Child Development at 9 Months

Posture & Large Movements

  • Sits alone for 10–15 minutes on the floor.
  • Can turn body to look sideways while stretching out to grasp dangling toy or to pick up toy from floor.
  • Arms and legs very active in cot, pram and bath.
  • Progresses on floor by rolling or squirming.
  • Attempts to crawl on all fours.
  • Pulls self to stand with support.
  • Can stand holding on to support for a few moments, but cannot lower himself.
  • Held standing, steps purposefully on alternate feet.

Vision & Fine Movements

  • Very observant.
  • Stretches out, one hand leading, to grasp small objects immediately on catching sight of them.
  • Manipulates objects with lively interest, passing from hand to hand, turning over, etc.
  • Pokes at small sweet with index finger.
  • Grasps sweets, string, etc., between finger and thumb in scissor fashion.
  • Can release toy by pressing against firm surface, but cannot yet put down precisely.
  • Searches in correct place for toys dropped within reach of hands.
  • Looks after toys falling over edge of pram or table.
  • Watches activities of adults, children and animals within 10–12 feet with eager interest for several seconds at a time.
  • Watches rolling balls 21/8 inches at 10 feet.

Hearing & Speech

  • Vocalises deliberately as means of interpersonal communication.
  • Shouts to attract attention, listens, then shouts again.
  • Babbles tunefully, repeating syllables in long strings (mam-man, bab-bab, dad-dad, etc.)
  • Understands ‘No-No’ and ‘Bye-Bye’.
  • Tries to imitate adults’ playful vocal sounds, eg. smacking lips, cough, brr, etc.
  • Immediate localising response to baby hearing tests at 3 feet from ear and above and below ear level.

Social Behaviour & Play

  • Holds, bites and chews biscuits.
  • Puts hands round bottle or cup when feeding.
  • Tries to grasp spoon when being fed.
  • Throws body back and stiffens in annoyance or resistance.
  • Clearly distinguishes strangers from familiars, and requires reassurance before accepting their advances.
  • Clings to known adult and hides face.
  • Still takes everything to mouth.
  • Seizes bell in one hand, imitates ringing action, waving or banging it on table, pokes clapper or ‘drinks’ from bowl.
  • Plays peek-a-boo.
  • Holds out toy held in hand to adult, but cannot yet give.
  • Finds partially hidden toy.
  • May find toy hidden under cup.
  • Mother supports at lower spine when dressing.

Source: Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects No 102. HMSO 1960, revised 1975.