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Growth & Development: 9-12 Months

Throughout the first year of life, your baby will undergo rapid social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. He will recognize your face and imitate gestures you make, such as smiling or sticking out your tongue. Your baby will begin to crawl, and later walk, expanding his reach from just inside a crib to the entire world. He will start to babble, eventually forming sounds and then words like ‘mama' and ‘dada.' She'll start swatting at objects and eventually learn to grasp and even feed herself. These miraculous changes develop over time and at different rates for different children, but keep in mind the following developmental generalizations as you watch your child grow.

Your baby is about to embark on a whole new journey: walking. Help her to get there by allowing her to crawl freely and supporting her while she attempts to pull herself up. With walking comes a burst in language development, so prepare her for this by labeling. Point to objects and give its name. Even if she can't make the words now, you will help her understand the process and the meaning of pointing. Keep in mind that different babies develop at different paces, so although some may already be walking, many babies continue to crawl throughout the first year of life.

How to Support your child's learning processes

  • Repeat words and sounds for your baby, and encourage him to mimic your voice and gestures
  • Games like peek-a-boo help your child to learn that objects still exist when hidden
  • Ask your baby simple yes or no questions
  • Allow your baby to finger feed herself to help her develop her hand-eye coordination
  • Safety-proof your home for your little wanderer

Developmental Milestones

Social and Emotional Development

  • Baby appears shy or anxious with strangers
  • May cry when caregiver leaves
  • Enjoys imitation
  • Tests parental responses to her behavior
  • Repeats sounds or gestures

Physical Development

  • Crawls forward on belly
  • Sits up without assistance
  • Pulls himself up to stand
  • May walk two or three steps without support
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Takes objects out of containers
  • Pokes with index finger

Cognitive & Language Development

  • Responds to “no”
  • Babbles with inflections: changes in tones
  • May say “mama” and “dada”
  • Finds hidden objects easily
  • Begins to use objects correctly: drinks from cups, listens in a phone
  • Explores object in different ways: banging, shaking, throwing, etc.

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