What Should a 10-Month-Old Baby Be Doing?

Medically Reviewed on 8/16/2022

What are the key milestones for a 10-month-old child?

A 10-month-old baby is highly active. At 10 months old, your baby should crawl up steps, hold your hand, climb onto chairs, understand simple sentences, show interest in conversations, imitate people and do many other things.
At 10 months old, your baby should crawl up steps, hold your hand, climb onto chairs, understand simple sentences, show interest in conversations, imitate people, and do many other things.

A 10-month-old baby is highly active. The rapid growth of your baby will be continuing at a slower pace from now on. They will have more than doubled their birth weight and as they pull themselves upright, they will start to look more like a toddler than a baby. Most babies will achieve the following milestones by 10 months of age:

  • Crawl up steps, but they haven't learned how to get back down yet.
  • Walk if you hold their hands or they hold on to furniture for support.
  • Sit down from a standing position.
  • Climb onto chairs and then climb down again.
  • Feed themselves with their fingers and also hold their cup.
  • Show food preferences and help you feed them.
  • Carry things in one hand without dropping them.
  • Understand simple sentences.
  • Say no and shake their head from side to side.
  • Show interest in conversations when they hear familiar words.
  • Use a few words besides mama and dada.
  • The child may test the parent's patience when they repeat the same words all day long or sometimes may say no words at all.
  • Know how to respond.
  • Know when you approve or disapprove of what they do.
  • Cry if another child gets more attention than they do.
  • Don't like being away from their parents.
  • Imitate people, gestures and sounds.
  • Have many different feelings, such as sadness, happiness, anger and fear.
  • Can be very moody and get upset easily.
  • May still feel shy around people.
  • Know which toys belong to them and choose their favorites.
  • Can look for something if they see you hide it.
  • Know that if they don't see a toy, that doesn't mean it's gone forever.
  • Can reach out to toys and get to play with them.
  • Begin to know about their gender.
  • Can isolate their index finger and use it to poke at things.
  • Respond to positive recognition, such as clapping.
  • Bang and play with two cubes together.
  • Can use both their hands independently, so they can hold two balls, one in each hand, and may be able to bang the two together.
  • Can't throw yet, but have great fun dropping things deliberately.

To summarize, the key milestones for a 10-month-old baby include the following:

  • Uses both hands independently of each other.
  • Understands yes, no, hello and bye.
  • Waves their hands and shakes or nods their head.
  • Drops (but doesn't yet throw) objects at will.
  • Hands objects to you.
  • Crawls forward.
  • Cruises around a room sideways while holding onto furniture.
  • Starts to get a bit clingy when you leave the room.

Sleep schedule of a 10-month-old

  • On average a 10-month-old baby needs about 13.5 and 14.5 hours of sleep a day. This may include a short (20-30 minutes) morning nap and a long (2-3 hour) lunchtime nap. However, this might not be the same for all babies.

Food schedule of a 10-month-old

  • They will eat when they're hungry, so let them decide and never force them.
  • Some days your little one will eat more than others. Generally, they should settle into a regular daily feeding pattern by now. You will know what foods they like and dislike.
  • There will also be times when they turn down everything you have lovingly prepared for them and you just can't win.
  • It's not unusual for babies of this age to start to refuse spoon-feeding even if they are unfussy eaters.
  • Keep their meals varied, so they don't get bored. Let them eat with their own spoon or fingers if they want to take more control at mealtimes.
  • There is no change to the 10-month-old's milk needs, which is about a pint (500 mL) of milk (ideally breast milk) a day. Usually, they consume milk in the early morning, after lunch and at bedtime.

A 10-month-old baby loves conversation, so talk to them constantly. They won't be able to say proper words yet, but you can teach them language by repeating the correct words back to them. Tell your baby everything you are doing around the house, sing nursery rhymes and use actions with words, such as waving bye-bye. Read together as much as you can and encourage their imagination with songs and stories. It's important to encourage your baby to move, even if they sometimes fall and hurt themselves. Make sure the house is baby proofed, so they can explore as much as possible.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/16/2022
Zero to Three. "From Baby to Big Kid: Month 10." <https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1238-from-baby-to-big-kid-month-10>.