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Month Eleven

One major skill your child will be heavily working on developing this month is its ability to speak. Make sure you give your baby lots of verbal stimulation to help it expand its vocabulary, and hold mock conversations with it to encourage it to talk more. Read on to learn what other developments you can expect to witness this month.

Mental Development
Now is the right time to wean your child off its pacifier if it has grown attached to it. Continuing to let it use the pacifier might influence how quickly your child will learn how to speak, as it is less likely to want to speak when it has something in its mouth!

11-month-olds in general will be able to say a few words and respond to simple questions and commands, especially if adults use hand gestures to emphasize their words. In addition to using actual words, your little one is likely to launch into conversation using its own terms and language. Humor it by pretending you're holding up your end of the conversation and respond to it. 

Because your little one is more receptive at this age, it's a good idea to begin teaching it how to help. For example, emphasize using words such as "please" and "thank you", and try to make cleanup time a fun and interactive activity by turning it into a game. 
You can enhance your child's ability to connect names to objects by regularly naming different things; this is a great way of helping your child increase its vocabulary. While reading your baby book, ask your little one to point at familiar objects. It's also a good time to start counting things with your child, such as the stair steps as you climb them.

Physical Development
If your baby hasn't taken its first independent steps yet, it might be doing so soon, though some babies wait until they're 16-17 months old before they tackle walking. Encourage your little one to walk by kneeling in front of it and holding out your hands. You can also hold both of its hands and walk it toward you. It's very important to make sure that your home is childproofed  at this stage so your baby does not injure itself as it learns to walk.

During play, your baby will start to shift from concentrating on developing its fine motor skills to using its larger muscles. Your little one will enjoy pushing, throwing and knocking down toys and household items, and will like playing games where it has to place objects in containers and empty them out again. Toys that make lots of noise, like rattles or pots that can be noisily banged together, are also going to be high up on your child's list of fun things to play with.

Eating Habits
Your little one's weight gain will become less noticeable as its level of activity increases; however, its growing appetite will ensure that your baby doesn't begin to lose weight either. In general your baby's appetite will vary from day to day, so don't stress over how much your child is eating (or not eating) unless it begins to affect its health, or its weight starts to considerably drop, in which case you should consult your pediatrician. Keep mealtimes relaxed and don't pressure your child into finishing everything on its plate; trust your child's instinct on how much it needs to eat.

Sleeping Habits
Sleeping through the night shouldn't be an issue at this point anymore, and your little one should be putting in from 11-12 hours of sleep per night. In general, morning naps should not add up to more than two and a half hours, and some children will need less hours of morning sleep. It's better not to skip the two morning naps at this point,  as most 11-month-olds will be overtired from overstimulation and playing.