Cognitive Development in Babies aged 8-12 Months

01 Exploration of Self-awareness Development

At 8 months old, babies are full of curiosity, but their attention span is short; they quickly shift focus from one activity to another. They may spend no more than 2-3 minutes on a single toy before moving on to another. By almost 12 months old, they might sit with a toy for about 15 minutes for the sake of playing, but they still remain mostly active. Expecting them to sit still is unrealistic.

Despite having a variety of expensive toys at home, babies at this stage are most attracted to common household items like wooden spoons, egg cartons, and plastic containers of different shapes and sizes. They are particularly interested in familiar yet slightly different items. For example, after becoming bored with a rice cereal box, they might find renewed interest by placing a ball inside and shaking it. These subtle changes help them recognize minor differences between familiar and unfamiliar objects. When selecting "toys," remember that items too similar to what they already know will quickly lose their appeal, while completely unfamiliar items may confuse or scare them. Look for items and toys that gradually expand their horizons. Giving them pots, bowls, and utensils to play with may be noisy but economical.

Children don't need you to introduce them to new things; once they learn to crawl, they begin exploring new things on their own. They'll "search" through your drawers, turn over wastebaskets, and carefully examine everything they find (make sure to use child safety locks on drawers or cabinets containing potentially dangerous items). Though it may seem like aimless play to you, it's actually how children explore how the world works. Like skilled scientists, they observe the characteristics of objects and gradually understand concepts like shape (some things can roll, others can't), texture (some are rough, some are soft, some are smooth), and size (some things can fit inside others). They even begin to grasp the concept of what's edible and what's not, although they'll still try putting everything in their mouth to confirm (ensure everything within their reach is safe to mouth).

Developmental Milestones for Cognitive Development in Babies aged 8-12 Months:

Can explore objects in many different ways (shaking, tapping, throwing, dropping, etc.).

Can easily find hidden objects.

Will look at the correct picture when you say the name of an object in a picture.

Can imitate gestures.

Begins to use items correctly (drinking from a cup, combing hair with a brush, pressing buttons on a phone, holding a phone to their ear).