Baby The First Year: What To Do All Day? Milestone Tips 7 to 12 Months
What to do with baby all day: 7-12 months
Congratulations! You and your baby have made it through the first 6 months of baby’s life and you have done a great job so far! You are both alive and you have yet to visit a mental institution. The days will get busier now, as there are more milestones baby is going to reach.
They grow quickly, so remember to try and enjoy every moment and take each day as it comes.
In the first edition of this series “What to Do With Baby All Day 0-6 Months” we went over the simplicity of a day in the life of a newborn, and major milestones with daily exercises. If you missed this article, I suggest you take a read through it...
This second edition, "What to Do With Baby All Day 7-12 Months", will continue to give you milestones and activities and show you how to fill up baby’s day in a meaningful way!
***Remember***When it comes to milestones, every baby is different. For those still working on milestones from the 0-6 month list, continue to work away on those while adding in a few new exercises from this list. Each milestone baby reaches plays a part in reaching future milestones, so it’s important to listen to your baby's doctor for development information and assistance.
So what do we do during the awake time?
Here is a list of ideas of what to do with your baby, by age.
MAJOR MILESTONES: sits without support, pulls objects toward themselves, starts blabbering gibberish and may experience stranger anxiety.
-Leave the house: Because baby can develop stranger anxiety around this time (cling to you for dear life and throw a fit when introduced to strangers), it is important to give your baby lots of stranger exposure. Take them for a walk through Walmart and ask them to say hello or wave to people you walk by. Show them that it is OK to not be scared.
-Talk to your baby: Baby is developing language skills and it is important now more than ever to engage them in conversation. Narrate what you are doing throughout the day and ask them questions. If they babble back to you, act like you understand and be very happy that they shared that important information with you!
-Carry them around: Baby wear while you get stuff done around the house or grocery shop. My favorite comfortable baby carriers are on my shop page! Visit the Baby Store to find the best carrier. Enjoy this while you can, because by 12 months baby’s are usually over being carried around!
-Jumperoo: If baby can now sit unsupported, you can feel comfortable leaving them in the jumperoo to exercise those leg muscles. The best space saver jumperoo is in the Baby Store. Tip: take the jumperoo outside and let baby watch the birds fly by!
- Give plenty of time to experience playing on their tummy. Baby may or may not start crawling now, so you want to give them lots of opportunities to get on all 4's and rock back and forth, or attempt to move for a toy.
-Milestone exercise: Help baby move towards crawling! An exercise I made up with my son was to put him on one end of our bed (in the center for safety!) and then place 3 very attractive items on the other end of the bed. These items could be a ball of foil, your car keys or their fave toy. Watch baby wiggle and roll trying to reach the object!
MAJOR MILESTONES: Many say Mom or Dad or another word you understand, may start crawling, may search for hidden items and will pass an object from one hand to another.
- Outside time: Let baby get outside often and explore their environment. Baby may not be crawling yet, but expect things to still get dirty, and bring a change of clothes. Explore rocks, leaves and flowers. Point to objects passing by to teach your baby to point when naming something. "Look, a car!" Watch your baby does not try to eat any of those mentioned above!
- Practice some sensory play. Let baby do some baby friendly finger painting while on their tummies, and read them some "Touch and Feel" books to show them how different surfaces can feel prickly or soft.
- Continue to develop language: Read books, narrate your day and acknowledge when they say Momma or Dadda that they are doing a great job saying Momma or Dadda!
Milestone Exercise: Hide some items under a blanket and ask baby to find it! You can put a toy, say a rubber ducky, under the blanket and say "Where did ducky go!?" Better yet, put yourself under the blanket and ask where Mommy went! Think peek-a-boo but get baby involved. They may start pulling at the blanket to find you!
Baby is growing so quickly now! He or she may be sitting unsupported, babbling a few recognizable words and starting to crawl! These are all amazing feats that you have done a great job accomplishing with your baby!
MAJOR MILESTONES: Crawling ( there are many forms of crawling, click HERE to see them), pulling to stand, more babbling, pincer grasp.
- Explore: Give baby independent play time, while closely supervised. Let them crawl to find toys and practice getting around in their own unique way.
Do not feel like you need to keep your baby entertained 100% of the time. This will lead to you keeping baby stimulated every minute of every day, and you will be one tired mommy. Encourage imagination and independence. They can still see you, but they can also explore on their own.
- Water play: Our favorite form of water play was in the bath. I would fill the tub with about 2 inches of water and lay baby on his tummy. Then throw some toys in and encourage him to grab them, splash around and kick his feet! Of course stay right by your baby's side when it comes to water play.
- Pincer grasp: Practice practice practice. Baby is learning how to pick up a small object with their thumb and forefinger now! Sit them in their highchair and offer them easy to grab snacks. Try Cheerios or tiny bits of skinned apple.
Milestone Exercise: Baby is going to want to practice using objects around them to pull themselves into a standing position. Keep in mind they haven't quite mastered balance yet, so always watch and be there to catch! With the playpen, you can use the ball pit exercise mentioned in the previous article. Try attaching some interesting items to the top of the playpen, encouraging them to hold the top of the playpen while pulling to a stand! Find my fave playpen HERE.
MAJOR MILESTONES: Waving bye-bye, attempting to walk with both hands held, recognizing who is Momma and who is Dadda when they say it, and cruising.
- Play hand coordination games: Try taking things out of a container and then putting them back in! A really challenging experiment is to try and pick up an ice cube and put it in another plastic container. You can also start your kitchen band, allowing baby to bang pots and pans with spoons and spatulas.
- Stroller walk: Head to the local park and let your baby interact with other kids. Point out all of the things you see along the way. Just remember to keep your baby shaded or apply sunscreen and a hat.
- Snuggle and Read: Baby is almost at the age where they may not want to sit still for very long. They may be there now! Get in lots of snuggles while you still can.
Milestone Exercise: Have baby practice cruising on furniture by setting up an obstacle course. Pick their favorite treat and set it within arms reach while they hold on to the couch, ottoman, television stand or walker to get to the yummy treat!
11 to 12 Months
MAJOR MILESTONES: Developing better language skills as you may recognize more words, may try to stand unsupported, may start trying to climb on objects, imitates others, may gesture their for what they want.
- Arts and Crafts: Try some fun baby crafts with crayons, finger paint or chalk! Baby will love to be creative, even if it only lasts for a few minutes!
- Try going for a walk: Some babies take their first steps around 12 months. My son did not walk until closer to 2 years old, so do not fear Momma! To each their own, unless you suspect development delays. A products I wish I had known about is the baby Walking Harness or Walking Assistant. Have a peak on Amazon and try to slowly help your baby reach the walking milestone.
- Continue encouraging independent play. Baby may look to you for praise so stay near, but let them explore indoors or outdoors. Let them use their imagination...and...gasp! Get dirty!
- Develop language with a house tour. Take baby on a tour looking for the bananas, the cat, the spoons, whatever. Just name the objects you see and maybe take a pit stop at the Tupperware drawer for some play time.
Milestone Exercise: Take baby to a near by baby friendly gym or playgroup. Let baby use their climbing skills on the large foam gym equipment or climbers!
Do you have some more fun activities for baby 7 to 12 months? I would love to hear some more ideas on how to have fun with your little one during the day! Let's share and grow together!
It is so important to know just how different every baby is. Some babies will be able to eat with a spoon while other babies still cannot stack blocks. Some will be walking while others are just mastering how to crawl. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns!