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A quarter short of completing a year of their 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.
Growth of the Baby
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 or she 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 their routine
Be prepared to hear a lot of babbling from your baby as he or she gets closer to mouthing meaningful words. The first words that you eagerly expect – “Mama or Dada” could come out of their mouth and they may well know what it means. If your baby is an early talker, they 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 they are around a new atmosphere or with strangers. They enjoy playing with educative toys or seeing pictures in a book and like to listen to conversations with different sounds and noises. They enjoy the occasional game of peekaboo or even finding hidden toys, and they are crawling and propelling themselves 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 or even without any 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
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 let the baby make the first move.
Your baby is now at a stage where they have comfortably settled in their own surroundings and love the confines of their 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 their sense of security and make them restless.
37 Week Old Baby Development
By week 37, your baby will start remembering and registering information in her tiny brain. He or she can recollect where their toys are located around the house and also mimic actions seen about a week ago. These skills exhibit their 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 they 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 they meet, 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.
Your 9-month old is not due for any shots or immunizations. You will need to prepare for a routine doctor’s visit when your baby is around 12 months old. However, babies at this age are 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.
If your baby is bottle-fed, you can stop sterilizing the bottles if you feel confident. However, remember to wash them thoroughly with hot, soapy water and rinse them well.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Your baby will point towards objects, people or direction to display their interest.
- Locating things
Babies have a distinct cognitive ability to locate a hidden object with their sharpened memory at this stage.
- Physical changes:
- Crawling, sitting and standing without 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.
- 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. They can use this grip to hold their spoon while eating.
- 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 might sleep less during the day and sleep for longer hours during the night.
- 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. They 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 their 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. Their eyes should move according to the decibel levels and focus on the object that is making the noise. Watch how they move their 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- With a strong pincer grasp, you could encourage your baby to pick up their 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 them decipher words.
- Listen and respond keenly to their muffled babbling to encourage communication.
- Schedule play time and play as 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 world to them. Read diligently to expand the horizons of their 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 their mouth.
Let your child explore their food by trying to eat themselves. It does sound like a mess, but it helps them relate to how food is put in their mouth. Mealtime should not be controlled, but it should be a learning activity where the baby eventually becomes independent. Start by helping them pick up finger food like chopped fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours. Encourage them to use a spoon to feed themselves their 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 any other 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 their endeavour to stand and walk rather than frighten them 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.
An exciting phase, at nine months your baby is moving into an adorable age where they will be learning to speak, walk, talk, run and much more. It is the ideal time to lay a strong foundation for their personality development.
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