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Health & Baby

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Baby Development: Your 9-Month-Old

Ninth Month Baby Milestones: Boosting Baby’s Brainpower

Your baby’s first year is a crucial time for brain development. Trillions of tiny connections are forming that will create the foundation for a lifetime of learning. You can accelerate baby’s brain growth by providing a stimulating environment.

But you don’t need to invest in a series of expensive videos or teaching tools to nurture a smart baby. No DVD can ever replace the value of human interaction. Reading, singing, and talking to your baby every day are the best ways to bolster brain development. And remember, your child doesn’t need to start reading at nine months to be a smart baby -- he just needs to learn and explore new things every day.

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.

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