With a nine-month-old baby, you might feel a little like you want to hit the pause button. Between their sweet smiles, better nights of sleep and more fun ways to play during the day, this can truly be an amazing stage. (But, to be fair, we think that for just about all stages. There is always something to appreciate!)
Right now, your baby's newfound mobility is probably keeping them and you on the go. Some babies are gearing up to walk around this point while others are content to get around by crawling, scooting or even rolling for a while longer. That's fine—there's a pretty broad range with most motor skill milestones. Still, by keeping track of what milestones your baby is working on achieving, you can support their development and consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.
Nine-month-old baby milestones
- With a developing understanding of object permanence, your nine-month-old baby realizes things still exist when they are out of sight. This makes peekaboo a real hit!
- Your baby is working on talking... although you might not be able to make sense of everything they say quite yet. Note if your baby doesn't babble yet.
- Your nine-month-old should be able to track objects as they move, which includes watching things as they fall.
- One way or another, most nine-month-old babies are on the move. Although your baby may not be walking yet (or even for a while), pay attention to whether they can bear weight on their legs with support.
- Your baby's fine motor skills are developing, too! Your nine-month-old should be able to transfer objects from hand to hand.
- Your baby should be both skilled and interested in putting things in their mouth. That's great at mealtime, but be sure to keep them away from small objects that could be choking hazards.
Social and Emotional:
- Your nine-month-old baby may feel a bit of stranger danger—even when you know the person. They may react with tears or by being a bit clingy with a familiar adult. Give your child time and space to warm up to new people.
- By nine months, your baby likely has some pretty strong preferences about everything from their favorite food to a favorite toy.
- Your baby should show interest in observing other people and work on copying sounds or gestures they see.
How to support your nine-month-old baby’s development this month
Up for a little homework assignment, mama? Here are some nine months old baby activities to support your cutie's development.
- Help your nine-month-old baby learn how to play with toys in new ways, such as by lining up toy blocks and then stacking them.
- Play with your nine-month-old baby by rolling a favorite toy across the room and then having a crawling "race" to reach it.
- Encourage your nine-month-old baby's communication skills by getting excited when they point something out to you.
It’s science: Practicing self-care as a parent helps your child’s development
While you think about your baby's development, search for enriching nine months old baby activities and seek new ways to play, don't forget about yourself. Really—research shows that babies and kids whose parents limit stress are less likely to have developmental delays.
No one knows your baby like you. As they grow, you'll get the privilege to learn more about what makes them unique. For now, that may look like your nine-month-old focusing on one set of skills while one of their baby friends is more advanced in another way—and that can be perfectly normal! Look instead for bigger trends, such as if your baby isn't communicating, shows signs of muscle weakness or doesn't seem to react to stimulation. If you have questions or concerns, bring them up with your child's doctor.
Nine-month-old baby 101: