As your baby gets closer to the 1-year mark, he'll likely become more mobile; he'll walk around while holding on to furniture and walls -- and possibly even take those first tentative steps. Here's a look at some of what you might experience this month with your little one.
What to expect: Babies of this age may start to get into things that they shouldn't -- trash cans, bookshelves, the pantry -- simply because they are curious and more able to move around the house. Your baby won't necessarily understand when you say "No" and you may not always be able to follow through when she approaches a dangerous area, ensure safety measures are everywhere she has access to, says Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a Parents advisor, mother of two, and author of the blog Seattle Mama Doc.
In addition to being a curious explorer, Baby may become better with her fine motor skills this month -- pointing, waving, and clapping. Her pincer grasp may be more developed, making eating finger foods a big event. She may also show off her ability to copy you, so encourage your little mime by doing something such as tilting your head to one side and giving her the chance to do it back to you.
Progression: As the month goes on, Baby will likely become more and more proficient with hand skills, feeding himself, and standing on his own two feet. Your little mover and shaker may also become a challenge on the changing table, so try giving him a toy to play with and make sure to keep a hand on him at all times to avoid a fall.
How to help: Continue to provide a safe area for Baby to play in and explore, and try to limit clothing and footwear (tight pants, bulky footwear, slippery socks) that might hinder her ability to move herself around. If your little one seems reluctant to stand or walk while holding on to furniture, offer a helping hand so she'll learn to move with confidence. If your babe is already walking, keep encouraging her development by allowing her to walk while outside, at the store, or at the park, even if just for short bursts.
Don't freak out if: Baby has days (or weeks) of being clingier than usual. This can happen, especially around big milestones. If your little guy seems to need more hugs from Mom or Dad, give them and know that this phase of close contact won't last forever (and you'll likely miss it when it's gone).
When you should worry: If Baby doesn't seem able to support his weight while standing or he seems to be regressing in his mobility, check in with your pediatrician.
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