Your 11-Month-Old Baby’s Development

Your baby's first birthday is just around the corner and you are likely feeling a wide range of emotions. From excitement over that first birthday party to sadness over the fact that your little one is about to become a toddler, know that no matter what you are feeling, your feelings are justified—even if they change from day to day.

You and your baby have accomplished a lot this last year and you have even more adventures awaiting you. Enjoy this final month before that milestone first birthday. There is still a lot going on with your baby's growth and development to celebrate now.

"At 11 months, babies are spending more time upright," says Florencia Segura, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with Einstein Pediatrics in the Washington, DC area. "They are moving and exploring more while in the upright position, but also still crawling or moving in other ways too. Typically, they can cruise around furniture and some are already taking independent steps and standing upright without any support."

If you are curious about what else you can expect this month from your 11-month-old, read on. We provide you with the inside scoop on what you need to know about those ever-important milestones as well as nutrition, sleep, safety, and more.

At This Age

  • Development: Babies this age are not only developing gross motor skills like standing and walking, but they also are making strides in communication by saying one or two words and gesturing with their hands. They also are perfecting the pincer grasp and can throw objects.
  • Sleep: Your baby needs about 14 hours of sleep, with about 11 of those hours occurring at night. The remaining three hours are usually divided between two naps, but some babies are transitioning to one nap a day.
  • Food: Babies this age are starting to reduce the amount of formula or breast milk that they are consuming in favor of solid foods. As a result, most babies this age are eating three meals a day, and possibly a snack. They should not be given cow's milk or alternative dairy-free milks until after their first birthday.
11-month-old baby milestones and development
Illustration by Joshua Seong, Verywell

11-Month-Old Baby Development

At this age, parents are sometimes concerned if their baby is not walking yet—especially if their friends' babies are walking. But, pediatricians indicate that you probably have nothing to worry about.

"Development at this age is a matter of degrees and percentages," says Corey Fish, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician and chief medical officer with BraveCare.com.

Some babies are already walking and others are just not there yet. Both scenarios are pretty common. As their legs strengthen and their core gets stronger, your baby will become more adventurous with their movement, too.

"Eleven-month-old kids also are climbing on things," Dr. Fish says. "They can get up on stuff and can get up and over things."

For this reason, Dr. Fish indicates that parents need to be more aware of the risk of falls. Think about how to secure heavy furniture to the wall and ensure that your baby is not climbing on things that are not meant for climbing.

"All parents worry a little bit about ground-level falls, but they do that 100 times a day," says Dr. Fish. "But if they get up on something higher than 2 to 3 feet and fall that can cause problems, especially considering the surface that they land on."

At this age, your baby is continuing to build their language and communication skills. Plus, they are starting to understand more of what you are saying, says Dr. Segura.

"They are starting to do something that is called 'joint attention' where they will look at something you are pointing to," she says. "They also are increasingly conscious of things that have names and their purpose, so they might try to brush their hair with a brush or hold a telephone to their ear."

At 11 months, most boys will weigh an average of 20.8 pounds and have a length of 29.3 inches while most girls weigh 19.2 pounds and have a length of 28.7 inches. Your baby also will be putting on more muscle this month and losing some of their cute baby rolls as they walk and move more.

11-Month-Old Baby Milestones

Movement, language development, and fine motor skills continue to be the theme again this month. So, you can expect to see your baby becoming more mobile and communicative.

"At this age, I would expect to see some sort of mobility from your baby," says Dr. Fish. "Whether they are crawling, cruising, or walking independently, they should be getting from point A to point B."

Some babies may be displaying additional skills when it comes to movement and making more independent moves like standing upright unassisted or taking one or two first steps. Other babies may be improving their crawling skills instead.

"Babies this age also can learn to crawl up the stairs if they are allowed to practice with close supervision by the parent," says Dr. Segura. "And some babies this age will walk two or three steps without support and can stand for a few seconds without holding onto anything."

At 11 months, your baby is likely communicating in a variety of ways. In addition to saying one or two words, they may be using their hands more to communicate. But don't worry if they don't quite have words yet; they'll get there in their own time. They also are working on their fine motor skills. For instance, some babies will have perfected the pincer grasp and others will still be working on it.

"Babies this age are often using hand movements to communicate their wants and needs. They will respond to simple directions as well as reach to be picked up, and point specifically to things," says Dr. Segura. "They also understand words like no—even if they choose not to listen."

Additional Behaviors

  • Throws objects
  • Stands for a few seconds
  • Finds toys when hidden under a cup
  • Vocalizes to songs
  • Bounces to music

11-Month-Old Baby Food

By now, your baby is likely eating three meals a day as well as nursing or drinking formula. And because their meals are at more predictable times, you might want to consider having family mealtimes. Not only can your baby learn a lot from having meals as a family, but there are a number of benefits that come from family meals, so you may want to start establishing this habit now.

Your baby is also developing more independence when it comes to eating solid foods. They may be better at picking up foods and may even attempt to use a spoon and open cup.

"At 11 months old, many babies are finger feeding and self-feeding as well as eating an increased variety of food," says Dr. Segura. "They also are getting better at using an open-faced cup during meals."

You still need to be careful about what types of foods you are feeding. Not only should you refrain from feeding them honey and cow's milk this month, but you also have to watch out for choking hazards.

"Never give babies round pieces of food that could become lodged in their throat," says Dr. Segura. "I also always tell parents the three Ss—to consider the size of the food as well as make sure babies are sitting when they are eating and that they are supervised. They can choke if they are moving around and eating at the same time."

You also may want to refrain from giving your baby juice. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) indicates that juice should not be consistently given to babies under 12 months of age. After their first birthday, infants may have limited amounts of juice each day.

"Many parents ask if babies should have juice at this age, but there is no nutritional reason to give your baby juice," Dr. Fish says. "If you do decide to give your baby juice, they should have no more than 4 to 6 ounces in a day maximum."

As far as how much food your baby should be eating at one time, Dr. Fish encourages parents to allow babies to determine how much they want to eat at a given time. You also should continue to offer a variety of foods—even foods your baby does not like.

Although you should not force your baby to eat something, it does take several tries before a baby decides if they like a particular food. You also may notice that your baby now makes faces when they eat something they do not like. Keep introducing new foods and make mealtimes fun.

11-Month-Old Baby Sleep

Your baby is now sleeping through the night and may start to transition to one nap a day, says Dr. Fish. This can be challenging for parents especially if they used those two naps for themselves or to get tasks accomplished while their baby is sleeping.

Some babies may even start fighting their naps altogether. But it is important to stay consistent with your baby's sleep schedule. They still need about 14 hours of sleep at this age, with some of that sleep occurring during the day.

There is a chance that your baby may go through a slight sleep regression at this age. Most likely this is due to a growth spurt or teething. Some babies will even experience disrupted sleep when they are learning to conquer a developmental milestone, Dr. Segura says. Offer comfort when your baby wakes up, but also allow them time and space to go back to sleep on their own.

11-Month-Old Baby Schedule

Babies this age are active, full of energy, and eager to explore the world around them. What's more, your baby is likely sleeping and eating on a consistent schedule which makes planning things as a family a little easier.

Just try to be consistent with your baby's sleep schedule. While getting off track once in a while is OK, babies thrive on predictability, says Dr. Segura. This doesn't mean you have to be chained to the house, though. In fact, it is important to get out and see the world. Even a trip to the grocery store can be a fascinating experience for a baby.

During your baby's awake times, they enjoy playing with a variety of different toys. From active toys to books and blocks, your baby will love not only learning how things work but also listening to stories, using their hands, bouncing to music, and moving around. Do what you can to provide a safe and stimulating environment that allows your baby to learn and explore.

11-Month-Old Baby Health and Safety

As far as safety this month, babies are now much more mobile and more adept at getting around, says Dr. Segura. If you have not baby-proofed your house yet, you should. There are a number of hazards that pose a risk to your baby like falls, eating something poisonous, or sticking things in outlets.

"The big thing at this age is the risk of falls," says Dr. Segura. "Falls happen quite a bit just when babies are learning to walk, but falls from a greater height are a big risk. Parents need to put baby gates near stairs and doorways and refrain from using unsafe equipment like baby walkers."

You also need to make sure your environment is free of things that are a choking hazard or are poisonous. Eleven-month-olds are still exploring their world by putting things in their mouths, so you need to look at everything in your home and consider whether it is safe for your baby.

"Poisoning and choking continue to be big risks at this age," says Dr. Segura. "Babies put everything in their mouth because they are doing a lot of oral exploration, so parents and caregivers need to be sure they are not leaving small objects near the floor. Look at the floor from their level and crawl around to see what they see."

Your baby also will continue to teeth this month—or begin teething if they have not done so already. In fact, some babies do not get their first tooth until after their first birthday. If your baby is teething, talk to your pediatrician about how to treat your baby's discomfort.

Some healthcare professionals will recommend over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. They can let you know how much to give your baby since dosing is based on your baby's weight. Other options for teething pain include massaging your baby's gums with clean fingers, offering solid teething rings (not liquid-filled), or a clean frozen or wet washcloth.

11-Month-Old Baby Care Basics

A lot of your baby's focus this month will be on learning to walk. To support your baby's new skills, allow them to walk barefoot as much as possible.

Obviously, when you are outside, your baby will need shoes. But when you are at home or inside, allow them to go barefoot—without shoes or socks—so they can better practice the movements involved in walking.

Going shoeless also helps your baby improve their balance, strength, and coordination. There is even some evidence that being barefoot may help the arch of their foot to develop as well. Other ways to encourage walking are to get them a push toy as well as limit their time in activity centers.

What Else to Know About Your 11-Month-Old Baby

Your baby's first birthday is just around the corner, so it is likely you will be seeing a lot of changes or at least preparations for changes like taking their first steps, improving their language skills, and getting more skilled at using their hands to pick things up and to communicate. To celebrate your first year together, you may be considering planning a first birthday party.

Some parents choose to celebrate with cupcakes and close family and others throw a 1-year birthday bash. The important thing is that you do what you have the time, energy, and budget to do. Your baby has no idea what a birthday is, so don't feel like you have to go all out. Make your little one's celebration what you want and not what you feel pressured to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should baby be saying at 11 months?

    Babies this age generally are saying simple words like "mama" and "dada." They might also have unique words—like "mog" for "milk" or "ba" for "ball"—as well as use nonverbal communication like pointing and gesturing to communicate. But try not to worry if your baby is not saying any words yet. As long as they are babbling and making sounds, they are probably right on track. Some babies will have several words at this age and some will not. Each baby's language skills develop at a different pace.

  • What does an 11-month-old understand?

    Your baby probably understands more than you realize. In addition, to knowing when to wave "bye-bye" and understanding the word no, your baby can likely follow one-step commands with gestures—or soon will be able to. For example, if you point and ask for the ball, your baby will likely know what you mean. Keep talking and communicating with your baby as you go about your day as well as read books often. These activities help build your baby's language skills.

  • How much food should an 11-month-old eat?

    Your baby is reducing the amount of formula or breastmilk they are drinking and replacing it with solid foods. Most babies this age are eating three meals a day and may even have a snack or two. How much your baby eats largely depends on their appetite and their interest in solid foods. Offer fruits and vegetables at every meal as well as protein foods, grains, and starches. Your baby also should be self-feeding and practicing using a spoon and a cup.

  • How many teeth should my 11-month-old have?

    At 11 months your baby could have no teeth or possibly have four to eight teeth. Try not to worry about how many teeth your baby has at this age, though. The speed at which a baby develops teeth varies from baby to baby.

  • How much water should a 11-month-old drink?

    According to the AAP, your baby will get most of the hydration they need from breastmilk or formula. However, you can offer your baby water in an open cup, a sippy cup, or a cup with a straw when they are eating solids. At this age, your baby does not need more than 8 ounces of water a day.

  • What snacks can I give my 11-month-old?

    No snack foods are really off-limits except honey, cow's milk, and anything that would pose a choking hazard like grapes, hot dogs, raisins, nuts, popcorn, hard candy, marshmallows, cubes of cheese, cherry tomatoes, and raw carrots. Obviously, the easiest snacks to give your baby are diced fruits or vegetables. But, babies this age can also have yogurt, cottage cheese, dry cereal (like Cheerios), applesauce, well-cooked pasta, smashed tofu, soft or shredded cheese, and scrambled eggs. To prevent choking, make sure your baby is buckled into a high chair and supervised when eating a snack.

  • Can a 11-month-old have milk?

    Babies should not have cow's milk or dairy-free alternatives until after their first birthday. They still need the nutrients provided in formula or breastmilk. Plus, cow's milk has the potential to cause iron-deficiency anemia.

A Word From Verywell

At 11 months, your baby is just steps away from toddlerhood and with their first birthday just around the corner, they are likely spending more time upright than in any other position. Your baby's language skills and social skills are also growing quickly as well.

Although every baby develops at their own rate, if you have concerns about your baby's development, don't be afraid to reach out to a healthcare provider with your questions. Even though there is usually nothing to worry about, having a professional reassure you that your little one is developing at a rate that is right for them.

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.
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