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27 June 2006

The tenth month

Safety becomes a huge concern as your baby becomes more mobile. Here is advice.

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What we will look at

  • What your baby can do
  • Breastfeeding and biting
  • Weaning your baby
  • Childproofing your home
  • Safety devices
  • What you can do to help

What your baby can do

  • Stand holding onto something or someone
  • Say mama and dada indiscriminately
  • Pull up to standing position from sitting
  • Understand the word “no” and simple commands
  • Play peek-aboo
  • Object if you try to take a toy away

Ouch! When the sweet little angel bites
Many mothers who breastfeed have a hard time feeding a baby who has teeth. Babies don’t bite while they feed but when they are distracted and turn away from the breast. Say “no” loudly so that your baby will understand that it is unpleasant. Show your baby that it is painful. Take your baby off the breast and don’t reward his behaviour by putting him back on the breast.

Should you wean your child?
This depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Your baby may start to wean herself – showing less interest in the breast or rejecting breast milk.
  • You may have grown tired of breastfeeding and frustrated by the lack of freedom that accompanies breastfeeding.
  • Your work situation may make it difficult for you to express breast milk.
  • You decide to stop if you find your baby’s biting too painful.
  • You may be exhausted by the lack of sleep, and nutritional and physical demands of breastfeeding.
  • Your baby fails to thrive (such as gaining weight poorly or being lethargic).
  • If you know that you will not be able to breastfeed in the second year, rather wean now – toddlers are far more resistant to weaning.

Don’t feel pressurised to wean your baby. If you and your baby are happy to continue breastfeeding, go ahead.

Childproofing your home
As your child is getting more and more mobile, make sure that he/she has a safe place to roam around. Here’s how.

Safety devices
The following safety devices are worth buying as they will help prevent accidents:

  • Cabinet locks or latches (for drawers, cupboards and cabinets)
  • Bathtub spout safety covers
  • Doorknob guards (to stop child from opening a door)
  • Corner or edge cushions (to cover sharp corners of furniture)
  • Plug caps (to cover electric sockets)
  • Non-skid rubber decorations for bathtubs

What you can do to help

  • Leave shoes off as babies balance better when barefoot.
  • Buy toys to follow like rolling rattles and balls.
  • Toys to pull or push such as a wagon will encourage walking.
  • Improve his memory by playing drop and pick up games or covering toys encouraging him to find them again.
  • Help him to pull himself up to standing position.
  • Place a toy behind him to encourage him to twist around.
  • Teach her how to put objects into a container and take them out.
 
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