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Baby Development: Your 9-Month-Old

Ninth Month Baby Milestones: Communication

If your 9-month-old is like many babies at this age, he may be babbling away nonstop. Those babbles might sound almost like real sentences, although no one will understand them but your baby. However, you may start to recognize a couple of real words, such as “Mama,” “Dada,” or “hi.”

Your baby’s understanding of language is improving too. If you ask, “Where’s the ball?” your baby may go pick up a ball. Or you might ask, “What does a cow say?” and hear “Moo!” in response.

In the brief pauses between babbles your baby is becoming a good listener and reader of body language. You may notice that your baby brings you a favorite toy to see you smile in response. Some babies are effective comedians, even at this young age. They’ll blow bubbles and make funny sounds, just to elicit a laugh from the grown-ups around them.

At other times, your baby will be a lot less happy -- especially when you’re about to leave the room. Separation anxiety is starting to be an issue at this age and so is stranger anxiety. Your baby may express a fear of people and things that never bothered him before. For instance, he may suddenly start crying whenever grandma comes to visit or the lights go out at bedtime. This is because your baby’s awareness and memory are improving. For the same reason, you’ll probably see a few tears when you try to take something away from him. The good news is that 9-month-old babies are easily distracted and the tears shouldn’t last long.

Tips for Your Baby’s Ninth Month:

  • Your 9-month-old is eager to move around. Give him plenty of opportunities to crawl, stand, and cruise -- with you nearby to supervise, of course.
  • Nine months isn’t too young to start setting limits. Your baby should understand the word “no” by now. Use it whenever your little one is about to get into trouble.
  • Hold your baby’s hands and walk around the room together so he can practice getting around on two feet.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on July 12, 2014

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