Eleven months old – An escapologist emerges
This baby is intent on wriggling out of every situation she encounters. One day she is sitting happily playing in the high chair, and the very next day, you just turn away for a second and baby is standing on the seat or wriggling out the back. It’s pretty nerve wracking for parents, and vigilance needs to be superb. Babies are almost completely fearless and without the smallest scrap of common sense. They rely on you completely to keep them safe, and to ensure that their environment is as risk free as humanly possible. You may find yourself yearning for that sweet quiet six month old baby who stayed put in the same spot! Those days are gone, and you need to put your energy into creating a safe space. Consider plug covers, cupboard safety catches, safety gates on stairs and outside doors. Have a good look at your home and try and identify the dangers before baby does. Also be aware that the cot which kept baby so safe and cosy, can become dangerous if the sides are too low to keep this active little person restrained. It is not unusual to meet someone whose baby fell out the cot head first. It’s a horrible shock for all concerned, so be vigilant. Some cots have the facility to raise the sides. Otherwise you may have to consider other sleeping arrangements.
Despite the very limited vocabulary, this is a very skilled communicator. Doubtless this baby has trained you to know what many of her sounds mean, and is also skilled at gesturing her needs. In fact the better baby has you trained, the less incentive there is to actually learn words. Your job in encouraging speech is vital at this point. Even though it can be exhausting to talk all the time, make sure that you chat away to baby all the time, labelling the things you see, and calling baby by her name to ensure that she gets a strong sense of her name belonging to her. Try and establish a dialogue with baby and listen carefully to the answers you get. Mostly it will be unintelligable, but occasionally there will be an answer you understand, and that can be an exciting event! Reading stories to baby is becoming more and more fun, as baby starts to enjoy the stories more and more and to participate and get excited. This is an activity that has so many benefits, that you should encourage it as much as possible.
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