Baby Development Month by Month: Month 9

Your baby’s understanding of the world is growing day by day. Here are some of the changes you might see this month.

Growing and developing

Your baby is likely to be getting more mobile, using whatever method works for him – crawling, bottom shuffling or commando crawling. He may also pull himself up to standing and move about holding on to the furniture.

He may be able to get from being on his tummy into a sitting position. He’ll be sitting more securely and generally improving his balance.

He’s getting very good at reading your emotions, so be positive about his efforts and avoid being over-anxious when he’s learning new skills.

Preferences are starting to develop. He’ll have some favourite toys and favourite people so may be a bit clingy or afraid of strangers.

He’ll notice cause and effect. So he’ll watch the path of something falling over, or will begin to understand that pushing a button on a toy will produce a noise. He can also follow simple instructions – for example to give something to you.

Weight gain is beginning to slow to around 1lb a month.

If your baby hasn’t started teething yet, he might do so around now.


Nine months can mark a change in sleep habits. Some, but not all, babies will be ready to abandon one of their daily naps. Others will want to play rather than go to bed. Babies who have slept through the night might start waking. It’s a time of change so try to be patient.


As he’s now eating finger food he’ll love joining you and the rest of the family at the table. To cut down on cooking, think about meals you can all eat or that he can eat elements of.

Eating is likely to be a messy process – especially when he starts trying to use a spoon himself – but it’s nothing to worry about if it’s an enjoyable experience for him.

Caring for your 9-month-old

Don’t worry if your baby isn’t doing everything others of a similar age are. Children develop at different rates.

To help your baby begin to understand boundaries, it’s good to agree some standards of acceptable behaviour with your partner. But don’t tell your partner off for dealing with the baby in a different way from you – your baby has to get used to people behaving in different ways and you can also undermine your partner’s confidence.

Playing with your baby


  • Picture books – look at them with him, pointing and describing what you see
  • Large push-along toys that encourage walking skills
  • Bath toys – he’ll enjoy filling them up with water and watching them sink

You this month

Remember, every parent makes mistakes and learns through experience, so don’t expect yourself to handle all new situations perfectly the first time round.

Find out What to expect in month 10.

Did you know..?

Babies don’t need shoes until they are walking around regularly outside. Going barefoot indoors can help strengthen their arches. It can also help with their sense of balance. Shoes can cramp their feet and prevent proper development.

How dads can help

Have fun turning yourself into a toy for your baby. Just lie on the floor and let him climb over you while you chat away to him. You’ll be a great obstacle course for him to play with.

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