Baby's Ninth Month: A Guide to Development and Milestones
All about your 9-month-old baby!
Physical development: Baby’s developed her pincer grasp between her thumb and forefinger by now and may be pulling up to stand and cruising along the furniture, says Seattle Children's Hospital's Dr. Mollie Greves Grow. Baby will also be teething and might experience discomfort as teeth break through. Offer a cool, wet washcloth or a teething ring, suggests the Mayo Clinic. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that as soon as teeth begin to appear, wash them daily using a soft toothbrush and a smear of fluoridated toothpaste.
Brain development: Baby’s’ fine motor skills with her fingers and gross motor skills are progressing. Everything is a learning opportunity. Baby is very interested in picture books, sounds and touch.
Social development: Baby is more aware of people other than her parents, and her need for you may increase, says Grow.
Fun fact or milestone: You can watch her pick up her own Cheerios! Allow baby the freedom to feed herself, despite the mess. Allow enough time for self-feeding, and always supervise closely.
What to watch for/common concerns: Baby may go back to not sleeping as well through the night because she is having a spurt in motor development and is more aware of her environment, says Grow.
Your baby might reach some developmental milestones ahead of schedule and lag behind a bit on others, according to the Mayo Clinic. Consult your baby's doctor if you're concerned about your baby's development or your baby:
- Isn't interested in rolling over, sitting or other types of movement
- Isn't interested in reaching for objects or putting objects in her mouth
- Doesn't respond to sounds or visual cues
- Resists eye contact
- Doesn't babble, coo or imitate common sounds
Trust your instincts. The earlier a problem is detected, the earlier it can be treated.
One important thing you can do for your baby: Begin to teach sign language with your baby for common words (more, milk, all done, eat/food, etc.), says Grow. You can also begin to teach cause and effect, suggest the Mayo Clinic. Push buttons on a musical toy and then dance to the music. Play peekaboo and let your baby pry your hands away from your smiling face.