Nine Months Old
At the end of this month, your baby will have reached nine months old! That is exciting. Your once tiny baby who couldn’t even hold his or her own head up is probably crawling or rolling all over the house. Some kiddos may even start walking by the end of this month, but that is super early.
Your baby’s sleep time has continued to decrease with an extended period overnight accompanied by shortened daytime naps. The morning nap may be nearly nonexistent at this point. Maybe a short snooze after breakfast followed by a longer afternoon nap. When your baby suddenly increases sleep time, this is often a sign of growth. During growth spurts, babies are sometimes more fatigued and hungrier.
Sleep has a positive effect on physical development, and your baby needs all the help he or she can get right now. Muscles, bones, and joints are all working to help your child achieve their biggest feat yet—walking.
Your baby is continuing to eat baby food (jarred or homemade) and drink breastmilk or formula. Breastfeeding moms, you may feel that your one on one is quickly evaporating. It is probably slowing down some, but your baby already knows how much you love him or her. Keep doing the things you are doing. Formula feeding moms, those quiet bottle times are probably decreasing for you as well. Snuggle up when you can. Your baby knows where the good snuggles are. Dads, you should get in there too. Nothing feels better than a safe hug from a caring parent. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned your baby may need vitamins or supplements.
No, your baby is not grabbing a bar and raising themselves up, though you might swear they can. They are strong little people. Your little one is probably trying to pull up into a stand if they aren’t already. Crawling is great, but look how mommy walks! That looks like fun. Clear a safe space for your baby to try to pull to a stand. He or she is going to bump their head. It’s just going to happen. Be ready with a big hug when the coffee table bites them.
Your baby’s eyesight is fantastic. It is improving daily, and they can now see across the room. They are still intently watching everything, and dropping things is so much fun. Your baby seems to be thinking, “How many times can I make grandma pick up my bear? She’s so funny. She does it way more than dad. Grandma is the best.” I will bet grandma is the best. So are mom or dad.
Cognitive development still revolves heavily on social and emotional development. Those connections in the brain need safe, loving environments with great models. That’s your job, parents.
Hide and Seek
While your baby isn’t hiding, he or she loves a good game of peek-a-boo, and if you hide a toy instead of your face, that is even better. Babies will enjoy finding lost things. Pretending you can’t see a baby trying to hide their face is the epitome of hilariousness right now. Your baby will find these games highly entertaining. They also serve cognitive development. Your baby will learn about inside, outside, under, over, and other placement concepts and vocabulary just by playing this game.
Your baby can hear your instructions and knows what they mean. “No” is one of the first concepts they get. They may even be saying it. Your baby can also understand instructions, generally speaking. While they may not be ready to clean up right now, they will understand that when you get coats or hats, this means a ride in the car. When you are cleaning up and changing their clothes, this means bedtime. They will also begin to pick out words like bottle, eat, lunch, nap, and leave. They are much more receptive in their language skills right now.
Strangers are still a source of fear. While genuine separation anxiety doesn’t set in quite yet, your baby may not like being in the presence of strangers. Familiar adults will be their preferred companions. If your baby is beginning childcare at this stage, it may take a few days for them to warm up to the idea.
Causes for Concern
Most of the milestones for six or seven months old should be met by now. If it seems they are not standing and weight-bearing with support, this might be a cause for concern. Additionally, if playtime is still one-directional or your child appears to lack social development, this is unusual. Talking to your doctor can help you find ways to help your child grow and develop more.
You are still doing a fantastic job. You are nearing the full year mark. You will spend the majority of your time chasing your little one around the house. You will quickly learn how well you have baby-proofed your house. Enjoy these moments. They do not last long.