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Your Baby at 9 Months


How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are the things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 9 months and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

What Most Babies Do at This Age:

Social / Emotional

  • play small buttonMay be afraid of strangers
  • play small buttonMay be clingy with familiar adults
  • play small buttonHas favorite toys

Language / Communication

  • play small buttonUnderstands “no”
  • play small buttonMakes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”
  • Copies sounds and gestures of others
  • Uses fingers to point at things

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • play small buttonWatches the path of something as it falls
  • Looks for things he sees you hide
  • play small buttonPlays peek-a-boo
  • Puts things in her mouth
  • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other
  • Picks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and index finger

Movement / Physical Development

  • Stands, holding on
  • play small buttonCan get into sitting position
  • Sits without support
  • Pulls to stand
  • play small buttonCrawls



Act Early by Talking to Your Child’s Doctor if Your Child:



  • Doesn’t bear weight on legs with support
  • Doesn’t sit with help
  • Doesn’t babble (“mama”, “baba”, “dada”)
  • Doesn’t play any games involving back-and-forth play
  • Doesn’t respond to own name
  • Doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people
  • Doesn’t look where you point
  • Doesn’t transfer toys from one hand to the other

Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay for this age. For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/concerned or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).



Help Your Baby Learn and Grow 

What You Can Do for Your 9-Month-Old

You can help your baby learn and grow. Talk, read, sing and play together every day. Below are some activities to enjoy with your 9-month-old baby today.


  • Pay attention to the way he reacts to new situations and people; try to continue to do things that make your baby happy and comfortable.
  • As she moves around more, stay close so she knows that you are near.
  • Continue with routines; they are especially important now.
  • Play games with “my turn, your turn.”
  • Say what you think your baby is feeling. For example, say, “You are so sad, let’s see if we can make you feel better.”
  • Describe what your baby is looking at; for example, “red, round ball.”
  • Talk about what your baby wants when he points at something.
  • Copy your baby’s sounds and words.
  • Ask for behaviors that you want. For example, instead of saying “don’t stand,” say “time to sit.”
  • Teach cause-and-effect by rolling balls back and forth, pushing toy cars and trucks, and putting blocks in and out of a container.
  • Play peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek.
  • Read and talk to your baby.
  • Provide lots of room for your baby to move and explore in a safe area.
  • Put your baby close to things that she can pull up on safely.


Learn the Signs. Act Early.

Learn the Signs. Act Early.

For more resources and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call 1.800.CDC-INFO (232-4636). 

Or Visit the CDC's Website

Content provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. The milestone checklist is not a substitute for a standardized, validated developmental screening tool.

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