Your baby is moving toward the toddler stage and is gradually leaving behind many of his previous baby feeding and developmental traits. At the same time, he may try a new skill and then resort to familiar methods. Your patience, support, and good humor will help your child to move smoothly into toddler-hood.
What's it Like to Be a Ten-Month-Old?
- I can feed myself, and I can help hold my cup when I'm drinking.
- I can pull myself up to standing and then sit down again.
- I can climb onto things like chairs.
- I understand simple sentences.
- I may still feel shy around people.
Feeding Your Ten-Month-Old
Finger foods are a great way for your child to exercise his independence, discover the texture of food, and get to the point of putting that exciting food in his mouth! Finger foods are important--they are practical and challenging--but you will want to encourage your child to improve his ability to use a spoon.
Your ten-month-old baby is probably trying hard to spoon food into her mouth, and this may be trying your patience! Take comfort in the fact most babies don't become really good with a spoon until after their first birthday, and you are assisting your child's development. You will probably become skilled at "taking turns" with your baby--she will put in a spoonful, and, if she isn't too independent, she may let you offer a spoonful, too!
Another food a ten-month-old should be ready for is peanut butter. Be sure to offer small bites of a peanut butter sandwich or peanut butter toast--large bites or chunks will choke even an adult! Peanut butter is a good source of protein, a great quick snack item, and very portable if you and your baby are going out. Peanut butter and other peanut products can also cause an allergic reaction in some people, so watch your child carefully when you introduce it. If your child has a life-threatening reaction, go to the emergency room. If it is not life-threatening, avoid providing peanut butter to your child and talk to your pediatrician about this potential peanut butter allergy.
You can also consider other types of butters. These include:
- sunflower seed
Purchase those that are creamy, easy-to-spread, and with no added sugar.
Praise the Progress
- Be patient!
- The mess is actually progress.
- Expect Baby's tastes to change. If a food is refused, try it a few days later.
- Show your baby what you want her to learn. Use a cup, or spoon, and enjoy food!
- Expect cup-drinking to be "leaky"--at least at first
- Praise your baby for even small successes
All children grow, learn, and develop at different rates. The information in this brochure is considered typical for children of this age. If you do all you can to help children grow and develop now, they will have the best chance to do well in school and in life.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012. Nutrition for Infants and Toddlers. Getting Started on Eating Right.
- Aronson, Susan. 2012. Healthy Young Children: A Manual for Programs. National Association for the Education of Young Children.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2002. Healthy Start, Grow Smart.
- University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Family and Consumer Sciences. 2009. Parent Express: A Guide for You and Your Baby.
- Choose My Plate, United States Dept. of Agriculture.
Originally prepared by Katherine Cason, associate professor of food science.
Updated in 2014 by Jill Cox, MS, RD, program development specialist, Penn State Better Kid Care and Mary Alice Gettings, MS, RD, nutrition consultant with funding from the Penn State Extension Better Kid Care program.