Your baby is rounding the corner into the home stretch towards birthday #1 (not including, you know, the real birth day, which you experienced 11 short months ago). Bring on the cake! And don’t forget to celebrate your great accomplishment! You made it! You are an experienced parent, one year wiser. You’re officially allowed to stop anyone in the park—pregnant or with a little baby—to give a little support!

It’s definitely your turn to pat yourself on the back and to take a little time to reflect on all the amazing things you’ve learned this year. Dealing with poopy diapers, mastering the 5 S’s, figuring out feeding and sleep and childproofing. All that work will pay off for years and years to come.

Your 11-Month-Old Baby’s Sleep

Sleeping is usually in a good place by this point, and your baby has plenty of energy!  Your baby is likely sleeping about 12 to 14 hours total, with about 7- to 10-hour stretches at night. Your little one is probably still napping twice a day but will consolidate down to one daytime snooze session in the coming months. 

Your 11-Month-Old Baby’s Development

For the past 11 months your child has been your constant companion…joined to you at the hip! But as your baby gets their own two feet beneath them and graduates to toddlerhood there are some big—and wonderful—changes coming.  

Your 11-Month-Old Baby's Communication

You’ve been chatting with your little one for many months. Now you may notice that when you announce, “It’s time to get your shoes on” your little one starts crawling toward their shoes at the mention of the word. It’s clear they increasingly get what you’re saying. Pretty amazing, right? 

By 11 months, babies are also good at reading your tone of voice and the look on your face. Your little mimic is already starting to mirror your gestures—and even your words—back to you. Many babies say their first words around the one-year mark, but the true language boom will happen after 18 months, for the most part.

Your child will soon start to mimic you in more meaningful ways, too. Like copying the way you wipe down the table after dinner or brush your hair. Lots of fun pretend play is coming up in just a few months! 

Your 11-Month-Old Baby and Limit-Setting 

With increased mobility and increased opportunities come the new battlefield between your plan and your toddling infant’s strong desires. In future months, we will share a lot of simple steps about limit-setting that create happiness and sidestep a constant battle of wills.

But, for now, let’s cover the first step to limit-setting (for your baby and you). It’s one of the most effective words in any language…a verbal power tool that your tot has already started practicing every single day: the word “No!” 

Your baby’s wonderful ability to understand your face and gestures is on display every day! You laugh and they giggle. You look serious and frown and they look worried.

Of course, communication with a toddler is a busy two-way street. Now, your little peanut has the skill to start the conversation with a squeal or excited pointing to something they want…and you can respond by pointing to the thing and asking “This? Is this what you want?” and they can grin and nod the head to say, “Yes, exactly!”

Now, what if you have a wee disagreement. Your child wants your glasses, and you’re afraid they might break them. You might say, with a serious look on your face and a low voice, “No touch,” and your gentle child will likely pull their hand away and look down a little. Or a strong-willed, determined toddler may immediately respond back with a wide-eyed look and more insistent pointing “I really need that!! Please!” or even with a scowl, cry, and shaking of the head, as if to push the limit, “Hey, I insist you give it to me!”  

In these cases, it is usually best to describe what your child wants—in simple words (you’ll learn the language of Toddler-ese in the coming weeks). For example, “No, no touch!… No touch…Hot! Hot!” Then, when your child looks at you, notice their cooperation, “Yes, that‘s right, no touch, no touch,” and redirect their attention: “Hey, wow! Look at these cups! This one is green! Here take it. And here’s a red one. Let’s stack them!” By emphasizing what your baby can do, you are showing your respect and interest—and that makes it easier for them to stop pushing for “off-limits” things much quicker.  

Your 11-Month-Old Baby’s Health

Cruising for a Bruising

“Cruising” has a whole new meaning these days: Watching your baby pull to stand then shuffle along while gripping side of a table or couch—it’s a sign that independent steps are in their near future! Expect plenty of falls, hopefully mostly on their behinds. But do make sure to cover sharp corners on furniture to avoid painful face injuries.

Some little kids love the thrill and are driven to climb, but if your child is more cautious it may take another month or two before they feel confident enough to attempt it. Remember, it’s a huge feat for kids—with their big heavy heads—to get up on their own two feet. It’s as tricky a balancing act as you riding a unicycle or walking on 6-foot stilts!

You can give them a little boost by using a doll stroller, a ride-on car, or push-type walker. But a word of warning: If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to put up stair gates!  When kids start walking—especially if they are pushing a stroller—they can easily fall down the stairs.

Time for a New Car Seat?

Although many convertible car seats are suitable for newborns, most parents skip them in favor of bucket car seats that can be conveniently moved to and from the car. However, with your baby’s first birthday approaching, it may be time to retire the infant seat. 

You’ll know they’ve outgrown the infant car seat when the top of their head is less than an inch from the top of the seat when buckled, or they’ve hit the weight limit. The next stage is a convertible toddler car seat (not a booster seat!). These seats let your baby face backward or forward (many of these adapt into boosters, so this may be the last car seat you need). But keep your kiddo rear-facing until at least the age of 2. Your baby has a heavy head and a weak neck. Staying rear-facing helps avoid whiplash injuries that might occur in a crash.

< Your 10-Month-Old Baby | Your 12-Month-Old Baby >

About Dr. Harvey Karp

Dr. Harvey Karp, one of America’s most trusted pediatricians, is the founder of Happiest Baby and the inventor of the groundbreaking SNOO Smart Sleeper. After years of treating patients in Los Angeles, Dr. Karp vaulted to global prominence with the release of the bestselling Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block. His celebrated books and videos have since become standard pediatric practice, translated into more than 20 languages and have helped millions of parents. Dr. Karp’s landmark methods, including the 5 S’s for soothing babies, guide parents to understand and nurture their children and relieve stressful issues, like new-parent exhaustion, infant crying, and toddler tantrums.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.