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A 9-month-old baby is often active and out to discover the world. Read about development milestones, signs of developmental delays, fun learning activities, and best toys for your 9-month-old.

9-month-old baby development
A 9-month-old baby is not sitting still. He or she is moving around one way or the other.

One way for him to move around may very well be by ordering you to carry him/her around to different places. Pointing and shouting an enthusiastic “there” or some form of the word.

Or they might not accept anything less than you holding their hands so that they can walk around.

Take care of your back!

The 9-Month-Old Baby

9 Months Baby Milestones

Physical Development

Weight and Length

The average weight for a 9-month-old baby boy is 19 pounds and 10 ounces (8.9 kg), while the average weight for a 9-month-old baby girl is 18 pounds and 2 ounces (8.2 kg).

When it comes to the length/height, the average height for a 9-month-old baby boy is 28.25 inches (72 cm), and for a baby girl, 27.5 inches (70.1 cm).

As long as your baby is happy and growing at a healthy rate, don’t worry if your baby’s measures are different than these.

Motor skills

  • Walking with support

At nine months, your baby is likely to be able to walk by holding onto furniture or by holding your hands.

At this point, some babies crawl, but some still don’t. If your baby isn’t crawling yet, don’t panic. All babies are different. There is still time for your baby to learn how to crawl. Some babies skip crawling altogether and go straight to the walking.

  • Sitting without support

A 9-month-old baby is also strong enough to sit without support for a while. Take care of your baby’s back, though, and don’t let him sit up in a high chair or a swing for too long.

  • From lying to sitting

Your baby’s arms and shoulders are strong enough for him to push himself up on straight arms if placed on his tummy.

At 9 months, a baby will probably be able to go from lying down on his tummy to a sitting position by himself.  While sitting up, he will turn in different directions, for example, to reach a toy.

  • The pincer grasp

A 9-month-old’s pincer grasp is well-developed. That means she will be able to grab things using only her thumb and index finger. She might start using it often during feeding while trying to pick up food and feed herself.

Cognitive, Emotional and Social Development

  • Communication and first words

Your baby probably babbles all the time. You might even recognize some of the words.

Understanding of words is increasing, and a 9-month-old might even point at a certain object when you mention it.

At 9.5 months, my daughter said her first words – “look there!” Our pediatrician said it was impossible that she actually said it and meant it. The doctor was wrong!

Some kids say their first word at around nine or ten months, while others wait a few months longer.

Not only does your baby’s understanding of words increases, but she also understands how you feel from the tone of your voice.

Give her a lot of praise for her achievements and tell her often how much you love her.

From your body language and the tone of your voice, your baby can also understand what “no” means at this point. If you feel there is a certain boundary that needs to be set, you can slowly start working on it.

Emotionally, your baby is now mature enough to understand other people’s feelings. She will know if you’re sad.

  • Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is now at its peak and will remain so during the next few months. Babies are very different, but some only want to be in their mother’s arms, more or less all the time. Tough for both mom and dad!

If you can, try to avoid being separated from your baby during this period. He obviously needs you!

To help your baby during this difficult time, protect him from too enthusiastic strangers. Tell people, including grandparents, if needed, to approach him slowly. Don’t force him to interact with a stranger if he doesn’t want to. Separation anxiety is a natural part of your baby’s development!

  • Recall memory develops

Your baby’s recall memory is developing during this month. She might not remember things for a long time, but she will be able to remember for a week or even a bit more.

9-Month-Old Baby Sleep Pattern

Unfortunately, for a lot of 9-month-olds, this is a period of bad sleep again. Similar to the one at 4 months and the one that happens at 18 months of age.

Some of the causes for your baby’s disrupted sleep patterns might be separation anxiety that reaches its peak or the developmental leap that is happening.

Somewhere between 8 – 10 months of age, a baby goes through another sleep regression.

My youngest slept for 8 hours without interruption at 4 months old. At 4.5 months, he started to wake up every hour for no apparent reason. Not hungry, not sick, sometimes not even sad. He lay in his bed, babbling wide awake.

At 5.5 months, things were improving rapidly again, with the help of our continued sleep routines. At 9.5 months old, he started waking up at 4.30 am. Every night.

How did we fix it? Well, I wrote a whole article sharing our experience. Don’t despair!

Warning signs of developmental delays at 9 Months

Although all babies develop at their own pace, by the time a baby reaches 9 months, there are some signs that might point to a developmental delay.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should talk to your child’s doctor if you notice that your 9-month-old baby:

  • Doesn’t bear weight on legs with support
  • Doesn’t sit with help
  • Doesn’t babble (“mama,” “baba,” “dada”)
  • Doesn’t play any games involving back-and-forth play
  • Doesn’t respond to own name
  • Doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people
  • Doesn’t look where you point
  • Doesn’t transfer toys from one hand to another

Games To Play

9-month-old baby development milestonesHitting blocks against each other is great fun. The higher the noise the better…

Hide and find and peek-a-boo are great games to help your baby understand that things and people do not disappear even if you can’t see them, This might be especially good to help your baby cope with his/her separation anxiety.

Putting things in a container and taking them out again is something that many 9-month-old babies enjoy. For example, put different fabrics into a bag and let your baby take them out.

Reading picture books with photos is good now when your baby is learning words and their meanings.

For 9-month-old babies that have learned to crawl or creep, a pillow mountain can be a great adventure. Build one and help your baby climb it.

Music, especially with movements, like Itsy Bitsy Spider can now be a lot of fun. Your baby may go out of his way to imitate the movements you do.

Talk a lot to your baby now (again…). Take turns saying words like dada, baba, or whatever. And listen carefully to what your baby says even if you can’t understand what he means.

Best Toys for a 9-Month-Old

If your baby is not moving around yet, or if your little one likes to take a break now and then, a gym that he can use sitting up, can be a good investment. Also, toys with big buttons to press like a phone or a baby piano might be fun. Here is a popular one!

If your baby is crawling, he is probably not very interested in anything more than doing just that!

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9 Month Old Baby Video

In this video, you can see some rather typical 9-month-old babies in action. Moving around, sitting without support playing, and not wanting to be left alone on the floor. The video does show babies that are happily put down in the crib for a nap, but I would say that many 9-month-old babies will not go down alone without crying. Separation anxiety is still too strong.

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More About the 9-Month-Old Baby

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