9-month-old baby: Development, milestones & growth

Nikki Stevenson

Nikki Stevenson

Nikki is a parenting writer and a mom to three wild boys who keep her on her toes (and occasionally make her question her sanity). With over 15 years of experience in the parenting industry, she has more tips and tricks than Mary Poppins on speed dial. When she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her sipping on coffee, hiding in the bathroom for five minutes of...
Updated on Jul 01, 2024 · 11 mins read
9-month-old baby: Development, milestones & growth

Your baby has now been out in the world as long as they were in the womb. It’s a significant milestone and a testament to the incredible journey of growth and discovery you've both been on.


This ninth month is packed with even more excitement as your little one becomes a more active participant in their environment. 

From newfound mobility to burgeoning communication skills, there’s a lot to look forward to. Let’s explore the fascinating baby development and milestones that await you and your 9-month-old adventurer.

Your 9-month-old baby milestones: Week by week


At nine months, your baby’s developmental milestones are being hit almost every week. Here’s a closer look at what you might expect during this exciting month:

Week 1
Your baby might be perfecting their crawling technique or trying to pull themselves up to stand. They’re becoming more curious and may start exploring every corner of your home. This is a good time to ensure your baby-proofing is up to date.

Week 2
Communication development is on the rise. You might notice your baby babbling more and using sounds to express themselves – like ‘dad-dad, or mum-mum’. Encourage this by talking to them frequently, reading books, and singing songs.

Week 3
Fine motor skills are improving. Your baby might be able to pick up smaller objects using a pincer grasp (thumb and index finger). Offer toys that encourage this skill, like stacking rings or soft blocks.

Week 4
Social and emotional development is in full swing for many babies. Your baby may start to show signs of separation anxiety, becoming clingy when you leave the room. This is a normal part of their development as babies develop an awareness of their surroundings and their bond with you strengthens.

Each week brings new skills and abilities. Celebrate these milestones and support them as your 9-month-old develops with lots of encouragement and love.


9-month-old baby weight and length


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) growth standards, your 9-month-old baby’s growth continues at a steady pace. Here are the typical metrics you might expect:

  • Weight: The average weight for a 9-month-old boy is around 9 kilograms, while girls typically weigh around 8 kilograms.
  • Length: The average length for a 9-month-old boy is around 72 centimetres, and for a girl, it’s around 70 centimetres.

These are average figures. Every baby develops at their own pace, so slight variations are perfectly normal. If you have concerns about your baby’s growth, it’s always a good idea to consult your child’s doctor.


Your 9-month-old baby's health


Ensuring your 9-month-old baby’s health involves a mix of regular check-ups, vaccinations, and attentive care. Here’s what you need to focus on:

Regular check-ups
Keep up with regular doctor or Child and Family Health Nurse visits to monitor your baby’s growth and development. These check-ups are crucial for catching any potential issues early and ensuring that your baby is on track with their developmental milestones.

Vaccinations
Your 9-month-old should have received several important vaccinations, but there may still be a few left to complete. Ensure your baby is up to date with their immunisation schedule. At 6 months they should have already received vaccines such as Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). If your 9-month-old baby hasn’t, take them now for it. Vaccinations are a vital part of your baby’s health, providing essential protection during this vulnerable stage.

Teething care
Teething can be a source of discomfort for your 9-month-old baby. Provide safe teething toys for them to chew on and consider using a clean, cold washcloth to soothe their gums. Maintain good oral hygiene by gently cleaning their gums and any emerging teeth with a soft, damp cloth or a baby toothbrush.

Nutrition and hydration
Ensure your baby is getting a balanced diet that includes both breast milk or formula and a variety of solid foods. Staying hydrated is also important, so offer small amounts of water in a sippy cup throughout the day, especially during meals.

Sleep health
Good sleep is essential for your baby’s overall health. Ensure they have a safe sleep environment and a consistent sleep routine. Most babies have sleep disruptions at some point though. If they occur, try to identify and address the cause, whether it’s teething, a growth spurt, or changes in their daily routine.

Safety measures
As your baby becomes more mobile, safety becomes even more crucial. Baby-proof your home by securing furniture, covering electrical outlets, and keeping small objects out of reach. Always supervise your baby during playtime, and use appropriate safety gear, such as car seats and baby gates, to protect them from potential hazards.

By staying proactive and attentive to your baby’s health needs, you can help them thrive during this exciting stage of development.

9-month-old baby feeding milestones


Feeding a 9-month-old is an adventure. The recommendation is solids before milk feeds and an increase in texture to something lumper to help the muscle development in the jaw and face. as they continue to enjoy breast milk or formula while exploring a wider variety of solid foods. Here’s what you need to know:

Breast milk or formula
Breast milk or formula remains a crucial part of your baby’s diet, providing essential nutrients. Typically, a 9-month-old might have around 700 ml of milk per day, but this can vary as they start to consume more solids.

Introducing solid foods
Your 9-month-old baby’s interest in solid foods is growing. Here are some fresh ideas for incorporating solids into their diet:

  • Balanced diet: Introduce a variety of new textures and flavours. Try offering soft scrambled eggs, finely chopped cooked green beans, or small pieces of ripe mango. These foods add new tastes and essential nutrients to their diet.
  • Finger foods: Encourage self-feeding with easy-to-hold foods like small pieces of soft-cooked sweet potato, bite-sized pieces of pancake, or chunks of tofu. These help develop their hand-eye coordination and independence.
  • Protein-rich foods: Include more protein sources such as small pieces of well-cooked beans, finely shredded turkey, or soft cheese. These are crucial for muscle development and overall growth.
  • Avoid certain foods: Continue to avoid honey, whole nuts, and foods high in salt and sugar. Also, avoid raw vegetables that can be choking hazards and cow’s milk as a primary drink until they are at least one year old.

Meal schedule
A typical feeding schedule for a 9-month-old might look like this:

  • Morning: A small breakfast of oatmeal mixed with fruit puree, followed by milk.
  • Mid-morning snack: Soft pieces of pear or banana.
  • Lunch: Small pieces of cooked chicken with mashed peas and carrots, followed by milk.
  • Afternoon snack: Plain yoghurt with finely chopped soft fruit.
  • Dinner: A meal of quinoa mixed with finely diced vegetables and a protein like lentils, followed by milk. 
  • Evening: Milk before bedtime.

Pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and adjust the feeding schedule and portions as needed to suit their appetite and developmental stage.

9-month-old schedule example


Creating a daily schedule for your 9-month-old baby can help establish routines that support their development and well-being. Here’s an example of what a typical day might look like:

Morning

  • 7:00 AM: Wake up and milk feed.
  • 8:00 AM: Breakfast – offer a small meal such as porridge with fruit puree.
  • 9:00 AM: Playtime – engage in activities that encourage crawling and exploring.

Mid-morning

  • 10:00 AM: Nap time – usually lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • 11:30 AM: Wake up and a small snack – soft pieces of fruit or yoghurt.

Afternoon

  • 12:30 PM: Lunch –  A meal like small pieces of cooked chicken with vegetables, followed by milk.
  • 1:30 PM: Playtime – activities to develop motor skills, like stacking toys or playing with blocks.
  • 2:30 PM: Nap time – another nap lasting 1 to 1.5 hours.

Late afternoon

  • 4:00 PM: Wake up and a light snack – perhaps a soft cheese or vegetable sticks.
  • 4:30 PM: Outdoor time – a stroll in the pram or a visit to the park for some fresh air.

Evening

  • 6:00 PM: Dinner – Abalanced meal like quinoa with finely diced cooked vegetables, followed by milk.
  • 7:00 PM: Bath time – a calming routine to prepare for bed.
  • 7:30 PM: Story time – reading a book together.
  • 8:00 PM: Bedtime – final milk feeding and then down for the night.

Flexibility is key. Every baby is different, and it’s important to adjust the schedule based on your baby’s needs and cues. Consistency with routine can help your baby feel secure and make transitions smoother.

Development tips for your baby this month


Supporting your 9-month-old baby’s development involves a mix of play, interaction, and creating a safe environment for exploration. Here are some tips to help your little one thrive:

Encourage Mobility: Set up safe spaces for your baby to crawl and explore. Use soft mats and baby-proof the area to prevent accidents. Crawling helps build strength and coordination.

Interactive play: Engage in interactive play that stimulates their senses and promotes cognitive development. Toys that make noise, light up, or have different textures are great for keeping your baby entertained and learning.

Promote language skills: Talk to your baby throughout the day, describing your actions and naming objects. Reading books together and singing songs also help promote language development. Respond to their babbles to encourage two-way communication and back and forth play.

Support fine motor skills: Provide toys that encourage grasping, squeezing, and manipulating objects. Simple activities like stacking blocks, playing with shape sorters, and using finger foods during mealtime can enhance their dexterity.

Foster social interaction: Arrange playdates with other babies to help develop their social skills. Observing and interacting with peers teaches your 9-month-old about sharing, empathy, and cooperation.

Introduce cause and effect: Toys that demonstrate cause and effect, like push-and-pull toys or activity centres with buttons to press, help your baby understand the relationship between actions and outcomes.

Encourage independence: Allow your baby to try new things on their own, even if it means a bit of mess or slower progress. This fosters a sense of independence and confidence.

Provide emotional support: Be responsive to your baby’s emotional needs. Offer comfort and reassurance during times of distress, and celebrate their achievements with enthusiasm. Your baby also learns from your facial expressions so spend lots of time engaging with your baby and building a strong emotional bond.

Baby’s memory: At nine months, your baby’s memory is improving. They are beginning to remember familiar faces, routines, and even simple games. Playing hide-and-seek with toys, as well as peek a boo, can help boost their memory skills.

Sleep regression: Some babies experience a sleep regression around this age. This can be due to developmental milestones, such as increased mobility or separation anxiety. Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine and providing comfort can help manage this temporary disruption.

Self-feeding: Encourage self-feeding to encourage independence and physical development. Offer a variety of finger foods that are soft and easy to grasp, like small pieces of steamed vegetables, soft fruits, and cooked pasta. Ensure the foods are safe and manageable for your baby to eat.

By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can support your child’s development and create a nurturing environment that encourages growth and learning.

Items you will need this month


  • Activity table: For promoting standing and interactive play with various buttons and levers.
  • Push toys: To encourage walking to strengthen leg muscles.
  • Snack catcher cups: For independent snacking and improving hand-eye coordination.
  • Safety gates: To block off unsafe areas as your baby becomes more mobile.
  • Musical instruments: Simple ones like maracas or tambourines to stimulate auditory development and rhythm.
  • Sensory balls: Textured balls that are easy to grasp and great for sensory play.
  • Picture flashcards: To introduce new words and concepts, enhancing language skills.
  • Bath toys: Fun, floating toys to make bath time enjoyable and stimulating.
  • Soft blocks: For stacking and knocking down, helping with motor skills and spatial awareness.

Checklist for this month


  • Introduce interactive toys: Toys that respond to actions, like those with buttons that play music or light up, can help with cognitive development.
  • Encourage standing and cruising: Create safe spaces where your baby can pull up to a standing position and practise cruising along furniture.
  • Explore outdoors: Spend time in the garden or park to introduce new sights, sounds, and textures.
  • Engage in water play: Safe water play activities to help with sensory development and motor skills.
  • Practice hand clapping: Encourage games that involve clapping to improve coordination and rhythm.
  • Rotate yoys: Keep things interesting by rotating toys every week to maintain your baby’s interest and stimulate different skills.
  • Introduce simple chores: Let your baby “help” with simple tasks like putting toys away to foster independence.
  • Start simple puzzles: Basic shape sorters or puzzles to enhance problem-solving skills.
  • Encourage communication: Use gestures along with words to help your baby understand and start using simple signs.
  • Create a quiet time routine: Introduce a short period of quiet play or rest to help your baby unwind and prepare for naps or bedtime.

Sources


Your baby’s developmental milestones at 9 months, UNICEF. Available at: https://www.unicef.org/parenting/child-development/your-babys-developmental-milestones-9-months#social-and-emotional

Childhood immunisation schedule, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/childhood-immunisation/immunisation-schedule

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