All the Firsts: A Guide to Your 9-Month-Old’s Milestones

At 9 months old, your baby is becoming more active, curious, and communicative. According to Dr. Jane Squires, professor of special education and pediatrics at the University of Oregon, “Nine-month-old babies are developing their motor, cognitive, social, and emotional skills at a rapid pace, and it’s important for parents to understand these developmental milestones and provide support and stimulation.”

Let’s take a closer look at parenting tips and  some of the developmental milestones your baby may be reaching at 9 months old.

Crawling and Standing

Many 9-month-old babies are starting to crawl, pull themselves up to standing, and even cruise along furniture. Give your baby plenty of floor time to practice crawling and exploring their environment. Crawling helps with coordination and strengthens the muscles needed for walking. 

Improved Hand-Eye Coordination

As your baby’s hand-eye coordination improves, they may be able to pick up smaller objects and transfer them from one hand to another. Encourage your baby to play with toys of different shapes, sizes, and textures to stimulate their senses and fine motor skills. 

Babbling and Communication

At 9 months old, your baby is starting to experiment with sounds and may be able to say “mama” or “dada.” According to Dr. Dana Suskind, professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Chicago, “Talking and singing to your baby helps them develop language skills and learn new words.” Dr. Suskind recommends using descriptive language and asking open-ended questions to encourage your baby’s curiosity and communication.

Improved Memory and Recognition

Your baby is starting to recognize familiar faces and objects and may show excitement or anxiety when seeing something they remember. Dr. Suskind suggests creating a predictable routine and repetition to help your baby feel secure and support memory development. “Reading books, singing songs, and playing peek-a-boo are all great ways to engage your baby’s memory and recognition skills,” she says.

Improved Motor Skills

At 9 months old, your baby is becoming more adept at fine motor skills like grasping and manipulating objects with their hands. Dr. Squires recommends introducing soft toys and objects with different textures to encourage exploration and learning. “Your baby’s pincer grasp, the ability to pick up small objects between their thumb and forefinger, is also developing at this age,” she says.

Improved Social Skills

Nine-month-old babies are starting to understand social cues and may engage in simple games like peek-a-boo or waving goodbye. Ecourage social interaction and play with other children to help your baby develop social skills and empathy. Simple activities like playing with bubbles, blowing kisses, or having a tea party can all help your baby learn about social relationships. 

Now, while your little one is showing signs or readiness to grow and develop and reach significant developmental milestones, you will need to update your baby shopping list. 

Shopping list for a 9 month old 

Here’s a quick and handy shopping list that’ll make sure your little one has everything he needs in order to thrive: 

  • Nutritious Baby Food: Your baby is now ready to try out new tastes and textures. Pick up a variety of fruits, vegetables, cereals, and meats to make sure your baby gets all the nutrients they need. 
  • Diapers: You will need to change your baby’s diapers frequently, so make sure to stock up on a good supply of diapers. Look for diapers that are the right size and have good absorbency. 
  • Baby Wipes: These are a must-have for keeping your baby clean and fresh. Choose a brand that is gentle on your baby’s skin and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.
  • Baby Clothes: Your baby is growing quickly and will soon outgrow their current clothes. Make sure to pick up a few comfortable and soft outfits in the next size up.
  • Toys: Your baby is now more active and curious than ever before. Pick up a few toys that stimulate their senses and encourage them to explore. 
  • High Chair: A high chair is a great investment as your baby starts to eat more solids. Look for one that is comfortable and easy to clean. 
  • Baby Carrier: Carrying your baby around can be tiring, especially as they grow. Invest in a good quality baby carrier that supports your baby’s weight and is comfortable for you to wear.
  • Baby Bath Tub: Your baby is now sitting up and is ready for a big-girl or big-boy bath! Pick up a baby bath tub that is safe and has a non-slip surface.
  • Teething Toys: Your baby may start teething soon, so it’s a good idea to have some teething toys on hand to soothe their gums.

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