Baby is growing up! That little delicious-smelling newborn that didn't weigh that much more than a small watermelon has grown by leaps and bounds. And he/she isn't even one year old. All those too-small baby clothes show how your 9-month-old has definitely grown in size. But, we cannot forget about all of the other developmental milestones that you and your S.O. have likely been cooing over and trying in vain to capture on video. (We know the struggle.) There are many of your 9-month-old's developmental milestones to celebrate.
Read on to find out about 9-month-old's developmental milestones that your little tyke has hit — or will soon. (You can even use the points as a handy checklist.) Disclaimer: If your baby hasn't hit a number of things on the list and you are concerned about development disabilities, you can speak to your doctor. Also remember that if your little guy/girl was premature, things might be a bit delayed. But, your baby should hit his/her milestones in his/her own time.
Image: iStock / jarun011
It's crazy how your baby has progressed so much in such a short time in terms of movement and physical development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that 9-month-olds should be able to get into a sitting position without assistance. On top of that, your baby should be able to remain in the sitting position without support. To go along with that, he/she might be able to pull him/herself up into a standing position. If you're watching your little one for a while, you might see all these new movements like some cute kind of baby choreography he/she is practicing.
First words are happening, people, so make sure that your ears are tuned in and your phone is primed. KidsHealth.org reports that around this age your little one will have some vocabulary. It won't be perfect, but he she might be using partial words. For example, he/she could be saying "bye" or "bye-bye" instead of "goodbye." Or, maybe your little one has learned a "proper" word but is referring to everything as that word. KidsHealth.org gives the example of a 9-month-old saying "mama" and "dad" but using the words to mean other people — or even things — besides you and your partner. It's still progress.
Image: iStock / GODS_AND_KINGS
Behavior is already something being worked on. Some parents might find it a relief to know that their little ones should be able to understand the meaning of "no," by nine months old. KidsHealth.org says that it is a communication and language skills milestone for the age. But, it is not without is frustrations. First, just because your little one knows what "no" means doesn't mean he/she will follow it. Secondly, your baby will likely start communicating "no" themselves either by actually saying it, shaking his/her head, or even turning away. We're warning you now.
Image: iStock / Halfpoint
This has to be one of the biggest 9-month-old's developmental milestones that parents celebrate. In just a few short months, we've gone from having a baby whose neck and head we constantly have to support to having a little thing that can stand on its own feet. WebMD reports that at this age kids are changing position more. Your growing baby might not be able to stand for very long and will likely need something safe as a support, but this is a major milestone for everyone involved. WebMD recommends you keep your 9-month-old barefoot inside because it will help with development and eventual walking.
It didn't take your kid long to develop favorites, as you are probably very acquainted with. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it is common for kids by this age to have favorite toys. They might not make any sense to you, but they clearly do to your rambunctious baby. We have heard baby's favorite toys being everything from a kitchen dish rag to a tag- and decoration-free sofa pillow. Parents don't have to really understand their kids' favorites. They just need to make sure that they never, ever lose them. Otherwise, you need to be prepared for the waterworks.
Image: iStock / monkeybusinessimages
This has nothing to do with your baby getting milk drunk too many times. And it has nothing to do with your baby inheriting a big booty from one of your sides of the family. Pampers reports that at this stage of development, it's normal for your little guy/girl's belly and bum to stick out a little when he/she begins to stand up. It has to do with your baby getting comfortable standing on his/her two feet. Once he/she does, the alignment will straighten up and your little one will look less like he/she is getting ready to twerk. It's normally during a kid's second year he/she will fully straighten up.
Eating, moving, talking, and communicating are the things that we are looking for in 9-month-old's developmental milestones. Additionally, most of the things that we're keeping our eye out for are "positive" things. So, a not-so-great emotion like fear might be something we don't fully pick up on as a milestone. It is. The CDC and KidsHealth.org cite a possible fear of strangers as being part of a growing baby. It is by no means a guarantee that 9-month-olds will be afraid of strangers. You might end up with a super social baby who loves everyone and everything.
Image: iStock / ajijchan
Baby is starting to manage pretty good with cognitive movements, especially those involving the hands and fingers. Pampers points out that at this age a lot of babies will have mastered the raking grasp. This is where a kid is able to reach out and pull objects toward him/herself. Your baby might not understand that some things are too big and/or heavy to perform the maneuver with, but when he/she chooses the right object, he/she should be able to perform it pretty smoothly. Look for your little one doing the movement with toys and food. Watch out for adult glasses without lids and the family cat.
This sounds like something fancy that your kid should study when he/she hits the higher years of school. It is not a complicated theory that needs to be broken down in a textbook to be able to be picked up. Baby isn't going hypothetical yet. KidsHealth.org explains that object permanence is simply "the idea that an object or person exists somewhere even though the baby can't see the object or person at that moment." For example, if you hide a toy behind the sofa or your face behind your hands, your baby should have the cognition to know that the hidden object still exists somewhere. Isn't he/she clever?
Image: iStock / AtnoYdur
At not even a year old, those cognitive skills should be developing nicely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that at this age it is common for babies to be able to pick up things between their thumb and index finger and put them in their mouth. Being able to do the movements with cereal is common. The hand placement is called the pincer grasp. And it is something that your baby will refine more as he/she gets older. It might be a bit crude to begin with. Same goes for your baby's aim. But, remember that he/she is learning.
Image: iStock / kuppa_rock
My oh my, how baby can move. It is still too early for walking, but it might seem like your guy/girl is constantly on the go. And it means you always have to keep an eye out before he/she dashes somewhere. Very Well Family points out that there can be a huge variance in how much a baby is crawling at this age. Furthermore, you might find that your kid has his/her own signature style of crawl. Very Well Family reveals that some kids have more of a creeping thing going on whereas some mange to get around on one leg. The Bump reports that babies might be working on cruising next.
Image: iStock / imacoconut
Most parents would give anything to know what is going on their baby's brain, especially during those never-ending crying spells. This developmental milestone shows what he/she is picking up on. KidsHealth.org reports that babies might be following the pages as you are reading him/her a story. (He/she doesn't need to be at the word and letter stage yet.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists another example of how babies at this age might follow the path of an object as it falls. This one is easier to miss because you might be more preoccupied with that falling sippy cup than you are with seeing whether your baby is paying attention to it drop to the floor.
Image: iStock / olesiabilkei
You and your baby have probably had oodles of fun in the last few months together. Some of it was likely informal, but perhaps other times you tried more structured games. If you haven't, give it a shot. A 9-month-old should have the cognitive ability to play simple games like peekaboo, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. KidsHealth.org elaborates that "so big" is another game that kids could be playing at this age. Additionally, if you hide something, your baby might go looking for it. This shows that he/she has picked up on object permanence, as previously mentioned. It also demonstrates that your little one has a curious side and wants to solve the riddle.
Image: iStock / tatyana_tomsickova
Your tot's fingers might be tiny, but we bet you are in awe of how much he/she is capable of doing with them. At around 9-months, the typical baby should be able to smoothly move things from one hand to the other, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Consider when you're playing games or when your baby is playing independently with a toy. Parents might even notice their baby moving food back and forth between two hands. Playing with food isn't the greatest, but we doubt you will complain about it too much when you see your little one checking off one of the 9-month-old's developmental milestones.
Image: iStock / Kerkez
Someone clearly wants to be like mama and dada — or that interesting dog from across the street. At this age, your baby is becoming more and more aware of his/her surroundings. On top of that, he/she is being inspired to copy things that pique his/her interest, says the CDC. Some parents will probably chuckle that the things that are copied are never the great points. (Why is it always swear words or awkward reactions to stubbing a toe?) Gestures are common things for little ones to try to perform themselves. Words are a bit early, but your tot might attempt some. Sounds are always popular to experiment with from planes to cars to animals. You can encourage your baby with a sound game.
We have talked about babies showing fear; now let us talk about sadness. When his/her carers aren't around, he/she should realize it by this age. Even though it is hard to know, your tot might get upset about you not being in the immediate picture. Remember that it is part of development, so there is some silver lining to the upset. Reassure your hollering baby (and yourself) that the parting is only temporary and you will be bonding again before you know it. To go along with this, KidsHealth.org reports that kids will form security attachments to "transitional objects" like the aforementioned favorite toys or blankets.
Image: iStock / wagnerokasaki
Your 9-month-old's vocabulary is definitely a work in progress, but he/she is communicating in other fascinating ways. Rather than always defaulting to wailing when he/she wants something, your baby should start pointing at things around this age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pointing is a cognitive and language/communication milestone. Yes, there will still be tears, but they will be interspersed between frantic pointing. Sometimes, your little one will be keen to point at things for no apparent reason other than to just point because he/she can. Take it in and enjoy it. And watch out for the flailing index finger.
Image: iStock / Sasiistock
In just a few months, your baby will have worked out who his/her main carers are. He/she will likely be upset when they aren't around and he/she will be in the process of understanding what is alright with said carers and what is a big fat "no." To tie into all this, your little one might seek reassurance from you while working on new skills as part of social and emotional development. KidsHealth.org lists a baby looking back at mom/dad/other carers when learning to crawl. It could be to make sure that you're still there, to ensure he/she is doing it right, or to plan a good escape route. We can't see inside our babies' brains, but we do know they like to check.