At 9 months, a typical infant will have certain skills and reach growth markers called milestones.
All children develop a little differently. If you are concerned about your child's development, talk to your child's health care provider.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND MOTOR SKILLS
A 9-month-old has most often reached the following milestones:
- Gains weight at a slower rate, about 15 grams (half an ounce) per day, 1 pound (450 grams) per month
- Increases in length by 1.5 centimeters (a little over one-half inch) per month
- Bowel and bladder become more regular
- Puts hands forward when the head is pointed to the ground (parachute reflex) to protect self from falling
- Is able to crawl
- Sits for long periods
- Pulls self to standing position
- Reaches for objects while sitting
- Bangs objects together
- Can grasp objects between the tip of the thumb and index finger
- Feeds self with fingers
- Throws or shakes objects
SENSORY AND COGNITIVE SKILLS
The 9-month-old typically:
- Has separation anxiety and may cling to parents
- Is developing depth perception
- Understands that objects continue to exist, even when they are not seen (object constancy)
- Responds to simple commands
- Responds to name
- Understands the meaning of "no"
- Imitates speech sounds
- May be afraid of being left alone
- Plays interactive games, such as peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
- Waves goodbye
To help the 9-month-old develop:
- Provide picture books.
- Provide different stimuli by going to the mall to see people, or to the zoo to see animals.
- Build vocabulary by reading and naming people and objects in the environment.
- Teach hot and cold through play.
- Provide large toys that can be pushed to encourage walking.
- Sing songs together.
- Avoid television time until age 2 years.
- Try using a transition object to help decrease separation anxiety.
Growth milestones for children - 9 months; Childhood growth milestones - 9 months; Normal childhood growth milestones - 9 months; Well child - 9 months
American Academy of Pediatrics. 2022 Recommendations for preventive pediatric health care. Pediatrics. 2022;150(1):e2022058044. PMID: 35921638 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35921638/.
Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM, Schuh AM. Normal development. In: Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM, Schuh AM, eds. Nelson Essentials of Pediatrics. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 7.
Onigbanjo MT, Feigelman S. The first year. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 22.
Review Date 10/31/2022
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.