9-Month Development Milestones

Can you believe that your baby is only three short months away from their first birthday? The nine-month mark is an exciting time for your baby as they begin to crawl, stand up and form their first words.  While some of the nine-month developmental milestones will build off of the skills that your baby acquired at six months, you will notice your baby doing some completely new skills.

9month milestones

1.     Cognitive development:
While they still enjoy games such as peak-a-boo, you will begin to notice that they enjoy throwing food or toys on the floor. Don’t worry, your baby is not misbehaving –they are just trying to learn where things go.  Your baby will also enjoy pointing to let you know what they find interesting. They will even begin to understand gestures like waving goodbye when people are leaving.

When your baby points out objects, tell them the word that they are pointing to. In addition, playing games like patty cake will encourage your baby to imitate actions. At nine-months, imitation is an important way for babies to learn.

2.     Social and Emotional Development:
At this time, your baby will begin to show distress when they become separated from you. They might cry when you leave and show that they are frustrated when they can’t have something that they want. As a coping mechanism, they will suck their thumb to calm themselves.

 If your baby starts to cry when they see you leave, stay positive.  Use a reassuring voice to tell your baby that you will come back. This way, your baby will understand that you are not leaving forever.

3.     Language and communication development:
Even though your nine-month old may not be able to say a lot of words, that does not mean that they cannot understand them. Your baby may even be able to follow simple directions such as, “give it to me.” In addition, your baby will be able to communicate non-verbally if they dislike something by stiffening or arching their back.

To help your baby learn more words, talk to them about what is happening or what they are doing. The more you talk and explain things to your baby, the more information they will absorb.


Remember, not all babies will reach these 9-month milestones at the same time. If you have any questions, or are worried about your baby’s developmental milestones, call the Help Me Grow 2-1-1 hotline.