raisins, and popcorn. Eating at the highchair is also a good time to practice drinking water out of a cup.

If you’re breastfeeding, continue to feed on demand. If you’re bottle-feeding, offer 6 to 8 ounces of formula three to four times per day, depending on the amount of solid foods baby is eating.

Your baby will often tell you when they’ve had enough by pushing food away, pulling off the breast, or covering their mouth.

Teething may be ever present at this age. By 10 months, your baby may have a few teeth, so you should be familiar with their behavior when they are teething. Continue cleaning your baby’s teeth and wipe their gums with a soft washcloth.

Also, if it’s between October and April, be on the lookout for symptoms of the flu. These include:

  • fever
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • cough
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue or sleepiness
  • general malaise

The flu is can be very dangerous. That’s why experts recommend babies 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. Also, parents, siblings, and other caregivers in contact with your 10-month-old should also be up to date on their flu shot.

As your baby approaches their first birthday, ensure your house is fully babyproofed beyond just outlet covers and baby gates.

Look at the corners of tables that need covering, hazards they could trip over, open staircases, and items they can climb on. Make sure you secure furniture that could tip over when climbed on, like dressers and TV stands.

Keep all medications, cleaning supplies, and other poisonous substances far out of reach. Do you have an outdoor pool? Ensure gates enclosing a pool or hot tub are securely shut — always.

The best time to prepare for avoiding accidents is before your child is fully mobile and walking!

Your baby is nearing their first birthday. Hooray! And when you consider all they’ve accomplished in 10 months, it’s exciting to think about what lies ahead.

In the meantime, enjoy this month — there’s a lot going on. From pulling up and walking to finger foods and talking, your baby is busy learning, growing, and laying the foundation for plenty of fun to come.