Nine-month-olds have a new understanding of the world. They learn that just because
they can't see mom or dad at a certain time doesn't mean they don't exist. So now,
your baby may begin to miss you when you're gone. This can lead to separation
anxiety — distress at your departure.
While this might seem like a bad thing, it's actually very good — and
marks an important leap in thinking. Comfort and reassure your baby to help him
or her feel loved and secure.
Doctors use certain milestones to tell if a baby is developing as expected. There's
a wide range of what's considered normal, so some babies gain skills earlier or later
than others. Babies who were born prematurely
reach milestones later. Always talk with your doctor about your baby's progress.
Here are some things your baby might be doing:
Communication and Language Skills
communicates "no" by closing the mouth or turning away when finished eating
understands the word "no"
says "mama" and "dada" (but not just to parents)
can wave goodbye and say "bye-bye"
starts pointing to objects
Movement and Physical Development
sits without support, pulls to stand, and walks along furniture ("cruising")
starts to grasp small pieces of food (such as pieces of "O"-shaped cereal)
can hold one item in each hand at the same time
Social and Emotional Development
might be fearful of strangers
misses caregivers when they leave
seeks reassurance from caregivers (a baby starting to crawl, for example, will
often "check back" with mom or dad while developing this new skill)
attaches to "transitional objects" for security, such as stuffed animals or a
Cognitive Skills (Thinking and Learning)
understands "object permanence," the idea that an object or person exists somewhere
even though the baby can't see the object or person at that moment (for example, a
baby with this understanding will look for a toy that a caregiver hides behind a blanket)
enjoys interactive games such as "peekaboo" and "so big"