Stages of Play: 10 to 12 Months Old

Want to know what to expect from your growing baby? These guides share general timelines for developmental milestones and how to encourage new stages of play.

Before you get started, learn how to calculate your baby’s adjusted age based on their due date and birth date. Much of your baby’s development is tied to time in utero so babies born early may need time to reach full-term development.

What to expect at this stage

It probably seems like just yesterday you were preparing for your baby’s arrival—and now they’re turning one. It’s incredible how much has changed for you both this year. While your baby has grown and developed in leaps and bounds, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for all of the love, support, and guidance you offered that got them there.

Your baby is on the move (this means you are, too). From tummy to sitting to rolling, crawling on hands and knees, pulling to stand, and maybe even cruising along the furniture—they sure are busy. You may even see your baby let go when they stand and take some unassisted steps for a few seconds. Expect to release a celebratory screech like you’ve never heard before when this happens.

How to incorporate play at this stage

Your baby may actively explore their environment and move through positions with ease.

Mealtime will hit a new level of excitement as well.

Your baby’s pincer grasp will become more refined, and they may start to pick up smaller objects (watch out for choking hazards) or poke things using their index finger. Look for toys to help them further develop their hand-eye coordination.

Milestones to look out for at this stage

By ten to twelve months, your baby will begin clapping and waving more consistently and will start to enjoy turning thicker pages in a board book. They may even point to pictures in the book, so reading becomes more of a two-sided activity. Peek-a-boo is still very engaging, and babies love to search for hidden objects at this age.

Separation anxiety is still at play because of your baby’s increased independence, and they may show a clear preference for one or two adults.

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