Baby’s First Year: Month 11
- April 21, 2022
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hello, moms and dads, and welcome to Month 11 with your baby and Month 11 with my sixth baby, Bracey. Bracey is now 48 weeks old, but only 38 weeks old in terms of his corrected age. With regard to certain baby milestones, he’s closer to a 9-month-old baby than a 11-month-old. But he’s been catching up.
Growth and Development of a 11 Month Old Baby
Growth of a 11 Month Old Baby
The average 11-month-old baby boy weighs 20 pounds 12 ounces (9.4 kilos) and the average baby girl weighs 19 pounds 4 ounces (8.7 kilos). At his 11 month checkup, Bracey weighed approximately 8.340 kilos (18.348 pounds), up from 1.490 kilos (3.278 pounds) at birth, so he has gained a little over 6.85 kilos or 15 pounds since birth. I’m hoping that over the coming months Bracey continues to inch closer to the average weight for boys. The goal is that by the age of 2, premature babies catch up to babies who share their birth date. Until then, doctors calculate a corrected age by subtracting the number of weeks by which a baby was premature from their actual age.
Bracey’s 11 Month Checkup with the Pediatrician
Most babies will not have an appointment with their pediatrician at 11 months. Bracey did have an appointment since he was a premie and his doctor wants to see him every month. At Bracey’s 11 month appointment — just as he had in prior weeks — his doctor checked his ears, his throat and lungs, took his weight, and measured his length and the circumference of his head. He sat Bracey up to assess the strength of his neck and back. He advised me to continue the same diet, and said to introduce more finger foods, which I will expand on below. Bracey’s position on the Spanish growth charts for weight, height and head circumference remains steady. He sits comfortably at the lower end of each curve. Phew!
Intellectual Activities for a 11 Month Old Baby
Stimulating Language Development with your 11 Month Old
To encourage your baby’s language development, put words and expressions into your baby’s day as much as possible. Interact using real language as much as you can. Bracey has started to blurt out sounds. When he does this, I respond and pretend we are having a real conversation. For babies this age, gestures remain a crucial form of non-verbal communication. Respond to your baby’s gestures with words. Bracey has been holding up his arm towards me and trying to move his hand. He’s trying to wave. When he does this, I wave back and say “Hi, Bracey!”
Music and your 11 Month Old
Play anything from the Beatles to Cold Play to my favorite children’s musician, Dan Zanes. When you’re cooking or doing housework, pop on music and sing out loud. Hold your baby in your arms and dance around the living room. Sing classic children’s songs like “Wheels on the Bus,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” “ABC,” and “London Bridge is Falling Down.” Experts advise that music with consistent beat and rhythm helps a baby’s brain to develop. They also maintain that putting words to music helps babies learn these words more quickly.
Reading Tips for a 11 Month Old Baby
Your baby might seem more interested in biting on the book than in listening to the story. Reading to Bracey while he plays with blocks or toys seems to work. I also read while he is eating finger foods. I read to all my kids during meals when they were little and have already begun this with Bracey. I also read to Bracey during nursing sessions while he is burping, and try to put a toy in his hand so that he is less inclined to eat the book. At this point, Bracey definitely prefers board books with tactile elements —things he can touch and feel, open, close or move — to longer books with more sophisticated stories.
Separation Anxiety in Babies
Why Does Separation Anxiety Occur?
Separation Anxiety is part of your baby’s intellectual development. During the first few months of life, your baby has no idea that they are separate from other people. Beginning at around 8 months of age, your baby can distinguish between people and becomes attached to those that care for him. This can result in clinginess and crying fits when you, your partner, or a loved one leave.
Tips for Handling Separation Anxiety
My best tip when it comes to separation anxiety is to introduce as many people as possible into your baby’s life from day one. The worst cases I ever witnessed happened when a baby spent all day just with the mother and did not interact on a regular basis with others. My personal belief (and and make sure this is done in a healthy and safe way) is that your baby should be in the arms of as many people as possible. This lessens the separation anxiety. That said, we noticed this month that when certain people left, Bracey cried. At 11 months, he is indeed like a 9 month old developmentally so the timing of this makes sense. It’s tempting, but you are not supposed to hide that someone is leaving. You should not try to slip in and out because that can cause suspicion. Rather, say point blank, it’s time for me to go and leave. When it’s time for you to leave, leave. Say when you will come back. If your baby cries, they cry. An attachment object can help, but don’t make a big fuss out of it. Let your baby learn to handle their own emotions. And they will. Here is a summary of tips for handling separation anxiety:
- Introduce other caregivers early on
- Introduce a lovey
- Practice separation through peekaboo
- Don’t sneak out
- Don’t drag out your departure
- Don’t discourage baby’s crying
- Do not get emotional with your child
- Make a ritual out of leaving (have a standard song)
- Try checking in during the day
- When separation anxiety occurs at night, introduce a bedtime routine
Physical Activities for a 11 Month Old Baby
Encouraging Gross Motor Skills
Babies this age should spend as little time as possible in a bouncer seat, stroller, or swing since these do not encourage movement and exploration (although they are convenient for us!). Since Bracey has just started crawling, I try to give him as much time on the floor as possible, allowing him to explore and wander around. He’s started lifting himself up to stand. That’s the first step towards cruising. I also walk with him for as long as my lower back can handle. Try to suck in your abs, keep your lower back straight, and relax your shoulders when you walk with your baby to prevent back pain.
What are the Best Toys for Babies?
Opt for toys that encourage your baby’s independent mobility. For his first birthday, we bought Bracey a bouncer rhino on which he can hop and move using his feet. We also bought a baby scooter with a seat which will allow him to sit and push himself forward. Any toy that encourages your baby to use their body is good; toys that keep your baby in a seated position are less optimal.
Is Toe Walking Bad?
Many babies begin walking on their tip toes. Experts say this is fine as long as it does not continue into the toddler years, at which point it can cause a lack of equilibrium with regard to the legs and hips. To encourage your baby to walk on their whole foot, try massaging their heels so that your baby develops more a sense of this part of the body.
What are the Best Baby Shoes
To encourage waking, balance, and foot strength, baby’s ideally should walk barefooted. Socks with traction are also good for inside. For outside, opt for flexible soles that allow your baby to develop balance and move the soles of their feet.
Baby Proofing your Home
As your baby gets more mobile, investigate baby proofing your home. Move knives and sharp objects out of reach. Install protectors in your windows, drawers and atop staircases. When leaving your baby, make sure they are in a pack n play and cannot wander off into unsafe areas.
Encouraging Fine Motor Skills
For fine motor skills, playing with blocks allows your baby to strengthen their fingers and hands. You will see them practicing the palmer grasp (bringing the fingers in towards the palm), the raking grasp (using the fingers like a rake and curling them over an object to bring it towards them), and the pincer grasp (use of pads of thumb and index fingers to pick up objects). Finger foods also help your baby develop these grasps.
Anxiety over Developmental Milestones
Stay cool when it comes to developmental milestones and talk to your doctor if you are concerned. I have five healthy, active older kids (now aged 10-17) and they did everything late. They sat up late, crawled late, walked late and talked late. I think one of my kids did not walk until 18 months. I was freaking out. He’s now a super tennis player. Go figure!
What Fruits Should I Give my Baby
You can give your baby a wide assortment of soft fruits that are sliced thin. Here is a handy list:
*Do not give grapes.
Can My Baby have Juice?
Although juices have traditionally been given to babies and kids, your baby should not drink juice. Ideally, your children should not be drinking juice either. Juice has added sugar and can contribute to cavities. Give real, fresh fruit and water.
Breastfeeding, Solid Foods and Sleeping Schedule for a 11 Month Old Baby
Breastfeeding, Solids and Sleep Schedule for 11 Month Full Term Baby
At this stage, most experts advise three meals and two naps. A long morning nap and a shorter afternoon nap after lunch. They also advise not having your baby sleep past 3pm so that they go to sleep by 8pm. This is the schedule I followed with my older babies. You can find it here.
Breastfeeding, Solids and Sleep Schedule for 11 Month Old Premature Baby
With Bracey, I follow a different schedule since my doctor still wants him to have the four meals.
- 7am — breastmilk then multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula. Sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am – breastmilk then a protein (fish, chicken, meat) mixed vegetable puree w/ egg yoke and olive oil 2x per week. Can substitute for finger foods. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm — breastmilk then a mixed fresh fruit puree. Can substitute for finger foods. Sleep 6-7pm.
- 7pm — breastmilk then 2-3 tablespoons of multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk.
Bottle Feeding an 11 Month Old Baby
Formula Feeding, First Foods and Sleeping Schedule for an 11 Month Old Baby
If your baby is ready to migrate to three meals and two naps, refer to the schedule I link to above. If your baby (like mine) is on the smaller side, stick with the three naps and four meals.
- 7am — bottle then multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula. Sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am – bottle then a protein (fish, chicken, meat) mixed vegetable puree w/ egg yoke and olive oil 2x per week. Can add finger foods. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm — bottle then a mixed fresh fruit puree. Can substitute for finger foods. Sleep 6-7pm.
- 7pm — bottle then a multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk.
Bracey has begun standing up on this own while holding onto something. And he’s begun to crawl. He tends to rock back and forth on his hands and knees with a smile of anticipation, looking like he wants to pounce. He’s having fun sitting up on his own. We no longer have to buttress him nor place soft pillows nearby since he does not topple. He enjoys practicing walking.
Bracey babbles all the time and new and different consonants are popping up such as “p” and “g.”
Bracey befriended his second cat and is meeting a lot of super cool dogs.
See you back next month for Month 12. OMG!
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