Your Baby’s Development: Month 9

As a new parent, nothing is more satisfying than seeing your baby happy. Seeing them smile for the first time, crawl for the first time, and talk for the first time are momentous achievements to celebrate. But, there also are the smaller milestones, such as lifting their head and turning their face toward a familiar voice, that have a profound impact on your baby’s development.

Milestones are practical guideposts designed to help you identify and celebrate your child’s accomplishments. From birth to 5, ParentPal’s 180 research-based milestones provide you with thoroughly vetted information, giving you a wonderful way to anticipate, encourage, and celebrate your little one’s developments.

Here’s a quick breakdown of milestones to look for in month 9.

Social-Emotional: Plays peekaboo

Once your baby begins looking for objects that have fallen or are partially hidden, it’s clear that his or her memory is improving and that object permanence is emerging. Baby’s favorite game might now be peekaboo. Rather than being startled by your disappearance and sudden reappearance, baby finds it fun and funny.

Self Help: Picks up a small cup

Your little one is now able to pick up a small cup using two hands simultaneously. Baby’s grip is strong—the thumb and fingers are working together and his or her lips are able to curve around the cup’s rim. With your help, baby can learn to drink from the cup, thus taking an important first step toward giving up the bottle.

Gross Motor: Moves forward on tummy

Your baby may find any number of ways to move forward somehow on his or her stomach. Baby may be rolling from place to place or simply lunging or pulling with one or both arms. Most babies start belly to ground, and pull themselves forward by wriggling or by arm movements. All these actions likely will lead to crawling.

Fine Motor: Picks up with two hands

Your baby is quickly learning to coordinate the use of both hands to pick up large objects. Meeting this milestone reflects how baby’s increasing fine-motor skills help him or her satisfy a growing curiosity about…everything. Be prepared for baby to pick up and then drop items, over and over.

Expressive Language: Says “da-da,” “ma-ma”

Babbling is becoming more speech-like as baby experiments with intonation. Perhaps by accident, syllables such as “ma” and “da” are repeated to say “ma-ma” and “da-da.” Your over-the-top excitement will cause baby to realize he or she has said something quite significant; soon, he or she will use those words to get your attention.

Things to Keep in Mind

Remember, it’s not a race and no two babies are alike. Your baby may exhibit some of these behaviors earlier or later than others. Some may simply be skipped. Milestones are meant to be helpful guideposts for parents to ensure their baby is on the right path developmentally.

If you are ever concerned about your child’s development, contact your pediatrician.

Learn more about your baby’s milestones and how you can help foster physical and cognitive development in the ParentPal app.