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.
_ 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 <www.cdc.gov>
D’Eugenio, Diane and Rogers, Sally J. Early Intervention Developmental Profile (EIDP). 1981. University of Michigan.