The way your child learns, plays, and acts shows you important steps in development. All children grow and develop at their own rate. However, most follow a predictable skill path along the way. These skill paths are called developmental milestones; skills that most children can perform by a certain age. Refer to the checklist below to determine what milestones your child has completed by nine months of age.

By nine months most babies:


Fine Motor (skills that require balance and movement of small muscle groups)

_ Pick up a small toy using multiple fingers and thumb (toy shouldn’t be touching their palm).

_ Pick up a Cheerio using the tips of their thumb and one finger.


Cognitive (memory, problem solving, thinking, and overall play)

_ Pick up two small toys; one in each hand and hold them for about a minute.

_ Hold a toy in each hand and bang them together.

_ Are able to find a toy after they watch you completely hide it under a blanket.



_ When you copy the sounds they make, they repeat them back to you.

_ Complete a task without seeing the actions (wave bye-bye without you waving first, covers eyes when told peek-a-boo).

_ Say three words such as mama, baba, or dada (a “word” is a sound they use consistently to mean someone or something).


_Comfortable separating physically from a familiar person.

_ Remove a cloth or hands from their face or yours when playing peek-a-boo.

_ Perform for social attention (drops a toy and looks for a reaction from others).

_ Offer a toy to you but do not give it to you.


Gross Motor

_ Sit up independently for several minutes without support.

_ Stand while holding onto furniture (without leaning on it for support).

_ Can bend down, pick up a toy and return to standing while holding on to furniture.

_ Cruise around furniture while holding on with one hand.



_ Finger feed themselves efficiently.

_ Lick food off of a spoon or lick a popsicle.

_ Eat mashed table foods.

_ Swallow with a closed mouth.

Talk to your doctor or contact an early intervention program in your community if you notice any of the following signs of a possible developmental delay in your child of nine months of age:

_ Doesn’t put any weight on their legs with support

_ Doesn’t sit up without help

_ Doesn’t babble (mama, dada, baba)

_ Doesn’t respond to their own name or nickname

_ Doesn’t look to where you point

_ Doesn’t transfer a toy from one hand to another

ASQ. Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ – 3)

CDD. Centers for Disease Control <>

D’Eugenio, Diane and Rogers, Sally J. Early Intervention Developmental Profile (EIDP). 1981. University of Michigan.

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