By 9 months, he may have reached the following stages:
You can’t fool me: He understands the concept of objects being permanent – they still exist even if he can’t see it. Therefore, if you take a toy and hide it behind your back, he will look behind you for it. This means he’ll now love peek-a-boo games, hide and seek play under a blanket and hiding a ball under cups.
No, no, no! If he could say it, this may be his favourite word this month. He’s becoming more aware of himself and what he can do – and if he doesn’t want to do something, he will sure as anything let you know. Watch him move his head away from the feeding spoon when you try to give him more of that scrumptious mush you’ve spent hours cooking. And boy, can he arch his back when you try and get him back in the buggy after a session on the park swings.
Sweet talking: Listen up as he may start to utter the magic words. No, not “please” and “thank you” but “ma-ma” and “da-da”. Although he’s not necessarily connecting the sounds to you and your partner yet, he will try to point and babble at the same time, attempting to convey meaning to you – sometimes with success.
Go, go, go! Encourage his mobility by putting toys and brightly coloured objects he’d love to get his hands on out of his reach. As his crawling confidence builds, construct a makeshift obstacle course of soft cushions and pillows in the living room he can have great fun climbing over, playing peek-a-boo with and flopping onto.
Caring and sharing: It’s not too early to teach him some valuable social skills. Ask him to share his toy with you or to let you have a taste of his breadstick and let him know how lovely it is to share.
Feeding time: By now he should be eating a varied, balanced diet of dairy and starchy foods, fruit and vegetables and fish, meat or meat alternatives, with a variety of tastes and textures, including lumps, to help develop his palate and ensure his healthy growth and development. Avoid high sugar and salt foods and those with ‘empty’ calories – such as biscuits.
Moo, moo, baa, baa: Sing animal songs and look at animal books together. Teach him animal sounds and he’ll soon have a go at copying you. Take him to a local visitor’s farm so he can see them for real.
Your baby’s development may not be exactly the same as these descriptions since all children will develop at their own pace. This is an approximate guide of some of the new skills your little one may be developing. If you have any concerns, always speak to your health visitor or GP.