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9 month developmental milestones

  • 0-1 Years
  • Child development and growing up
A close-up of a young baby's face staring into the distance with their mouth slightly open

There are some key physical and communication milestones you will expect your 9 month old to reach. These milestones should be treated as a rough guide, as each child is unique and will develop at their own pace. It is often unhelpful to compare a baby to other babies or their siblings.


Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023

At around 9 months old you can expect your baby to be able to:

Physical

  • sit without support
  • get into a sitting position from lying down
  • may crawl
  • pull to stand
  • stand with support and supporting their own weight on their feet
  • stand and using furniture to support them
  • bend down to pick up toys from the floor when holding onto furniture
  • pick up a small toy in one hand using the tips of their fingers
  • pick up a piece of string with their finger and thumb, this can be after a few tries
  • bang or clap toys together

Read more about early physical skills development

Communication

  • copy simple sounds 
  • babble making different sounds like "da", "ga", "ka" and "ba"
  • say words like "baba", "dada" or "mama"
  • will give items when asked or put back items when asked for example 'please give it to me' or 'please put it back'
  • play at least 1 nursery rhyme game such as peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake or clap your hands. 
  • recognise family members
  • may prefer to be close to familiar adults

Most children respond to noises by this age. If you think your child can’t hear you, it’s important to get this checked out. 

Read more about your child's communication

Encouraging development

Activities and games you can explore with your baby:

  • playing with your baby by getting down to child’s level (lying down or crouching)
  • trip to the park
  • playing on swings
  • noisy play (playing with loud objects like spoons with pots and pans or a upturned pot)
  • playing with puppets
  • reading picture books 
  • talking to them in short simple sentences
  • responding to their babbling by copying back the sounds they make
  • speaking with your baby and talking about what they are looking at
  • using different voices and actions when reading, singing and playing
Young baby lying on a pink blanket on a bed looking at their smiling dad who is holding a toy.

Babies do not need lots of toys or devices to have fun or to encourage development.

They learn a lot of early skills by playing and spending time with you.

Possible development concerns

Sometimes development can be slower than you expect, or you may notice something different about your child or young person. It's normal to feel worried but there is lots of support out there. 

Contact your health visitor if you notice your baby is:

  • not holding objects
  • not able to move a toy from one hand to another
  • not rolling
  • not sitting independently
  • not moving (for example shuffling or crawling)
  • not taking weight on legs when held in a supported standing position

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Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Child development and growing up for additional needs

Information

Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's development, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Information for 9 month old babies

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