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I hope you didn’t blink because your baby is just a few short months away from turning 1!
Time flies during the first year as your baby develops and grows so rapidly.
Your 9-month-old baby is ready to play and interact much more than before. This is such an exciting time for milestones as your baby is becoming more verbal and more interactive.
9-Month-Old Baby Milestones: What Should 9-Month-Olds Be Doing?
9 months is an age of so many exciting milestones including crawling for many babies.
Learn about 9-month-old milestones and activities to help your baby reach these milestones.
These 9-month-old baby milestones are all adapted from the CDC.gov.
- Clingy with familiar adults
- Weary of Strangers
- Favorite Toys
Clingy With Familiar Adults
You may start seeing that your baby has a clear preference for one caregiver at this point. If you’re breastfeeding, a lot of times your baby will cling more to you.
Reassure dad that this is a temporary phase and they will win favor again soon.
Weary of Strangers
Usually, by 6 months of age, your little one starts to develop stranger anxiety or fear of strangers.
Although this can be difficult when a long-distance relative comes to visit, it’s actually a good thing. You want your baby to be able to recognize who they do vs don’t know. This way they won’t willingly wander off with just anybody.
Make sure to respect your baby at this age and don’t force them to go to somebody they’re uncomfortable with. Give them some time to warm up to the new person and show them that they’re safe and ok.
Although your baby isn’t verbal yet, they’re very aware of everyone around them.
Around 9-months-old, you’ll start noticing that your baby has some favorite toys. Some babies will start developing a security blanket or security object whereas others might have multiple favorites.
A word of advice- if your baby develops a security object, buy extras! Keep them stored away just in case of an emergency.
You don’t want to deal with a baby who loses or breaks their favorite toy!
Backups are a must!
- Understands the Word “No”
- Babbles with “Mmm” and “Bb” Sounds
- Copies Sounds and Gestures
- Points at Objects
Understands the Word “No”
By 9 months of age, your little one will start understanding the word “no”. Whether or not they choose to listen to you, that’s a different story.
But, this is a good time to start working on setting boundaries and using no if needed.
The most important limits to start setting are around safety issues.
If your baby is climbing on something dangerous, throwing objects, biting, etc, those are good times to start testing out the word no.
Babbles With “Mmm” and “Bbb” Sounds
This is when you’ll start hearing the first “mama” or “baba”. Unfortunately at this point, the words don’t usually have meaning to them, but it’s still exciting to hear your name from your precious baby’s mouth.
Try to have conversations with your baby. If they babble to you, say something back. Keep them engaged in this back and forth conversation as long as you can.
Copies Sounds and Gestures
This is a fun milestone as your baby starts interacting more and more. Practice making different pitches and different silly sounds. See what your baby is able to imitate.
All of these lay the foundation for talking and conversations in the near future.
Points at Objects
The world of communication is now going to open up a lot more. Your baby will be able to point to things they’re looking for.
Ask them what they want to play with and let them show you. It’s amazing how much more aware they are than you may realize.
Now that your 9-month-old completely understands object permanence, they’ll love playing peek-a-boo.
Hide yourself or a favorite toy under a blanket and have your baby search for it. Most babies love this activity and squeal with delight when they find their beloved object.
Puts Things Easily in Mouth
Your baby will start putting more and more objects into their mouth around 9 months of age.
This is when it’s really important to keep all small objects out of reach. Keep an eye on your baby and make sure there aren’t any unsafe toys around.
Pincer Grasp Develops
Typically by 9 months of age, your baby starts developing the pincer grasp (using finger and thumb to pick things up).
This is fun for self-feeding and playing with sensory bins. Offer rounded cereal or small bites of food and watch your baby practice picking it up.
Transfers Toys Hand to Hand
This milestone shows that your baby is aware of their body and more coordinated. They’ll be able to easily pass a toy from one hand to another.
Give your baby small toys they can easily grasp and watch them pass it back and forth.
Stands with Support
By 9 months of age, your little one’s legs are strong enough to support their weight. Help them get to a standing position and watch them practice standing on their feet.
They aren’t steady enough to stand unassisted so don’t leave them unattended in this position.
Can Get into a Sitting Position
Typically by 9 months of age, babies can get themselves to a seated position. They should be able to roll over and push themself all the way up to seated.
Sits Without Support
9-month-old babies are ready to sit up all on their own. This is a fun age because they’re ready to play at a whole different angle.
They can see a lot more and play with more toys while seated.
A lot of 9-month-old babies are officially on the move. Make sure your house is baby-proofed including outlet covers, cabinet locks, and baby gates.
Also, make sure all of your cleaning supplies are relocated to a higher level that your baby can’t reach.
Red Flags For 9-Month-Olds
Although these milestones are rough guidelines, not every baby will reach every milestone at the same time.
My baby was not a crawler. She was so focused on practicing sitting and standing that she skipped crawling altogether.
Try not to panic if your baby doesn’t seem to be meeting one of the milestones.
However, if you notice any of the following behaviors in your baby, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician.
The milestones to watch for are:
- Unable to support their weight while standing. Not bearing weight on their own legs
- Doesn’t sit with help
- Doesn’t babble
- Doesn’t play any games (peek-a-boo or babble back and forth)
- Doesn’t respond to own name
- Doesn’t recognize or show excitement for familiar people
- Doesn’t look at you in your eyes
9 Month Old Activities to Help Them Reach Milestones
So now onto the fun part. What can we do as parents to help our babies reach these milestones?
9-month-old babies are officially on the go and able to play and interact a lot more.
Help your baby reach all of these exciting milestones with age-appropriate toys and games for 9-month-old babies.
As your baby is learning how to crawl, it’s important to keep up with tummy time every day.
Keep tummy time fun and encourage your baby to scoot and crawl.
Get down on all fours and crawl with your baby. Move their favorite toy a little out of reach to encourage them to crawl to get it.
You can also try rolling a ball or a car and seeing if your little one will crawl or scoot to get it.
Read more tummy time activities to keep your baby happy while in tummy time.
If you’ve been following my other developmental milestone guides, you will notice that reading hits the list every time. Reading is one of the most important activities for all ages.
Reading helps your baby learn new words, concepts, and think.
My favorite books for 9-month-olds include:
- Baby’s First Words– Perfect to help expand your baby’s vocabulary
- See, Touch, Feel– Interactive touch and feel book
- Where is Baby’s Belly Button? By Karen Katz
If you’re baby’s sitting up independently, they’re ready for a swing at the park or home playground.
Babies love the comforting swinging motion and will giggle as they feel the wind blowing them.
Swings are such a fun way to spend more time outdoors before your baby is ready to run around.
Hide Toys Under Blankets
Go on a scavenger hunt for favorite toys. Hide them under blankets and help your bay crawl around to find them.
Point to Body Parts
Your baby is starting to figure out how things work. Introduce them to their body parts. Use their hands to touch their nose, their belly, tickle their ears.
Show them your nose and ears too. Make sure to say the words out loud too to teach them these new words.
Encourage your baby to strengthen their legs with toys that encourage them to pull themselves up and stand.
We love this wooden box set which has fun objects for both sitting and standing. It’s nice and sturdy so it can support your little one’s weight while they practice pulling themselves up.
Your baby likely won’t be able to stack yet, but start introducing the concept of stacking blocks. They’ll have fun watching you build them up and may even learn how to knock it down.
Your 9 month old baby is getting better at using their hands and getting a stronger grip. Pop-up toys are a perfect way to encourage them to keep using their hands in different ways.
They also encourage problem-solving as your little one learns whether to push, pull, twist, or rotate these toys.
Pass Toys Back and Forth
Practice handing your baby different toys and encourage them to pass it back to you.
This helps them develop hand-eye coordination as they learn how to watch what’s coming into their hands and see where your hands are.
Sturdy push toys are the perfect walking companions for your 9-month-old babies. These toys provide support while they’re practicing to stand.
Also, your baby will get sturdier and more confident on their feet. Over time, they’ll get ready to take their first steps with the help of these push toys.
Buckets of Toys
Another favorite activity for 9-month-olds is simply putting toys in buckets and dumping it out. Over and over again!
Our baby loved using this shape sorter because the shapes were perfect for her small hands to grasp.
We’d take the lid off for her and she’d spend ages putting them all in and then dumping them out.
Cars are a fun toy for any age. 9 month olds will be able to grasp a car and will have fun crawling after it as you drive it around the room.
They aren’t quite ready to drive it themselves, but they’ll have fun watching and chasing it around. This is another great way to encourage your baby to crawl and scoot around.
Water play is fun for all ages. 9-month-olds are ready for more bath fun now that they’re sitting up on their own.
Grab a few bath toys that they can practice grabbing and pouring water from all on their own.
We love these stackable boats that you can play with in or out of the bath.
Since your baby is becoming more coordinated with movement, they’ll love playing with different instruments and making music.
Give your baby a rattle or shaker and encourage them to make some music.
Practice Self Feeding With Finger Foods
Since your baby is starting to master the pincer grasp, make sure to offer them soft and safe baby foods to eat. Let them practice picking it up one at a time and putting it into their mouths.
9 Month Old Baby Milestones and Activities
Your 9-month-old baby is ready to move and learn more than before. Keep screens away and get down and play every day.
Help your baby continue to grow and develop on track. Make sure to stay up to date on your well-baby checkups and address any concerns with your pediatrician at that time.