Development and Characteristics of a Nine Month Old Baby

Parenting September 27, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 9 Month Old Baby



How I Grow

  • I may crawl and turn around while holding something in one hand.
  • I crawl up steps, but I may not be able to crawl back down yet.
  • I may sit by myself and turn my body all the way around without losing balance.
  • I may be able to stand for a little while if you hold my hand.
  • I sidestep along furniture.
  • I don’t really need shoes to help me learn how to walk. When I start walking, shoes will protect my feet.
  • I try to build towers with blocks or toys.
  • I poke my fingers into holes or into anything that looks interesting.
  • I pick up small things with my first finger and thumb, and larger things with both hands.
  • I like to bang things together.
  • I feed myself finger foods. I'm pretty messy!
  • I play with a spoon and a cup, but I'm not good at using them yet.

How I Talk

  • I understand some words, my name, and simple sentences.
  • I repeat one or more sounds over and over.
  • I like to cough, click my tongue, and make hissing noises.
  • I listen to people talking and try to copy the sounds.
  • I say two-syllable sounds such as "choo-choo," "da-da," and "ma-ma."

How I Respond

  • I like to watch people scribbling on paper.
  • I like to show people what I can do and love it when they clap their hands for me.
  • I sometimes want praise when I do something well.

How I Feel

  • I'm very sensitive. If I see another baby crying, I will cry, too.
  • I am afraid of a lot of things that didn't bother me before, such as taking a bath. I may be afraid of heights.
  • I am very determined and sometimes stubborn - that's all part of my growing up. For example, I may "test" you by trying to throw food when you feed me or by crying when you put me to bed.

How I Understand

  • I try to figure things out by myself.
  • I know that if I partly cover my eyes or look upside down, everything will look different.
  • I know which toys are mine and get upset when they are taken away.
  • I can remember a game, person, or toy from the day before.
  • I can tell what kind of mood people are in by looking at them.

For more information on your baby's development, check out developmental milestones on the American Academy of Pediatrics Web site or on the Centers for Disease Control site at

Learn more about Your 9 Month Old Baby from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.
Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.