9 Months Old - Baby Growth, Development, Milestones & Activities

Your 9 Months Old Baby Growth and Development

A quarter short of completing a year of his life, your baby at nine months is at the most exciting growth stage. At nine months, your baby is surely crawling its way to every nook and corner of the house, probably even trying to stand using support, occasionally babbling or even calling you “Mama” or “Dada” for the first time. An adorable phase, there are several key developments at this age which indicate healthy growth There are several physical, social, emotional and mental indicators that characterise this stage of the child’s development.

Video: Your 9 Month Old Baby’s Growth & Development

Growth of the Baby

A none month-old baby playing all by himself

A delightful age, where everything they do is funny and entertaining, you can see your little one growing into a mimic, comedian or performer of a kind. Your baby’s comprehending skills are improving, and he will be more sophisticated in their natural ways. Your baby can put away toys, dismantle them, be more aware of your misses when playing games and even raise objections to specific actions that are not within his routine.

Baby Development

Be prepared to hear a lot of babbling from your baby as he gets closer to mouthing meaningful words. The first words that you eagerly expect – “Mama or Dada” could come out of his mouth and he may well know what it means. If your baby is an early talker, he may be using a few words already. Your baby will be using body language and noises to communicate and get your attention.

Your baby has learnt emotions especially caution and fear. These will be rampant when he is around a new atmosphere or with strangers. He enjoys playing with educative toys or seeing pictures in a book and likes to listen to conversations with different sounds and noises. He enjoys the occasional game of peekaboo or even finding hidden toys, and he is crawling and propelling himself in all directions.

Some babies can stand up with support by holding a piece of furniture or your hand. In some cases, babies tend to start walking with support. Babies at this stage also start becoming independent and try and hold things with their thumb and index finger. They may poke things with their index finger. Some babies try and hold their own cup, the bottle or even a spoon while eating. They become more vociferous and gesticulate to express something.

36 Week Old Baby Development

Separation Pangs

Remember, now and for the coming weeks, there will be anxiety involved when you separate from your baby. Your baby has got accustomed to you, and fear of anyone else is absolutely normal. Babies may be apprehensive of strangers or even grandparents and care providers. The transition can be made easy by adopting a slow approach and letting the baby make the first move.

Travel Woes

Your baby is now at a stage where he has comfortably settled in his own surroundings and loves his space. It could be your own home, the nursery or daycare. So, if you intend on travelling or undertaking a journey, make sure you are prepared for some unexpected behaviour. Your baby likes to see the familiar faces, predictable surroundings around him as it has now become routine. Visiting a new place or a stranger could upturn his sense of security and make him restless.

37 Week Old Baby Development

By week 37, your baby will start remembering and registering information in his tiny brain. He can recollect where his toys are located around the house, and also mimics actions seen about a week ago. These skills exhibit his recalling skills – the ability to remember details of any experience specific to something for a short period. A conscious memory of specific events is not likely to develop until the two or three years of age when kids start speaking.

38 Week Old Baby Development

The barrage of words that your baby has heard since birth is now beginning to weave its magic. The understanding of these words is definitely out there, loud and clear, but the ability to use the words is far more restricted. The constant jabbering of words will not start to sound like real words, sentences or even phrases. Your baby is blabbering something in a manner of trying to convey a message. Don’t look quizzical and respond to it to encourage speech. Your baby will also follow the tone of your voice than your actual words. Babies can understand the emotions that underline your tone and also relate to your expressions. Communicate more to improve their ability to speak sooner.

39 Week Old Baby Development

You baby’s personality is budding. Broad smiles, actions and gesticulations at everyone he meets, sometimes coy and shy when around strangers are quite common traits at this stage. Your baby may now take charge boldly or gauge a situation carefully before bonding with others. You may come across those occasional mood swings, or dramatic behaviour is owing to temperamental changes.

Baby’s Health

At this age, the baby has multiple vaccines lined up. Start with MMR, which is considered a compulsory vaccine, along with an oral dose 1 lac IU of vitamin A. In addition, you can take a vaccination for typhoid, if not taken already and another one, the meningococcal vaccine, meant to protect from brain infection. Babies at this age are also prone to ear infections. If your baby has had several instances of ear-ache, it is best to discuss a long-term solution for the problem with your doctor.

Baby Milestones – 9 Months

The developmental milestones in your nine-month-old can be categorized into three categories – cognitive, physical, and social and emotional. Each category has a set of typical individual accomplishments and associated traits.

  1. Cognitive Development:

This pertains to the mental prowess, analytical abilities and prudence of the baby, which are displayed as below:

  • Mimicking gestures and sounds

Your baby’s cognitive ability will help to imitate gestures and sounds at nine months of age. A child can decipher when a parent asks him to make a sound or gesticulate. He can wave back when someone waves at him.

  • Miming syllables

A baby would be able to repeat words formed with one or two syllables like Mama and Dada even though it may not be directed to the right person.

  • Understands the importance of “No.”

Your baby will understand that “No” is a negative instruction and understands the purpose of the command. The child will avoid doing anything that will evoke a negative response from parents.

  • Pointing

Your baby will point towards objects, people or direction to display interest.

  • Locating things

Babies have a distinct cognitive ability to locate a hidden object with their sharpened memory at this stage.

  1. Physical changes:
  • Crawling, sitting and standing with support

By the ninth month, your baby will crawl effortlessly. An infant can even crawl and sit for a long period of time owing to stronger lower back muscles. The leg muscles are stronger and can support the weight of the body. Some babies can even stand up with support momentarily.

  • Grasping and holding objects

The index finger and the thumb can touch each other (pincer grasp), helping the baby to get a grip on objects to hold. He can use this grip to hold his spoon while eating. He can grab other’s clothes and pull to get attention.

  • Parachute reflex

The body automatically puts the hands forwards when the head faces down. It is the body’s own way of preventing a head injury during a fall.

  • Increase use of limbs

At nine months, babies use their arms and hands to pass or throw objects.

  • Sharp sight

Ocular muscles, which strengthen the eye movement help the baby to track moving objects.

  • Sleep pattern

Your baby develops day and night cycle rhythym and might sleep less during the day and sleep for longer hours during the night.

  1. Social and Emotional Development:

Your baby will now start developing social interacting skills, behaviour and emotional state of being, too.

  • Comfortable around primary caretakers and familiar faces

Your baby will prefer to be with you or his caregiver and would cry if separated. He will enjoy physical contact and try as much to please you. Babies at nine months love to be around their known faces like grandparents, family friends who visit often.

  • Anxious around strangers

A baby panics and cries when amidst strangers and new faces. A baby will crawl towards a parent, however friendly the stranger may be.

  • Preference for toys

Babies may prefer some toys to others as they like playing and exploring new things with them.

Each baby is unique, and all of these milestones may appear and develop at a different pace. There could be signs which indicate poor development and you could seek medical intervention.


This month will probably be characterised by high pitched squeals as your baby is developing hia vocal chords. Babies differ – some are passive, some loud, or some completely quiet. Observe your baby’s eyes keenly when there is a loud noise. His eyes should move according to the decibel levels and focus on the object that is making the noise. Watch how he moves his body very closely. It is the parents who are the first to notice any developmental issues or physical problems in their baby. Early medical intervention, even if the issue seems negligible, could prove worthwhile later on.

A 9 Month-Old Baby’s Activities

  1. With increased flexibility in moving the body, babies can be encouraged to exert themselves physically. Try to engage them in activities to grab or pass things to move their limbs. Try and help them to stand for some time if they are capable of holding and standing up.
  2. With improved sight, vision and cognitive skills, babies can now pay more attention and understand things. Spend more time with them by reading, singing or just talking to them to stimulate communication and enhanced mental agility.
  3. Babies start developing teeth at this stage, and you could offer them teethers filled with jelly. Anything sweet could be offered to soothe their aching gums.
  4. With a strong pincer grasp, you could encourage your baby to pick up his spoon and eat. It may sound messy, but it is a great way to inculcate independence and also learn to hold objects.

9 Month Old Baby Care

A few simple things to help to care for your nine-month-old baby:

  • Talk and engage your baby in conversations to help him decipher words.
  • Listen and respond keenly to muffled babbling to encourage communication.
  • Schedule play time and play many engaging games like peekaboo, making animal sounds, passing things to make your baby feel loved and secured.
  • Reading is a habit that opens a new world. Read diligently to expand the horizons of the baby’s imagination and for better learning ability at a later stage.
  • Involve in physical activity to strengthen the muscles for walking and running.
  • Ensure your home is baby safe as your baby can now grab anything and pop it in his mouth.


Let your child explore his food by trying to eat by himself. It does sound like a mess, but it helps him relate to how food is put in his mouth. Mealtime should not be controlled, but it should be a learning activity where the baby eventually becomes independent. Start by helping him pick up finger food like chopped fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours. Encourage him to use a spoon to eat pureed food even though it is messy.


At nine months, babies may reduce their hours of sleep, and this transition could make them cranky and tired. Watch out for signs like itchy eyes, constant whining, or other such cues. Do not let your baby get overtired and try not to stay awake too late. Lost sleep could be compensated at night. Establish a routine for everyone’s benefit.

Tips for Parents

  • With visible changes in their behaviour, parents must try to engage their infants of nine months in baby activities.
  • Infant development at 9 months must be tracked and monitored. Support your child in his endeavour to stand and walk rather than frightening him with your fears.
  • Your paediatrician could give you the best feedback on your baby’s weight. Percentile or growth charts are a good way to track 9 month baby weight and see how your child is doing in terms of physical growth.

A nine month-old baby playing

An exciting phase, at nine months your baby is moving into an adorable age where he will be learning to speak, walk, talk, run and much more. It is the ideal time to lay a strong foundation for his personality development!

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