Your Baby At 9 Months
Some of the developments you might expect at 9 months old
Every day your baby’s personality is coming out that little bit more, and with that comes their own sense of humour. You might notice certain actions or noises you make leave your baby in fits of giggles, whether it’s a silly dance or even something as simple as you blowing your nose. They may even try and make you laugh by offering a toy or their snack, then pulling it away at the last minute. At 9 months old you are still baby’s number one playmate, but if you haven’t already, think about going along to a baby group so they have the chance to socialise with others the same age, even if they ignore them and play with you instead!
When will my baby start walking?
It may feel like your baby is whizzing through those big milestones at lightspeed, but walking is likely to be a few months away yet, with most babies taking their first steps at around 13 months. Instead, your baby might start cruising – where they pull themselves up and move around as they hold onto the furniture. If your child is desperate to take their first steps, make sure you support them, by standing or kneeling in front of them and holding both their hands. A stable and sturdy push-along toy also offers a bit of support, so you might want to look into buying something like this to help baby along.
Even if your baby has started to take their first wobbly steps, there’s no need to rush out and buy any shoes just yet. Your baby’s feet grow very quickly and wearing tight shoes or socks may stop their toes from growing and straightening as they should. There’s no need for shoes until your baby is walking on their own and walking outside – barefoot is best for working on their balance, as well as strengthening the arches of their feet, so keep things simple for now.
Although your 9-month-old has likely mastered the art of pulling themselves up, sitting down is a trickier matter altogether. You might see baby bending their knees – like a little baby squat – in practise for what is to come later on.
You might notice your baby putting together sounds that start to resemble real words, like mama and dada, amongst all that babbling. Even though most of what they are saying makes no sense, for baby this is their way of talking with you, so respond and keep up the everyday commentary so they are exposed to as many different words as possible. At 9 months old, it’s the tone of your voice, rather than the actual words your baby understands, however they will likely understand the word “no”, even if they don’t do as you ask! It won’t be long until your baby begins to understand simple sentences like “give Mummy the cup”.
Even if they can’t communicate with you properly yet, if you’ve been practising baby sign language with them you might start to notice baby using some simple gestures, like touching their mouth if they are hungry.
Why is my baby so clingy?
Separation anxiety is very common at 9 months old and it’s normal for your baby to cling onto you – and only you – even if they are with other familiar faces like grandparents or childminders. It’s really beneficial for your baby to spend time with different people, with you around, so they can prepare for when you are apart. Don’t force things – even if your baby’s grandparents are desperate for a cuddle, explain that they shouldn’t immediately jump in, but give baby space and time to warm up, then let baby make the first move.
Things to try with baby this month
- Get the paints out. Yes, it’s messy but finger painting is a great way to encourage creativity as well as a fun sensory experience for your 9-month-old.
- Show your baby a squeaky toy, then hide it under a blanket. Ask your baby “where’s the toy?” and encourage them to find it. It really helps develop their understanding of object permanence.
- Sit facing your baby and roll a ball towards them. Ask them to roll it back to you and cheer and clap when they attempt to. Great for gross motor skills as well as introducing the idea of taking turns.