Eleven months

Process not product- Your 11 month old is very active and into everything. He is focused on the activity and does not really have interest in the results. He is learning to do. He learns a lot (most things) by watching and imitating. His memory is now strong enough to watch you or other children or anyone do something and to imitate the action the next day. While she is not interested in the product (for example, if you give her finger paints she will enjoy the activity but won’t really care whether it is on paper on the fridge or on a tray and washed away.) she is interested in approval. She will repeat actions that get praised or applauded just for the praise. At the same time, she would like to avoid disapproval and she understands what it is and what it is for. It is around this age that babies begin to get a concept of what is acceptable behavior and what is not. It does not mean that he will not do things that are not acceptable but he will understand that they will meet with disapproval and may try to hide from that. He will definitely check your reaction, often before he does something he knows is not accepted but then proceed to do it, as if testing your response. Now is the time to begin setting limits but, like the king in The Little Prince” who had command of the sun by ordering it to rise in the morning and to set in the evening, you need to set limits that allow baby the freedom to develop. Of course, the line needs to be firmly drawn at activities that are dangerous. 

MILESTONES (Milestones are averages and, at best, rough guidelines. Half of babies will achieve milestones earlier than noted and half will reach them later. As babies get older, they become more diverse in their development and milestones become less reliable. )

How your11 month old moves:
1. Prefers standing and stands at furniture or holding on to you. May start letting go of support briefly.
2. Can bend over from standing with support to pick up a toy.
3. May take steps when hands are held.
4. Climbs up stairs, on hands and knees but needs to be taught to go down (see activities)

How your 11 month old uses hands:
1. Can reach for something behind her while sitting.
2. Perfects fine grasp of small objects
3. Improved ability to let go of objects where desired.
4. Able to release ball to roll it intentionally
5. Begins manipulating  “tools”, will try to get  spoon to mouth or use a dowel to reach an object a little out of reach or mark on paper with a crayon. 

Your 11 month old’s senses
1. Secures balance and protective reactions of arms in sitting and crawling
2. Working very hard on standing balance.
3. May start to use “selective” hearing, May appear not to hear what is said when concentrating on other tasks but will hear something that is of value to him at the same time. 

Thinking and learning
1. Increased imitation
2. Delayed imitation, can remember what she saw long enough to imitate at a later time when presented with tools.
3. Begins to use tools to reach goals, For example, may mark paper with a crayon instead of just exploring the crayon.
4. Begins to understand qualities of objects, for example, a meow means a cat is nearby or bird sounds mean to look at the sky.
5. Is interested in what is in packages and will try to unwrap or open boxes to see what is inside.
6. Begins to vary play with toys and to play more than just explore them.
7. Looks at book with interest but begins to turn pages awkwardly. Will show which pictures or books are favorites.

11 month old language skills:
1. Learns meaning of “NO” and learns to shake head. Will respond to most requests with refusal.
2. May say a few words.
3. May use sentence length speech with intonation but few or no distinct words.
4. Imitates gestures, facial expression, inflection and intonation while “speaking”
5. Pays attention to speaker and to words as if trying to understand.
6. Understands that words represent things and responds with gesture.
7. Points at things both when asked and when requesting your attention to the object. 

Social skills at 11 months:
1. Understands, wants and seeks approval.
2. Will repeat activity that was praised to get the praise.
3. Is very excited when he masters a new skill.
4. Understands limits and expects but does not like disapproval. Shows guilt.
5. Can be negative and refuse to do what is requested. 
6. Hates being restricted. 
7. Plays next to other children but not with them. 
8. Imitates from adults and from other children.
9. May still be shy in social situations but always alert and watching. 

1. The first activity is for stair climbers. If you have stairs, even if they are gated most of the time, take the time to teach baby to crawl backwards (feet first) downstairs. Let her crawl up a few steps and convince her to come down. Then use your hands to move her legs one at a time down one step then her hands, one at a time, down one step. It will only take a few times before she learns and will be able to get down herself.
2. A pillow mountain still holds interest as do crawl tunnels, either those made of cloth or those made of cardboard boxes. 
3. “Choo-Choo” Put baby sitting in the middle of the laundry basket and push it around the living room or attach a rope to the front and pull it.  Pretend it is a train and make appropriate noises. Baby might too.
4. Lightly wrap toys in wrapping paper (they do not have to be new toys, it is the unwrapping that in entertaining) and let baby unwrap them.
5. Put a few (3 or 4) objects in a shoe box with a lid. Shake box and give to baby. If baby does not open, demonstrate and replace cover. Let baby open box and remove toys, encourage him to put toys back into box and close again. 
6. Roll the ball back and forth. Roll the ball and have baby chase after it. Let baby roll the ball to you. 
7. Use an old tissue box with an oval opening in the top. Cut tissue size squares of different fabrics (if you don’t have a stockpile of fabric you can cut pieces from old clothes or can get cheap clothes from the secondhand store to use for fabric). Load the fabric pieces into the tissue box and let baby pull them out. Those plastic containers that are used for baby wipers are also good to use for this activity.

Sensory, thinking and learning
1. Stacking cones and nesting cups can be used now. Many inexpensive ones are available on the market. You can use plastic measuring cups as well. 
2. Measuring cups in water table or bath tub. Baby can pour water from one to the other cup.
3. Sensory bottle. Use a plastic bottle with a cap. Fill it ¾ full of water and add oil to fill to almost full. If you have some, a spoonful of glycerine slows the movement down. Add food color to the water. Use foam shapes or stars or cut small pieces of colored sponges and drop them into the bottle. Add glitter for extra sparkle. Place the cap tightly on the bottle, glue or tape it shut and let baby play with it. A small plastic water bottle is the right size for a baby.
4. Save empty toilet paper rolls and kitchen paper rolls. Cut them in different lengths from very short to the length of a toilet paper roll. Decorate with stickers. Using textured stickers is even more fun. Let baby sort them into plastic containers, kitchen bowls or different sized pans
5. Take a walk around the yard or park and smell the flowers or touch the leaves of the plants in your yard.
6. Get out those beanbags from a few months ago and drop them into bowls or a clean plastic milk jugs with the tops cut to form an opening or use 3 clean sand buckets to put them into and pull them out of
7. Use masking tape, place it on the baby’s arm or leg or nose and let baby get it off. Give baby a longish piece of tape to explore. Show baby how to place small pieces of tape on paper.  Masking tape works best because it comes off easily.

Language and Social
1. Now it is important to choose books that are appropriate for your baby because he will be following the pictures. He will try to turn the pages and will have favorite books and favorite pictures in certain books which he will want to see over and over again. 
2. “Show me the dog, Where is the dog?” Ask baby to point to certain things in the pictures in the books. 
3. Start singing songs that require action on the part of baby, especially about body parts.  One example is “If You Are Happy and You Know It”, which can be varied using different emotions and actions. Using these words for example:
If you’re happy and you know it
Clap your hands,
If you’re happy and you know it,
Clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it,
Your face will surely show it (smile)
If you’re happy and you know it
Clap your hands

(may use other emotions)
Slap your thighs
Nod your head
Shout hooray
Snap your fingers
Stamp your feet

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