Growth & Development: 6-9 Months
Throughout the first year of life, your baby will undergo rapid social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. He will recognize your face and imitate gestures you make, such as smiling or sticking out your tongue. Your baby will begin to crawl, and later walk, expanding his reach from just inside a crib to the entire world. He will start to babble, eventually forming sounds and then words like ‘mama' and ‘dada.' She'll start swatting at objects and eventually learn to grasp and even feed herself. These miraculous changes develop over time and at different rates for different children, but keep in mind the following developmental generalizations as you watch your child grow.
As your baby starts to get older, it is exciting to see all of the developmental changes that start to take shape. You may begin to see your child trying harder to do things for himself like crawl, clap, hold onto objects, “babble” and try to stand up on his own two feet. This stage of life will allow you to play with your child on a whole new level as you watch his mind grow. As always, it's important to remember that all children develop at different speeds, so try to be patient and understanding while your child starts to explore the world around him.
How to Support Your Child's Learning Process
- Talk about the objects around you, so that he can match up things with their names
- Use your baby's name when you talk to him: ‘Where's Jack's hat? ' This activity will help him in his understanding of sounds and language
- Look at picture books together
- Many babies are able to sit without support, although for the first couple of weeks you'll need to stay close by to prevent him nose-diving out of his precarious new position
- Play with stacking toys: these make use of his developing ability to organize the world around him, and develop his hand-eye co-ordination
- Use a firm, low pitched voice to describe dangerous objects or areas (a hot stove or sharp table, for example). This helps to show the importance of some things being off-limits
- Try to baby proof your home before your infant begins crawling by covering electrical outlets and other safety risks
Social and Emotional Development
- At this stage in your baby's life, his/her developmental and physical abilities increase. Your child is unique and the timeline of when he or she will hit certain milestones will vary.
- Since you child is becoming increasingly aware of the world around him, your child may start to grab onto things, bang objects to hear the sound they make and develop a better control of their body and their actions.
- Some babies at this age develop what is called “stranger anxiety”. This is when your infant shows signs of distress when they do not recognize a person near them or their parents are out of the room. This period is not permanent, and usually fades over time
- Sits up without being supported
- Starts to stand. This developmental stage varies for each child, however, some infants are able to pull themselves up and hold onto furniture by 9 months
- Begins to crawl. Some infants never crawl, however, by 9 months, many babies find crawling to be an exciting way to get around.
- Develops hand-eye coordination
Cognitive & Language Development
- Many babies at this stage are able to “babble”, meaning they try to verbalize the sounds they hear.
- Infants between 6 and 9 months begin to develop a better awareness of the world. With this in mind, you may notice that your child starts to develop the ability to realize that objects still exist, despite the fact that they are out of sight.
This information was compiled by Sunindia Bhalla, and reviewed by the Program Staff of The Children’s Trust.