Your 10-Month-Old Baby's Development and Milestones

10-month-old Baby:

Upward and Onward

There’s nothing quite like watching your baby take on new challenges, from trying to stand and then walk, to attempting to say their first real words. You’re no doubt feeling proud of your little one. Still, you may have questions about what’s coming in the weeks ahead, including what your 10-month-old baby can eat, how long they should sleep, and which developmental milestones they typically achieve. We’ve got you covered on all this and more, so read on!

Baby Development Milestones

One of the paradoxes of your baby’s development at 10 months is that while they’re eager to become more mobile and independent, they may also be cautious about straying too far from you and may even cry when you’re out of sight. Read on to learn more about what your 10-month-old baby may be experiencing this month, including the developmental milestones they may reach around this time.

Growth and Physical Development: Steady Gains

Don’t get too attached to your favorite baby clothes! Your 10-month-old baby will likely continue to grow rapidly this month as they make their way toward nearly tripling their birth weight by their first birthday. All babies grow at their own pace, and there’s no single growth standard for a baby. Instead, during your baby’s regular checkups, the healthcare provider will use baby growth charts to track your baby’s weight, length, and head circumference to make sure your 10-month-old is on track for healthy development.

Movement: Up, Up, and Away!

You might have noticed that when your baby is awake, they’re moving nonstop. If they’re on their tummy they’ll arch their back to look around; if they’re on their back they’ll grab their toes. At other times, your baby may be rolling over or rocking on their hands and knees. All these movements strengthen their muscles, improve their coordination, and teach them what their various body parts can do.

Each baby is different, but around this time your baby could be trying to pull themselves up to stand. Seeing everyone else walking makes them eager to follow suit! Once they stand, they might worry that they won’t be able to sit down again, which is a little trickier. If you sense they’re having trouble, show them how you bend your knees to return to the floor and they might be able to copy you.

Once your baby can stand more confidently, they might take a few tentative steps while holding onto furniture. This is known as “cruising.” Soon, they’ll try taking a few cautious steps without holding onto anything. This might end in them dropping to the floor, but they’ll grow more skilled with each try.

After months and months of tummy time and all those movements designed to strengthen their muscles in preparation for walking, you might be surprised at how quickly things progress now. Once they take those tentative first steps to start walking, it may only be a few more days before your baby is walking with confidence.

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Cognitive Development: Hello, Can You Hear Me?

Long before your baby can say real words, they can understand some of what you’re saying. You might even be surprised at how much babies can understand! For example, if you say the name of their favorite toy, they may look toward it, showing you they know what you’re referring to.

If your baby has created their own word for something, you can treat that as their word. For example, if they call their favorite teddy “tata,” respond by giving it to them and saying the word “teddy” to reinforce the right word. In time, they’ll correct themselves. Whether it’s now or in the coming months, your baby will soon be able to say simple words like “no,” “mama,” and “dada.”

Your little one will soon start to mimic the way you use objects, too. If they have a toy phone, they might put it to their ear, just as they’ve seen you do. Take advantage of this interest in imitating you by teaching them how objects are used. Let them “brush” their hair with a hairbrush or their teeth with a toothbrush. At mealtimes let them try to use a cup and spoon.

Activities for Supporting Your 10-Month-Old Baby’s Development

Thinking about what a 10-month-old “should” be doing?There are variety of activities that will help your baby grow and develop. Here are some things to do with a 10-month-old:

  • Place some sturdy, safe objects in a low drawer or cupboard for your baby to discover and play with. Finding new things on their own is exciting for them and will help boost their confidence.

  • As your baby learns to pull themselves up to a stand, stairs might start to interest them. Add baby gates for safety but consider allowing them onto the lowest step under close supervision with you standing right below them.

  • Teach your baby the actions that go with words like “bye-bye,” “yes,” and “no.” For example, show them how to wave bye-bye, nod yes, and shake their head no.

  • Experts recommend not putting your baby in a baby walker. These devices are dangerous and may decrease your baby’s motivation to walk. Instead, consider a play center or a push car with a bar they can hold onto.

  • The toys your 10-month-old baby plays with don’t have to be expensive; your baby may be fascinated by an empty box, an egg carton, or even a toilet paper tube that they can bend, tear, and scrunch. If you do want to choose some toys for your 10-month-old baby, go for things like a large doll or puppet, a toy telephone, or a “busy box” with features that squeak, move, open, or roll. These will help develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Feeding Your 10-Month-Old Baby

Many parents wonder how much a 10-month-old “should” eat or what they “should” be eating. It turns out that your baby needs about 750 to 900 calories each day, with about half coming from breast milk or formula and the rest from solids. Don't focus too much on calories, though, especially during this time when your baby is getting the hang of self-feeding.

If you’re wondering about your 10-month-old’s feeding schedule, go with three main meals and two snacks between those meals each day. During the main meals you’ll want to offer your 10-month-old around two to four ounces of breast milk or formula alongside solid food.

In addition to spoon-feeding your baby or letting them handle a spoon, you can also give your 10-month-old baby finger foods to encourage them to feed themselves. And in terms of what to feed your 10-month-old, some food ideas to consider are small pieces of tofu or cheese, diced fruit, cooked peas, and well-cooked pasta. Try to be patient with your baby's slow pace and with the amount of food that ends up everywhere except their mouth, as they’re still learning. The more you let them try, the sooner they’ll grow more capable and confident.

If you haven't done so already, introduce your baby to a sippy cup or straw cup. Get started with a trainer cup, which has a lid, two handles, and a soft straw or spout. At first your baby will treat it like a plaything, which is totally OK. Add a little water and show your baby how to drink from it, and before long they’ll start to mimic you. In time, fill it with breast milk or formula instead of water.

Using the cup will help improve your baby’s hand-to-mouth coordination and will help prepare them for weaning from breastfeeding or bottle-feeding when the time comes. Keep in mind that it may be a while before your baby drinks all their liquids from a cup. For now, this is just a casual introduction—all babies must start somewhere.

Eating Out With Your Little One

Going out for a meal with your baby may seem daunting, but these tips may help:

  • Call the restaurant ahead of time to make sure it is baby-friendly and has a high chair

  • Consider feeding your baby beforehand; you may find they sleep right through

  • If your baby will be eating with you, take their food, spoon, and bib

  • Don’t be embarrassed if your baby starts crying—instead, be flexible and ready to either do a little soothing or grab the check early

  • Take along some soft toys and baby books that your little one can quietly entertain themselves with.

How Much Sleep Does a 10-Month-Old Baby Need?

Wondering about your baby’s sleeping schedule and what it might look like? Ten-month-old babies typically sleep about 10 to 12 hours each night and have 2 naps during the day. Some babies start to need the morning nap less often.

Around this time, your baby may develop what’s known as separation anxiety—they become upset when they’re away from you or can’t see you. This can cause problems at night when your baby wakes to find you’re not there. Here are some dos and don’ts to guide you if your baby wakes in the night:

  • Check to make sure they’re comfortable and aren’t sick

  • Pat them gently and quietly tell them it’s OK—you’re nearby if they need you

  • If a diaper change is needed, do it quickly with minimal fuss, and put them right back to bed in the crib

  • Don’t turn on the light, rock them, feed them, walk them, or take them into your bed. These actions will just reward them for waking and will prolong this stage.

If a daylight-saving time change is coming up, this can also prompt sleep disruption. Learn how to successfully transition your baby’s sleep for daylight saving time by moving up bedtime for your 10-month-old in small increments, among other techniques.

To help you keep track of your 10-month-old’s nap and sleep schedule, download the Smart Sleep Coach app by Pampers. Co-created by pediatricians and sleep experts, this easy-to-use app can come in handy when you’re sleep training your baby or when you encounter difficulties like sleep regression.

A Day in the Life of Your 10-Month-Old Baby

Each day with a 10-month-old baby is different, but here’s just one example of what a daily schedule in your baby’s life might look like:

Your Baby’s Health

You might have seen your baby’s first teeth poke through already—or maybe not yet, as timing varies widely for teething. By age 3, most children have all their primary teeth. No matter how many teeth your little one has now, it’s important to care for their teeth and gums each day. Here’s how:

  • Twice a day, clean your baby’s teeth with a soft baby toothbrush and a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste. If no teeth are in yet, gently wipe the gums with a soft washcloth or soft toothbrush. Read more about baby dental care, including what toothpaste to pick and how long to brush for.

  • Never let your baby fall asleep with a bottle. This causes milk to pool in their mouth, leading to tooth decay.

  • If your baby shows signs of discomfort from teething—like irritability, crying, or tender or swollen gums—try to relieve the soreness and soothe your baby by gently massaging their gums with your finger or giving them a teething ring to bite on.

  • At some point your baby may suffer a tooth injury. Read about how to treat a baby tooth problem here.

Here are two more health topics worth knowing about:

  • Food allergies. Young children can have allergic reactions to foods like cow’s milk (which should not be introduced before 12 months), eggs, peanuts, soy, and wheat. Symptoms of a food allergy can be mild or severe and can include a rash, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, or pale skin. Your baby’s healthcare provider will diagnose any allergy and may recommend a course of action. It could be that you need to ensure your baby doesn’t eat foods they’re allergic to. In some cases, children grow out of their allergy.

  • Roseola. If your baby has a fever between 102 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and then develops a rash on their trunk once the fever goes away, it could be a viral illness called roseola. Other symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, cough, and irritability. Contact your baby’s healthcare provider for treatment advice. Roseola is contagious during the fever phase, so it may be best to keep your child away from other children while the fever is present.

Development Tips for Your Baby This Month

Here's what to keep top of mind to support your 10-month-old baby’s development:

  • Read, talk, and sing to your baby. Read to your little one every day. Talk to them as much as possible, describing what you're doing together as you go about your daily routine. Sing songs and teach your baby any simple hand or finger motions that go with the words.

  • Be attentive to your baby’s needs and moods. Whether your baby is calm or upset, be responsive to your little one to make sure they feel secure and loved. It’s important to be in tune to their needs and temperament.

  • Play games. Playing simple games with your 10-month-old baby like peekaboo and patty-cake provides lots of entertainment and will help boost their memory skills.

  • Introduce your baby to others. Get together with friends and their children and introduce your baby to them. Just be aware your baby may not be comfortable at first with new people.

Items You Will Need This Month

Here are some baby gear items that you might find necessary this month:

  • Sippy cups. It's a good time to introduce your baby to a sippy cup or straw cup. A two-handled cup will be the easiest for your baby to start with.

  • Baby toys. At 10 months old, your baby will like playing with stacking cups, bath toys, an unbreakable mirror, building blocks, and large dolls. You may also find your baby will be fascinated with empty boxes or toilet paper tubes.

  • Books. Reading is a great opportunity for bonding with your baby. And reading stimulates your baby’s cognitive development and language skills. Sturdy board books are good choices for reading to babies, who will enjoy pointing to things and helping to turn the pages.

  • Diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream. Keep a generous supply of diapers and wipes at home. Plus, keep some diaper rash cream handy.

  • FAQS AT A GLANCEBaby toothbrush. Your 10-month-old baby may have a few teeth by this time. Go ahead and introduce a soft-bristled toothbrush, using just a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste. Eventually your baby will get used to the feeling of having their teeth brushed.

Your Life as a Parent: Tips for Sharing Parental Duties

Talking about parenting with your partner can be challenging. The key is to remember that there is no “perfect” family, nor one way to parent, and that roles and responsibilities may need to change along the way. Figuring out how to share parenting duties and household chores is going to be an ongoing discussion. But it’s best to be open and honest to avoid frustration and resentment. Consider these ideas:

  • Split the chores. Create a list of the common daily, weekly, and monthly household chores and find a way to split these chores fairly. Perhaps one parent can contribute more during the week whereas the other takes over on weekends.

  • Take turns with baby care. One or both of you may be working, but you’re both likely to want to be involved and invested in raising your child. Can you share who gets up at night to soothe your little one if they cry? Can one of you handle the morning feeds, the other the evenings? Can you split who takes days off if your baby is sick, and share who does the child care runs?

  • Remain flexible. Things change and your family’s needs evolve. Sit down with your partner regularly to discuss what’s working and what isn’t.

  • Spend time together as a family. Set aside some time regularly when you can all be together as a family in a more relaxed way. It could be playing on the floor together, sharing family mealtimes, or going for walks on the weekend.

  • Seek help to resolve conflicts. Conflicts are a natural part of a relationship and every family dynamic, but your little one is sensitive to the emotions of the people who care for them. If you need help resolving conflicts, ask your baby’s healthcare provider or your own provider to recommend relationship counselors or other professionals you could consult.

Checklist for This Month

  • If you haven’t already, schedule your baby’s first visit to the dentist. Before you go, read our guide to taking your baby to the dentist.

  • Stock your medicine cabinet with basics like acetaminophen and ibuprofen for fever, saline nose drops for a stuffy nose, and hydrocortisone cream for insect bites and mild rashes. Always consult your baby’s healthcare provider before giving your baby any medication. Remember to keep medication out of your child’s reach, and keep in mind that some medicines need to be refrigerated. Medications have expiration dates, so don’t forget to dispose of expired or unused medicines. Ask your baby’s healthcare provider or pharmacist about the safe way to dispose of medicines.

  • If you’re thinking that you should be getting rewarded for all those diapers you’re buying, you’re absolutely right! That’s why many parents have downloaded the Pampers Club app.

  • If you have a little downtime this month, check out what kinds of things may happen once your baby is 11 months old.

  • Your baby turning 11 months old is another big milestone, so share this news with family and friends with milestone cards.

  • For even more information on your baby’s development in the coming months, sign up to get our regular emails:

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.