Your baby at 9 months
Cruising, crawling and sitting back down. Everything you can expect to see at this age.
Your baby might be cruising soon, standing up and moving while holding onto furniture. Learning to sit down afterwards is a whole other ball game – most babies find this much more difficult that the act of standing up. Don’t bother buying shoes yet – it’s better for their balance if they can feel the ground with their feet.
Your baby is really starting to know what they want – and they may scream in annoyance if you take it away. Distracting their attention by pointing at something else in mock surprise is a good way to take their mind off the injustice.
You might think your baby’s babble is meaningless, but psychologists think they are actually talking to us – it’s just that we can’t understand them yet. The babble follows the same rhythms and cadences of real speech – they’re basically doing a few training laps. It’s important to keep talking to them, pointing out trees and birds when you’re out together to help their speech along. Singing is good too: there’s research showing babies who are sung to a lot tend to speak earlier. Don’t worry – they don’t really care if you’re tone deaf, they love your voice even if no one else does.
You’ll notice your baby is developing a sense of humour and responding happily to gestures like waving or blowing kisses. If you haven’t yet taken them to a baby group, it’s a good time to encourage their socialibility and get them used to the company of others the same age – even if they do play on their own for most of the time and you wonder why you bothered!
How to help
- It’s a good time to introduce turn-taking – though to be fair, most two-year-olds are still struggling with this one. Choose a toy and say ‘my turn’ then hand it to them and say ‘your turn’. It’s all good practice
- Tickling games are almost unbearably exciting for babies of this age, as they can anticipate when the tickle is coming – which will make them giggle almost more than the tickle itself. Playing ‘This little piggy’ with their toes is up there with the greatest games ever
- Finger painting. Or perhaps that should be fist painting. Your heart may sink, but it’s a good time to start basic creative activities. Using rolls of old wallpaper is a good way to have fun and minimise the mess
- Problem-solving toys are good at this age: shape sorters, stacking rings and toys with things hidden inside
Game of the month
Heads, shoulders, knees and toes. They won’t be able to join in quite yet, but they’ll love watching you sing the song while you point to the parts of the body. Help them point to their nose and ask, ‘where’s [their name]’s nose?’ (they don’t understand the concept or ‘your’ or ‘my’ yet, so use their name instead.
Are they normal?
A small note on developmental milestones: it’s really true – all babies are different and although we can encourage them, they will do things at their own pace and in their own time.
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