Your 9 month old baby’s development

You are closely approaching the toddler stage with your little one and at 9 months, your baby will be full of exciting developments that seems to happen more every day. During this month, your infant might be crawling, waving “bye-bye,” and moving well into his eating journey with new solids, tastes, and textures. Read on for more of what you can expect from your 9-month-old.

Sigma Doors

Wear your baby in a carrier
As you hit the 9-month-old mark, your little one will be showing all kinds of personality traits, from stubbornness to happiness to determination. At this age, your baby is learning about the world around them and about themselves through exploration, so give your child ample opportunity to let that personality shine. You might set up a safe place in your living room or outside for your baby to explore to their heart’s content, or put out some favorite toys for them to “discover.”

Your baby can understand “no,” even at this young of an age. And while they may not completely understand the language in words just yet, your little one will certainly pick up on your overall body language and your facial expression when saying so. Don’t be afraid to voice the word if your baby is coming near something that could hurt them. The hard parts of parenting—discipline—might already be starting!

As your little one becomes more and more active, it might be harder to get activities done around the house, such as cleaning or computer work. If your little one will tolerate it, you can still wear your baby in a carrier so you can get these basic tasks done. Most babies still love being close to you at this age and it helps you to know exactly where they are—staying out of trouble, preferably!

Your Growing Baby
At 9 months old, your baby will still be rocking the typical “baby” look, with a large head, short, chubby arms and legs, and an adorable pot belly. However, as babies start to become mobile and test their skills standing and walking, they will lose some of that extra chub and replace it with more lean muscle. At 9 months old, your baby will have, on average:

Added about 10 inches in length since birth.
Displayed 0.25–0.5 inches per month of head growth.
Have a slower rate of weight gain, but may be reaching tripling their birth weight.

Developmental Milestones
Okay, parents, brace yourselves: at nine months, your baby is technically closer to being classified as a toddler than an infant. We know—this might be the fastest year of your life! But as soon as your little one starts toddling around on those first few steps, he or she will make the leap into official toddlerhood.

As that transition happens, your baby will lose their newborn reflexes and actively gain more fine gross motor skills. Here are some of the physical and mental developments you can look for this month.

Body

Moves from the stomach to a seated position
Pulls up to a standing position from the floor, using furniture
Creeps or crawls on the ground
Some babies may have unique crawling styles, such as scooting with one leg
Cruises furniture by walking
Stands up unassisted
Walking and/or taking steps
Points or goes for items that they want
Grabs finger foods and feeding herself
Babbles
Imitates words
Waves “bye-bye”
Starts to say simple words like “Ma” and “Da”
Butt scooching
Rolls from back-to-front and front-to-back
Brain

Can see colors well now
Develops specific preferences for tastes and may have favorite and not-so-favorite foods
Shows curiosity
Explores how things work
May express separation anxiety
Remembers where certain items in the house are—no more tricking them by “hiding” items out of sight
Plays, such as rolling a ball back and forth
Loves opening and closing things
When to Be Concerned

At this age, many parents might be focused on the “big” milestone of crawling, but it’s important to remember that all babies develop at different rates, and if your baby isn’t crawling yet, that’s okay. Some babies may not crawl yet and some babies, especially if they are held a lot, may even skip crawling altogether and go straight to walking.

It’s also important to note that all babies have different crawling styles and your little one may display some interesting moves while crawling, such as “scooting” or crawling with one leg up. If you have any concerns about how your baby is crawling or your baby’s crawling development, be sure to talk to your doctor.1

A Tip From Verywell
At this age, many parents may be focused on the “big” milestone of crawling, but if your baby isn’t crawling yet, there’s no need to worry.
A Day in the Life
Babies at this age love to “play,” so it’s important to offer plenty of interaction, from reading books out loud together to playing peek-a-boo to giving your baby toys that will boost their development and education.

Your daily routine will consist of morning wake-up, a morning nap, lunch, an afternoon nap, a snack, playtime and dinner, and a bedtime of around 7 p.m. for most 9-month-olds. Remember that a consistent routine will help your little one get better sleep at night and during nap times.

Baby Care Basics
At 9 months old, you may want to consider starting the process of weaning your baby off of a pacifier or at least decreasing the use of it during the day. Many babies who love their pacifier will most likely put up a pretty good fight over letting it go, so it may be helpful to start the process slowly, rather than just cold-turkey.

For instance, you could only allow your infant to use a pacifier during naps or at bedtime to soothe him to sleep and put the pacifier out of sight during the day. As your baby gets more teeth in, the pacifier may interfere with proper tooth development, so it is important to consider weaning from the pacifier earlier rather than later.

Feeding & Nutrition
Nutrition Needs

Between 8 months and one year of age, your baby needs 750–900 calories a day. Half of that—about 400 to 500 of those calories—should come from breast milk. That equals approximately 24 ounces (720 milliliters) of breast milk each day. Your child can get what they need by continuing to breastfeed from the breast, drinking formula, or taking breast milk in a bottle throughout the day.2

If you are breastfeeding, you can also nurse your child for non-nutritive reasons as well. At this age, your little one may find comfort in nursing, so you can breastfeed your child for comfort when they’re scared, upset, or hurt.

One of the biggest transitions that happens as your baby gets older is the order you offer breast milk and food. In the past, you may have offered your baby breast milk or formula first and then baby food, but at 9 months old, you can give solid foods first and then breastfeed after.3

And while you technically do not have to give your child any water before one year of age, especially if you are still breastfeeding, at 9 months, you can offer your child small sips of water.2 If your child is eating a lot of solids, the water may be helpful to clear their mouth or help hydrate if you happen to live in a warmer climate.

Sample Schedule
When your child is between 8 and 12 months old, you can breastfeed or offer them a bottle in the morning, before naps, after snacks and meals, and at bedtime. To help guide you in feeding your little one, here is a sample schedule for a 9-month-old:

Wake Up

Breastfeed or offer 4–6 ounces (120–180 milliliters) of breast milk or formula in a cup or bottle
Morning Meal

2 ounces (60 milliliters) of cereal
2 ounces of fruit
Breastfeed or 4–6 ounces of breast milk
Mid-Morning Snack

2 ounces of fruit or vegetables
Finger foods
Offer water in a sippy cup
Afternoon Meal

2 ounces of yogurt, meat, or cheese
2 ounces of vegetables
Breastfeed or 4–6 ounces of breast milk
Mid-Afternoon Snack

2 ounces of fruit or vegetables
Finger foods
Water in a sippy cup
Evening Meal

2 ounces of protein, such as chicken or meat
2 ounces of vegetables
2 ounces of fruit
2 ounces of starch, such as pasta, rice, or potatoes
4–6 ounces of breast milk
Bedtime

Breastfeed or 6–8 ounces of breast milk
Breastfeeding Tips
At 9 months old, it is common for infants to be more distracted while breastfeeding as they become more active and curious about the world around them. Don’t be discouraged by this. Instead, try to minimize distractions during nursing and be patient with your little one as they learn to nurse, even with all the wonderful things to see around them. Try these tips:

Nurse in a cool, quiet environment, with darkened lights if possible
Use a nursing cover if your baby tolerates it to minimize distractions
Gently tell your baby “no” if they try to take your nipple with them as they turn their head to look around
Introducing New Foods

As your child grows, they’ll be trying lots of different foods. Here are some tips and recommendations for the process:

Give your child small, frequent feedings: Infants have little bellies, so it’s best to feed them small amounts of food throughout the day.
Don’t force your child to eat: Babies tend to be inconsistent about eating. One day they will eat finger foods and pureed foods willingly, but the next day they may refuse any solid food and opt for the breast or a bottle instead.
Offer a variety of safe finger foods: Finger foods make great snacks. By eight months, your baby can use the thumb and forefinger to pick up small pieces of food. Encourage self-feeding by providing different finger foods for your baby to try such as Cheerios, small pieces of bread, or cut-up cooked chicken, vegetables, or pasta. Even with foods that are safe for infants and toddlers, you should always stay close and watch for signs of choking.
Give the spoon a try: Begin using a spoon to feed your baby and help them to feed themselves. At first, they are more likely to play with the spoon or throw it. But eventually, they will use it to eat, even if it’s after the 1-year mark.
Use a sippy cup: At this age, many infants can begin to hold and practice drinking water, breast milk, or infant formula from a sippy cup.
Introduce foods with different textures: Your baby can now chew, so you can start to add foods that have different textures. Cut-up table foods and soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, pudding, yogurt, jello, and eggs, are good choices.
Start new foods slowly: Continue to introduce new foods one at a time every few days. Watch for signs of a food allergy, which can include a rash, diarrhea, gassiness, spitting up, and vomiting.
Keep an eye out for constipation: Cereal and bananas are popular foods that babies eat at this age, but they can lead to constipation. If your child starts to have difficulty with bowel movements, try adding prunes or other fruits and limit some of the more binding foods for a while.