Movement Milestones for Your 9-Month-Old
At 9 months, your baby is on the move and becoming an expert explorer. You have probably noticed major changes in their sleep, feeding and social habits, as well as increased mobility. Read on for more information about movement milestones that you can expect for your 9-month-old.
Your baby is becoming more curious and engaged every day. This growing curiosity will help them achieve important new behaviors and skills.
Movement milestones to look for at 9 months and tips to encourage your baby:
- Going from belly or back to a sitting position. Your baby may become frustrated when attempting this for the first time, but positive encouragement can give them the support they need to keep trying.
- Moving things from one hand to the other hand. Mealtime is a great time to develop this skill. Let them feed themselves and practice moving food or child-safe utensils from hand to hand. Although this may be messy in the beginning, your baby will get better with time!
- Sitting up without support. Once your baby is sitting up on their own, you can keep them engaged and stimulated by reading to them while they’re sitting up. Your little one is sure to explore the different shapes, textures, colors and designs.
- Starting to crawl or scoot. Encourage crawling and scooting by placing a trail of fun toys for your baby to play with and pick up.
It’s important to remember that the way you respond to and communicate with your baby when they reach different milestones helps build a trusting and caring relationship. Responding through verbal praise, clapping, smiling and showing excitement are all great ways to show your baby that they can trust you (and themselves). This is an important part of building resilience in infants that will last a lifetime.
Safety tips for parents and caregivers
Now that your baby is on the move and exploring more than just their immediate surroundings, safety and child proofing are very important.
Be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Lower your baby's crib mattress. Before your baby can sit or pull up, lower their crib mattress to prevent falls.
- Keep furniture safe and secure. Now that your baby is beginning to pull up onto household furniture, it is important to ensure that they are safe by securing furniture to the walls.
- Always watch your baby on elevated surfaces. When your baby is on any elevated surface, such as a bed, couch or changing table, always watch them to prevent them from rolling or falling off.
- Always watch your baby while they are on their tummy. This includes during sleep. Remember to follow the ABCs of safe sleep when it’s time for a nap or nighttime sleep.
- Only use infant activity centers, jumpers and bouncers for up to 30 minutes at a time. Although these products can be engaging, they are considered confining equipment and do not allow baby to have full range of their body, which is needed for proper growth and development.
- Do not use baby walkers or activity centers that have wheels and allow baby to move. The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a ban on these devices as they pose a high risk of danger, even with a caregiver present.
Ready to learn about what to expect next? We’ve got you covered with milestones for 12-month-olds.
Note: If you’re concerned about your baby meeting their milestones, talk with their pediatrician.