Your 10-month-old: Week 1

Your 10-month-old: Week 1

How your baby's growing

Your baby is just beginning to understand many simple words and phrases, so it's more important than ever to keep talking to him. Give your chatterbox a head start on good speech patterns by repeating his words back to him using adult language. If he asks for a "bah-bah," for example, gently reinforce the correct pronunciation by asking, "Do you want a bottle?" At this stage, it's best to avoid using a lot of baby talk – it can be fun, but hearing the right words is better for your baby's development.

Though it may sometimes feel silly, having a conversation with your baby is a great way to encourage his language skills. When he rattles off a sentence of gibberish, respond with, "Oh, really? How interesting." He'll probably smile and keep chattering away.

  • Learn more fascinating facts about your 10-month-old's development.

Your life: Avoiding baby-toting injuries

A growing baby means more to carry and a greater potential for muscle strain. But by being vigilant you can reduce your risk of pain and injury:

  • When you lift your baby, always start by bending your knees and crouching, rather than folding over from the waist.
  • To properly hold your baby when you're seated, sit up straight in a comfortable, supportive chair with armrests. Consider using pillows for extra back support.
  • For times when you want to carry your baby on the move, invest in a good baby backpack or carrier that distributes your baby's weight evenly and doesn't strain your neck or back. Look for one with wide, padded straps.
  • To prevent wrist pain, alternate which arm you use to hold and feed your baby, and use a splint if you have a tendency toward wrist pain or any history of wrist injury.
  • This is also a good time in your life to build your back muscles. Look into daily stretches and strengthening exercises designed specifically for the back.

If you do strain yourself, a warm bath or shower or a massage can offer relief. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce inflammation.

Learn about: Sleep apnea

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your baby temporarily and repeatedly stops breathing while he's asleep. The culprit may be any number of things that can block his upper airway passages or otherwise prevent him from breathing properly: enlarged adenoids and tonsils, frequent illness, allergies, a receding chin, a cleft palate, or an underdeveloped nervous system. Preemies and babies with conditions such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome are at higher risk of the condition, as are African American babies.

How can I tell if my baby has sleep apnea?

During sleep, a baby with sleep apnea may snore loudly, gasp, or cough; have trouble breathing or take long pauses between breaths; seem restless; or sweat profusely. Snoring itself doesn't necessarily indicate a problem. A child with apnea may also wake up briefly multiple times throughout the night and seem sleep-deprived during the day. Related health issues include problems with the tonsils or adenoids and failure to gain weight.

What should I do if I think my baby has sleep apnea?

Talk to your baby's doctor. You may be referred to a sleep expert or an ear, nose, and throat specialist. If tonsils or adenoids are causing a problem, surgery is sometimes recommended. Because untreated sleep apnea can lead to cardiovascular complications and problems with learning and behavior, your doctor may recommend an overnight sleep study (called a polysomnogram) to help diagnose any underlying problems.

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