Baby Development at 9 Months

Physical:  Baby is able to “rake” food from highchair tray or bowl.  As the term implies, this action involves baby dragging the open fingers of one hand across a surface.  This is a precursor to picking up food using the “pincer” grasp.

Cognitive:  Baby can distinguish emotion by the tone of an adult’s voice.   Baby begins vocalizing first sounds, which include Ba-Ba, Ma-Ma and Da-Da.

Social/Emotional:  Stranger anxiety has really set in.  Even close relatives such as Grandma and Grandpa, can be perceived as strangers to a baby this age.  Don’t worry, it won’t last long.

What You Can Do:

  • As baby learns to self-feed, offer her finger foods while she is in the highchair.  Let her practice “raking” foods from a shallow bowl.
  • Offer baby his own plastic spoon (a brightly colored spoon with textures and a curved handle are very exciting to baby at this age) to practice holding and grasping.  Show him how to bring the spoon to his mouth, but don’t expect a lot of skill.
  • A well constructed tray toy is very entertaining at this age.  Look for toys, such as this, that baby can activate with a “batting” motion.
  • The Ferris wheel type of construction is easy for baby to bat at and spin.  Baby will get a sense of accomplishment and learn that she can control her environment.
  • Offer baby floating toys in the bath tub.  Baby can bat at them and watch as they bob up and down in the water.  This teaches baby that she can influence objects outside of herself.