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

Your little one is quickly approaching their first birthday and every day brings new and exciting developments and changes that you will both delight in. This month also is the point where a lot of babies typically make huge improvements on such milestones as standing, taking steps, and feeding themselves.

"The big theme this month is movement and exploring," says Florencia Segura, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with Einstein Pediatrics in the Washington DC area. "Most 10-month-olds are doing some type of crawl—those who are crawling may be using alternative movements. They also are pulling to stand near furniture, self-feeding quite well, and saying "mama" and "dada" with specific intent."

Clearly, this is an exciting time in you and your baby's life where their skills and abilities seem to expand overnight. At times, it can feel like life is moving at breakneck speed as you try to keep up with all the changes. To see what else you can expect this month, read on. You will find information on everything from milestones and baby care to sleep, nutrition, and safety.

At This Age

  • Development: Your baby is becoming increasingly mobile, moving around their environment by crawling, cruising, and pulling to a stand. They also may be able to say words like "mama" and "dada" as well point, poke, and pick things up with their thumb and forefinger.
  • Sleep: Babies this age are sleeping a total of about 14 hours a day with 11 of those hours at night and three hours during the day. Most babies are taking two naps a day, but some will be transitioning to one longer nap in the afternoon.
  • Food: By now, your baby is probably a pro at finger foods and is able to feed themselves—although it may get a little messy at times. They also can have most foods except for whole milk and honey as well as those that pose a choking hazard like grapes, hot dogs, raisins, nuts, and popcorn.
10-month-old baby milestones and development
Illustration by Joshua Seong, Verywell

10-Month-Old Baby Development

During your baby's tenth month, they are getting stronger in preparation for walking. They also are perfecting a number of skills that they have been working on since their 9-month check-up.

Additionally, your baby's brain continues to act like a little sponge absorbing information all around them, so make sure you are talking to them about the things they see as well as the things you are doing. Whether you tell them how you're changing their diaper or point out the sights when taking a walk, your baby is listening and learning. Never shy away from engaging with your baby even if it is just the two of you.

You also can continue to encourage your baby's gross and fine motor skill development by providing toys that help them practice those skills or by walking with them or holding their hands while they stand.

"Usually around 10 months, babies are more mobile," says Corey Fish, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician and chief medical officer for "They are crawling, pulling to stand, and cruising. I have even had kids walking at 10 months. It is rare, but it does happen. Babies this age also are feeding themselves more and grabbing finger foods."

At 10 months of age, most male baby boys weigh around 20.2 pounds while female babies weigh an average of 18.7 pounds. Additionally, male babies are about 28.9 inches long while most female babies are around 28.1 inches long.

10-Month-Old Baby Milestones

Babies this age will generally walk with you holding both of their hands, Dr. Segura says. They also imitate speech sounds, respond to the word no, and may say a few words. They also are getting better at using their hands, which means that the things they used to have trouble picking up are now being picked up with more ease.

"Babies this age can use their thumb and forefinger to pick up things and everything goes in the mouth," Dr. Fish says. "They also can clap or wave and might even have a word or two—even though they are still babbling a lot. You also should expect them to be making eye contact as well as responding and engaging with people around them."

Object permanence also is much more developed at this age, Dr. Segura says. When you hide a toy or another object they will know that the toy still exists. They also know that you still exist somewhere in the house even when you are not with them. When you leave the room they may cry for you, especially because separation anxiety is still prevalent at this age as well.

Overall, as long as your baby is moving around their environment, using their hands, and babbling, you probably have nothing to worry about—even if you feel they are a little behind their playmates or cousins. Remind yourself that each baby develops at their own pace and milestones are not hard and fast rules, but instead are guidelines that let you know what to expect.

"Parents have a tendency to want to compare their baby to other kids," Dr. Fish says. "I see thousands of kids and parents are often more worried than I am. Usually, if your baby is behind on one thing, they are ahead on another. There is such a wide range of normal and being behind on something usually has no bearing on future anything."

10 Month Old Milestones

  • Walks with you holding their hands
  • Shows curiosity and explores how things work
  • Understands simple one-word phrases or requests
  • Waves "bye-bye"
  • Looks when name is called
  • Drinks from a cup held for them
  • May take a step or two
  • Stands up unassisted
  • Develops specific preferences for tastes and textures

10-Month-Old Baby Food

By 10 months, your little one is likely a pro when it comes to finger foods. Plus, they probably have a wide range of flavors and textures that they are eating.

"Babies can eat pretty much everything but honey and whole milk, assuming it's not something they could choke on," says Dr. Fish. "Even peanut butter and eggs are fine. The data has been clear for a long time that you want to introduce those foods as early as possible."

Some parents consider giving their babies cow's milk at this age, but Dr. Fish says that not only is there a risk of anemia, but the electrolyte balance in whole milk is radically different and can cause some electrolyte disturbances in your baby. He does indicate that foods that contain whole milk like yogurt and cheese are fine.

As far as how much your baby should eat at this age, the general guidelines include around 24 ounces of formula or three to four feedings per day. They also should be getting two to four fruits a day, two to four vegetables, two to three protein foods, as well as some starches. But, many pediatricians, like Dr. Segura, advise letting your baby determine how much they eat at any given time.

"Some kids eat a ton of solids and some don't eat as much," Dr. Fish says. "I don't really use the tablespoon guideline. I try to let the kid be a kid and try not to be a micromanager when it comes to food."

For this reason, many pediatricians recommend baby-led weaning instead of trying to get your child to eat or drink pre-determined amounts of food. Also, now that your baby is eating three meals a day, Dr. Segura recommends that they eat what the family is eating if possible.

"Try to have at least one meal a day as a family," she says. "This sets a good foundation for the next several years of life."

10-Month-Old Baby Sleep

At this age, some babies are still taking two naps a day while others are in the process of transitioning to one nap a day. Regardless of how many naps your little one is taking, they typically need about 14 hours of sleep at this age.

Most of the time, babies sleep about 11 hours at night and three hours during the day. If they are taking two naps their naps are about 1 1/2 hours each.

"The transition to one nap a day can be hard on parents," Dr. Fish says. "Parents might count on that nap as downtime and it is difficult to give that up."

While many babies this age are sleeping through the night, there are a few who struggle to sleep one long stretch. However, according to Dr. Fish, your baby should no longer be waking up to eat in the middle of the night.

"Most babies this age are capable of sleeping through the night," says Dr. Fish. "When kids are not sleeping through the night, it sometimes has to do with how the parents are reacting when their baby is waking up or there is a specific reason for the [night waking]."

An illness, teething, separation anxiety, and growth spurts all impact sleep. So if your baby was sleeping through the night and suddenly starts waking again, you may want to investigate to see what else is going on. If it continues to be a problem and you are not sure what to do, talk to your pediatrician for advice.

If nothing is wrong with your baby—and you are consistently following a bedtime routine and putting your baby to bed at roughly the same time each night—you might want to experiment with sleep training or even consider hiring a sleep coach.

Sleeping is a skill that can be taught and if you are struggling to get your baby to sleep, looking into different sleep training methods may be the answer for your situation.

10-Month-Old Baby Schedule

At 10 months old, your baby is likely a very busy little person. They are all about exploring the world around them, trying to open cupboards to discover what’s behind them, and testing boundaries—and maybe even your patience at times. But this time period is also one of the most predictable in terms of a schedule.

"Now that your baby is [napping consistently], it is much easier to have them on a schedule," Dr. Segura says. "Some days you might get off schedule, and that is OK, but babies this age really thrive on consistency."

Do what you can to maintain your baby's schedule while still being flexible when you can. To put things into perspective, Dr. Segura indicates that most babies this age are up from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m with two naps—one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They also have predictable wake windows—or time periods when they are awake—with each one lasting about 2.5 to 3.5 hours.

Knowing this information can give you a sense of freedom and control over your day. Additionally, you can make use of your baby's nap times to rest and recharge so that when they are awake you have the energy to interact and play with them.

"I recommend providing a stimulating and safe environment for baby," Dr. Segura says. "They will be able to explore more when you have at least one room that is completely child-proofed."

Play interactive games, sing songs, and bounce to the music, she says. You also should have a nighttime routine, if you do not have one already, and aim to read at least one book a day to your little one—possibly even more if your schedule allows.

10-Month-Old Baby Health and Safety

Because babies this age are increasingly becoming more mobile, you will need to reframe your thinking when it comes to keeping your baby safe. Before your baby was crawling around, you didn't have to worry about what you had under sinks or in low cabinets.

You probably also did not think about the dog's dishes, the vitamins on your coffee table, or even where you kept the garbage. But now all of those things are potential hazards for your baby.

"Babies this age get into everything," Dr. Fish says. "If there is a way into things, they will find it. Even childproof medicine bottles are not truly childproof."

Dr. Fish also suggests being cautious with any standing body of water. Kiddie pools outside, mop buckets filled with water, dog bowls, open toilets, and so on can all pose a drowning risk for babies.

"Water safety is important at this age," says Dr. Fish. "If you run a bath and leave it unattended while it is filling up, your baby could potentially climb in. You should stay in the bathroom while the water is running and empty it as soon as you're finished. You also need to be careful around any other standing body of water and keep your baby safely away from it."

This age is also a good time to check your baby's car seat to ensure they are not too long or too heavy for it, especially if you are still using an infant carrier. While some carriers go up to 35 pounds, others have lower weight limits, so you want to ensure your car seat is safe for your baby.

"I always advise parents to look for the best carseat you can find that goes backward and forward and has the highest possible weight limit," Dr. Fish says.

10-Month-Old Baby Care Basics

One of the most important—and most enjoyable—ways to care for your baby at this age is through play. A large portion of what your baby is learning right now comes through play and exploration, especially if you are playing and communicating with them. They learn what to believe about the world, how to love, what it means to trust, as well as develop and hone their physical skills.

You also can expect that your baby might experience their first or second cold around this age, especially if they have recently started daycare. In fact, you can expect quite a few colds during their first year in childcare. Also, make sure you follow the daycare's guidelines for when to keep sick kids at home.

"A lot of kids this age have started daycare—or may be starting—and when that happens you can count on one new illness every two to four weeks for the first year," Dr. Fish says. "Generally, when this happens what worries parents most are fevers, but there is no such thing as a fever so high that something bad will happen because of the fever. The height of the fever is not predictive of the severity of the illness."

Instead of focusing on the fever, pay attention to how your baby is acting and feeling. Symptoms like lethargy, extreme fussiness, signs of dehydration, or pain (like pulling on their ear) may warrant a trip to the doctor. Likewise, your baby should see a doctor if their fever does not respond to medications or it lingers for more than 24 hours.

What Else to Know About Your 10-Month-Old Baby

At this age, it is not uncommon for parents to start to worry about when their baby is going to take their first step. If you find yourself stressed that your baby is not showing many signs of walking, take a few deep breaths and try not to resort to pushing your child before they are ready. Every baby is different and some babies simply have less interest in walking right now and may actually be working more diligently on speech or fine motor skills instead.

In an effort to get their baby interested in walking, parents will sometimes invest in unsafe toys like baby walkers hoping that will encourage them to take their first steps. But Dr. Segura says that not only can baby walkers delay walking because the wheels are doing all of the work, but they are very unsafe for babies.

"Parents assume that because things are being sold they are still safe," she says. "But walkers should never be used. Stationary activity centers are much safer. I have heard of babies flying down stairs or out doors while strapped in a walker. Plus they can get places a lot quicker which can be hard for parents to keep them safe."

So, while you may be anxious for your baby to take their first steps, rest assured it will happen in time. Until then, enjoy this time with your baby, playing games, reading books, and singing songs. Before you know it your little one will be toddling around.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should a 10-month-old baby be able to do?

    At this age, your baby likely creeps or crawls well, cruises around furniture with two hands, stands with one hand held, and walks with two hands held. They also are perfecting the pincer grasp and can isolate the index finger to poke things. As for language and communication, they might be saying "dada" and waving "bye-bye."

  • What should a 10-month-old be saying?

    At 10 months old, your baby is probably still babbling quite a bit. However, they may be able to say "mama" and "dada" and use them correctly. They also now hear words as distinct sounds and may try to repeat the sounds that they hear. And, they may copy the rhythm of the way people talk to them. Of course, some babies may be able to say a few additional words, but do not worry if your baby is only babbling at this age. Both scenarios are completely normal.

  • Can a 10-month-old walk?

    Although rare, some babies will walk at 10 months old. In fact, a recent study of 50,000 babies by the World Health Organization, found that babies begin walking independently between 8 months and 18 months. However, if your baby is not walking, there is no need to worry. Babies usually take their first steps around 1 year of age, but it is also completely normal for a baby to start walking later than that, too.

  • What weight should a 10-month-old baby be?

    By 10 months old, most female babies weigh an average of 18.7 pounds, while males weigh around 20.2 pounds. However, it is important to note that as long as your baby is growing according to their individual growth curve—which is monitored by your child's pediatrician—you likely have nothing to worry about. Regardless of whether your baby weighs more or less than the average, as long as they are healthy and developing appropriately you really do not need to worry about weight.

  • How much milk should a 10-month-old drink?

    The amount of milk they eat will depend on how interested they are in solid foods. Some babies drink more milk and eat fewer solids while other babies eat a robust diet of solid food and have drastically cut down on their breastmilk or formula intake. Some pediatricians estimate that babies this age are drinking roughly 24 to 30 ounces a day. Pay attention to your baby's cues. As long as you are consistently offering solids, formula, or the breast when your baby is hungry, they are likely getting enough to eat. It is important to note that babies this age should not drink cow's milk, though.

  • Can I stop formula at 10 months?

    While it is completely normal for your baby to reduce the amount of formula they are drinking in favor of solid foods, you should still give your baby formula until they are at least 1 year old. Babies this age still need the nutrients provided in formula. Plus, they should not be given cow's milk until after their first birthday because they are not able to digest it and it has the potential to cause iron-deficiency anemia.

A Word From Verywell

When your baby reaches 10-months-old they are just steps away from toddlerhood. Even though it may be anywhere from two to eight months before they are actually walking that time will come before you know it. So, take advantage of this time together and soak in this sweet stage before your little one takes off.

And as always, if you have concerns about your baby's development or just need to be reassured that they are on track, reach out to your child's pediatrician. They are always happy to put concerned parents' minds at ease.

11 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Washington University. Developmental milestones table.

  2. Stanford Children's Health. Infant sleep.

  3. Stanford Children's Health. Feeding guide for the first year.

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Clinical growth charts.

  5. American Academy of Pediatrics. When to keep your child home from child care.

  6. American Academy of Pediatrics. When to call the pediatrician: Fever.

  7. C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Speech and language milestones, birth to 1 year.

  8. World Health Organization. Windows of achievement for six gross motor milestones.

  9. American Academy of Pediatrics. Movement: Babies 8 to 12 months.

  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Growth Charts - Percentile Data Files with LMS Values.

  11. American Academy of Pediatrics. Why formula instead of cow's milk?

Additional Reading

By Sherri Gordon
Sherri Gordon, CLC is a published author, certified professional life coach, and bullying prevention expert. 

Originally written by Chaunie Brusie, RN
Chaunie Brusie, RN
Chaunie Brusie is a registered nurse with experience in long-term, critical care, and obstetrical and pediatric nursing.
Learn about our editorial process