9 - 10 Months

Your 10-month-old’s cognitive development

Baby sitting in their mother's lap while looking at a puzzle

At 10 months, your baby’s cognitive development is focused primarily on problem solving. They’re using their new mobility and reasoning skills to investigate challenges like “How can I get that toy over there?” They’re also starting to become responsive—in short bursts—to requests, commands, and words like “no.”

Cognitive skills you may notice

Here’s what child development experts say is happening in your child’s brain at this stage. Note that the age ranges below indicate when a skill typically starts to emerge, not when it ends—and remember that every baby’s development is different.

Your baby may:

Slide a toy or object on a surface. They may especially enjoy sliding objects that make noise as they go; your baby is using multiple senses to navigate their physical environment. To support this new interest, offer them something with wheels or another object that slides easily on the floor. (6 to 11 months)

Look around to find a hidden sound. This may be especially true if the sound is well known, like an airplane overhead, their dog’s bark, or the door opening and closing. (7 to 10 months)

Occasionally respond to simple requests by making gestures. If you say, “Come!” your baby may start to move toward you; if you say “up,” they may put their arms up to be lifted. (7 to 12 months)

Retrieve an object using something other than their hands. If your baby wants a toy that’s on a blanket nearby, they may reach out to grasp the blanket and pull it closer to get the toy. (8 to 10 months)

Overcome an obstacle to get what they want. If your baby wants something nearby but there’s an object in the way—like a pillow—they may start moving around it or reaching above it to grab what they want. (8 to 11 months) 

Listen selectively to familiar words Your baby is beginning to understand that words have meaning. Try saying, “Go get me your ball” and see if they acknowledge the word “ball.” They may do this by scanning the room for it, moving to try to find it, or even just smiling when they hear the word. (8 to 12 months)

Throw an object. Intentionally releasing an object from their grip is both a fine motor and cognitive challenge for your baby. During this time, most throwing is involuntary. As your baby sees that shaking or flinging an object occasionally sets it flying, they start to understand that they can release it on purpose. (9 to 12 months)

Learn more about your baby’s developing skills and behaviors in our complete guide to baby development milestones.


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Posted in: 9 - 10 Months, Cause and Effect, Problem Solving, Milestones, Cognitive Development, Lovevery App, Child Development

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