Baby development and milestones: your 9 month old

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Find out if your little one is on track with his or her development.

It’s the third quarter since you gave birth and it is only three months from now until your baby turns one! Your 9 month old tiny tot is now uttering words that make more sense, and are becoming more adventurous in his activities.

Here are the developments to expect now that your baby is 9 months old:

9 month old development and milestones

“Hi Mummy, I’m a big, 9 month old baby now!”

9 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Baby On Track?

Physical Development

Standing and cruising by holding on to something are just a few of the things your baby might be able to do now that he is 9 months old.

Your 9 month old baby may be able to sit for extended periods of time and pull himself up to stand up from that position. Because his bones and muscles have further developed, he may now be an expert crawler and may even start crawling with only one hand and both knees while holding an object with the other hand.

Your baby’s motor skills have improved a lot by this time. By now, he may have become an expert in crawling — sometimes even crawling up and down the stairs. He might also be quick in changing positions like sitting back down from crawling or even pivoting. Watch out because your baby might also be able to pull a stand and cruise from one place to the other while holding on to furniture. (So make sure you’ve childproofed your home!)

Fine motor skills have also improved a lot by the ninth month. Your little one will already be able to pick up smaller toys and better coordinate his hand movements.

As your 9 month old is more eager to move, you can encourage this by giving him plenty of space to move. And because your baby is now more mobile, his weight gain might be noticeably slower compared to the previous months, which is just normal.

Tips for parents

Give plenty of outdoor time to your baby, while ensuring that he is properly attired. Here are a few things you can do to boost his physical development

  • Play a game of chase. While he is crawling, you can chase him on all fours, and babies just love it!
  • Don’t use any pads or helmets for the baby unless prescribed. Crawling is an activity tha strengthens your child’s wrists and legs. 

When to worry

When the children start to crawl, some of the deficiencies like Vitamin D deficiency become apparent in the baby’s wrists. The doctor will assess your baby for it anyway, however, if you want, you can discuss it with the doctor, especially if your child has been breastfed and has not received any supplements. 

Cognitive Development

Your 9 month old is now more observant and curious — their understanding of language is improving as well. Your baby is also becoming a good listener and is now better at understanding body language.

This is the time when your baby might already recognise the meaning of “no” through your actions.

The ninth month will also be the time your baby will start mimicking your actions, copying the sounds you make and becoming a comedic performer who will do anything to make the adults around laugh.

Tips for parents

This is the age when they start enjoying peekaboo! So here are some activities for you to do

  • Hide something in front of him, say using a sheet, and let him discover it!
  • babies at that age love to follow the objects when they are thrown or are falling, so that is one activity that will ensure a few laughing bouts!

When to worry

Your child should pass things between his hands. If your child does not engage in back-and-forth play, please see a doctor. 

Social and Emotional Development

This is also the stage where separation anxiety is becoming an issue as well as the so-called stranger anxiety. Your baby can now easily pick up when you’re about to leave him, and become especially anxious when strangers are around. 

Much is going on in his mind now. He is observing, absorbing, reflecting, and trying to imitate what he sees. Emotional development is quite rapid at this age, even though it is not apparent. 

Tips for parents

If you are incharge of your baby at this age, try and converse with him about everything. He is soaking it all in. If he goes to a daycare, keep a track of his development by talking to his caregivers. 

You can

  • Take him out to explore the world. The cars, buses, people, everything is more important for his social development than ever. 
  • Interaction with pets can boost his social and emotional development at this stage. A visit to a petting zoo or an aquarium should be on your list!

When to worry

If the stranger’s anxiety has not yet set in, or if your baby is not interested in anything that goes on in his surroundings, you should see a doctor. 

Speech and Language Development

In between constant babbling, your baby might start to utter real words, phrases and sometimes, sentences.

Note that your baby thinks he is saying something you understand so remember to respond to whatever he says.

Your baby’s babbling may start to sound more like real words now — meaning you can probably start hearing “dada” and “mama.”

While it is more likely that your baby just babbles constantly, it doesn’t mean he is not picking up on comprehension. At this stage, your little one might still be comprehending more from your tone than the actual words. This means the more you talk to your baby, the better he learns how to communicate.

Careful, though, as this also means whatever you say, he might end up imitating.

Your 9 month old is able to understand what you tell him better through your actions than through your words.

This stage plays an important role in helping your baby understand the difference between emotions as well as the good and the bad.

Through the tone of your voice, your baby can pick up if you are pleased or not. He may now also start to understand the word “no,” however, he may not obey it just yet or at least not all the time. Using the word sparingly can help your baby understand it better. Saying “no” and following up by removing him from the scene or taking away the object you don’t want him touching or sucking while introducing a new object will help him pick up its meaning.

9 month old development and milestones

Is your 9 month old baby a fussy eater?

Health and Nutrition

By this time, your bub should weigh between 8kg and 9.9 kg and should measure about 65.7 cm to 74.2 cm in height.

Your tiny tot might start to become a picky eater, so it’s important to ensure that you’ve started establishing healthy eating habits to ensure he doesn’t miss out on nutrition. This is also a good time to introduce new textures, tastes and flavours to your baby’s diet.

Your baby’s sleeping patterns might also change around this time as he begins to enjoy playtime more, be it in the day or at night.

Tips for parents

Plan your baby’s meal according to HPB’s my healthy plate. A baby at this age should consume about 750 ml of milk in a day. He should have 1-2 portions of rice and alternatives, 1/2 portions each of whole grain, fruits, vegetables, and meat and alternatives. For details, follow this link

When to worry

If your baby is losing percentiles in height or weight, it is a cause of concern. If he is not eating properly, you should talk to your doctor about it. 

Parting comments!

How your baby speaks, acts, learns, and plays offers essential clues about his development. 

While these are common developmental feats that can be observed in 9 month olds, it is important to remember that each baby is unique when it comes to meeting their milestones. This guide is only to help you find out what your baby might be able to achieve at this stage.

If you are concerned about your baby’s development, it is always best to consult your paediatrician to ensure that you are properly guided.

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