7-9 Month Milestones

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baby development milestones, 9 month

(reading time ~10 minutes) 

This article discusses 7-9 month milestones for babies. You may also want to read about 1-3 month milestones, 4-6 month milestones, and 10-12 month milestones

Almost all parents are concerned about whether or not their child is progressing normally. And so we have milestones to gauge typical development. However, it's essential to realize that milestones are flexible, and since no two babies are alike, no two will develop exactly the same.

Infants develop in their own way and time, and that's a fact we must respect. Parents have to appreciate that their baby's development is unique and individual. The great chances are that your infant is developing earlier than the norm in some regards and later in others.

However, suppose you have concerns that your baby has missed a significant milestone or isn't progressing adequately in a specific key area(s). In that case, it's always better to discuss these concerns with your pediatrician sooner rather than later.

That's because there are many stimulating developmental activities you can do with your little one to help her along. That's right. As parents, we help shape the development of our children in every way. So if there's a problem, it's best to discuss what can be done to help at the first opportunity. 

Also, just a note for parents with premature infants. Preemies generally follow milestones based on their due date rather than delivery date. So if your child is born eight weeks prematurely, she will more closely follow the typical development of an infant born two months later than her.

And so now, with user-friendly bullet points, here are typical 7-9 month baby milestones taken one month at a time.

7-9 month milestones

7-9 Month Milestones, Month 7 

Cognitive Development Milestones, 7 Months 

  • Turns his head to find out where a sound is coming from (milestone ranges from 3–7 months)
  • He begins to be able to track quickly-moving objects with his eyes 
  • When their names are spoken, he looks around to find family members, pets, and close friends who are being talked about (milestone ranges from 6-8 months)
  • Starts to find toys and objects that are hidden from view
  • Will respond to the facial expressions you make
  • Begins to enjoy playing peek-a-boo
  • Can see in color. Is getting better at seeing objects at a distance, too, though he still sees better close-up. 
  • Examines all sides of an object to improve his understanding of it 
  • Reacts to an image of another baby with babbling, excitement, or movement
  • Pays attention to subtle sounds such as water trickling from a faucet
  • Begins to develop strong preferences for certain foods 

Motor Development Milestones, 7 Months 

  • She makes use of her index and middle finger to rake tiny objects closer 
  • Begins to reach for and grab objects with her elbow extended
  • Can go from a sitting to a lying down position
  • Her feet begin to bear weight when she is held upright on a surface, and she may even start to jump up and down.
  • She can grasp objects without using her palm but instead the index, middle finger, and thumb
  • Begins to roll over from her back to her belly (milestone ranges from 6-8 months)
  • Starts to get on her hands and knees, ready to crawl 
  • She begins to crawl backward (milestone ranges 7-9 months) 
  • She begins to crawl forward using army crawling (milestone ranges between 6-10 months). Some babies never crawl but skip this milestone and go straight to walking.
  • She starts sitting with little or no support. While sitting, she can bend in different directions to reach nearby objects. Can bounce and rock when seated (milestone ranges from 5-8 months). Moves hands energetically to convey excitement while seated.
  • Using furniture, pulls up to a standing position
  • Begins to drink independently from an open cup
  • Can hold an object in each hand and bang them together
  • Claps enthusiastically (milestone ranges from 6-9 months) 

Communication and Language Milestones, 7 Months 

  • He makes noises that sound like excitement or exclamations 
  • Recognizes the sound of his own name and reacts to it (milestone ranges from 5-7 months)
  • May try to copy the pattern, tone, and sound of your voice as he babbles. May start to copy your gestures
  • Increases the variety of consonant-vowel syllables that he uses like "ba ba ba," "ma ma ma," "da da da," etc.
  • Experiments taking turns "talking" as if in actual conversation 

Social And Emotional Milestones, 7 Months 

  • She responds in a playful way to her reflection in a mirror without realizing it's her (milestone ranges from 4-8 months) 
  • She begins to dislike being on her back
  • She begins to show signs of stranger anxiety (milestone ranges from 5-8 months)
  • Begins playing for more extended periods of time and with more engagement
  • Enjoys more frolic play, being lifted high, bounced, dancing, and pretend flying
  • Begins to experience separation anxiety (milestone ranges from 6-10 months)
  • Is learning what kinds of things to do that attract your attention 
  • Begins manipulative behavior for attention-getting purposes, such as dropping a spoon 
  • Waves goodbye (milestone ranges from 7-10 months)
  • Character begins to emerge more distinctly this month
  • More prone to imitate someone's mood
  • Pushes away what is not wanted. Rebels against certain forms of confinement. 

7-9 Month Baby Milestones, Month 8 

7-9 month baby milestones

During this time, motor skills are developing so quickly that parents may focus on mobility, crawling, and walking, but it's important to focus on all areas of your child's development.

Note, too, that crawling isn't listed on the CDC's new guidance because many babies skip crawling and go straight to walking. Some babies start crawling at 6 or 7 months, while others begin at 8, and others never crawl but instead go directly to walking.

Infants are now better developed at eyeballing depth and reaching out to grab items. Textures and shapes become fascinating, and he enjoys touching and feeling them.

He'll now be able to sit up without help, although you may have to catch him sometimes. He's getting better at leaning over to pick up his toys. 

This is when baby will start piecing together certain sounds like mama and dada, though he might not understand what these words mean yet. That comes later between months 9 and 14, when they start connecting meaning to words.

Cognitive Development Milestones, 8 Months 

  • Can understand cause and effect. When mom or dad makes a snack for him, he knows he will soon be eating. 
  • He can reach for a third object while holding two others
  • He can look at a picture when someone points to it
  • Enjoys playing peekaboo
  • Can avoid an obstacle to getting to something he wants
  • When their names are spoken, he looks around for family members, pets, and close friends who are being talked about
  • Memory is improving, and he can now remember a series of activities completed in the immediate past. 
  • He becomes more interested in the human face and studies it to see if it's happy or sad 
  • Can combine actions to create an effect, for instance raking an object towards him to be able to grab it easily. If both hands are holding an object, he may drop one to get at a third. 

Motor Development Milestones, 8 Months 

  • May sway backward and forwards from a crawling position without moving anywhere 
  • She may begin to crawl backward (milestone ranges 7-9 months)
  • May begin crawling forward (milestone ranges from 6-10 months and some babies skip this milestone altogether)
  • Can sit with little or no support (milestone ranges from 5-8 months). May be able to sit without hand support for 2 to 10 minutes Once standing, needs help to go back to a sitting position.
  • She can balance well on her hands and knees
  • When held up by both hands, she can make stepping movements 
  • Starts using the pincer grasp, using the pads of her fingers 
  • Can bang two blocks together
  • Can manipulate two toys and objects at the same time, one in each hand
  • Using furniture, she may be able to pull up to a standing position (milestone ranges from 6-10 months) 
  • Can sit up from lying on her back or belly (milestone ranges from 6-10 months)
  • Has nearly fully developed sight. Close to an adult's in terms of sharpness and depth perception. Can easily recognize people within a room. 

Communication and Language Milestones, 8 Months 

  • Starts to babble, imitating the sounds of actual speech. He will begin to babble single syllables on his own such as "ba," "ca," and "da." May start to combine more than one consonant-vowel sound such as "maca," "maca." 
  • If he has been taught, he can begin to use very simple sign language such as "all done" or "more"
  • Starts to imitate sounds and noises such as "zoom" made by toys and objects 

Social And Emotional Milestones, 8 Months 

  • Starts responding to "bye bye" by waving her hands 
  • Seeks approval for her actions
  • Now shows a dislike for certain people, objects, and places
  • Prefers to play near her mother or father
  • Enjoys more boisterous type of playing with being lifted high, bounced, and flown like an airplane (milestone ranges from 4-8 months)
  • Becomes proactive about starting playtime.
  • Becomes protective of herself and her belongings. May fight over a toy. 
  • Exhibits stranger anxiety (milestone ranges from 5-8 months) 
  • Begins to exhibit separation anxiety (milestone ranges from 6-10 months)
  • She will smile at her face in the mirror, although she doesn't realize it's her yet (milestone ranges from 4-8 months)
  • Listens closely to stories and sounds and can hear changes in tone of voice 

Developmental Milestones 7-9 Months, Month 9

developmental milestones 7-9 months

During month 9, you may focus a lot on your baby taking his first milestones towards talking. But not to worry if you haven't heard "mama" or "dada" yet. Children progress at their own speed, and not all children talk exactly at the milestone. The important thing is to be making constant forward progress.

Brown says, "Children progress from cooing to consonant sounds, to simple words to two-word phrases, to small sentences." It's the progress that counts.

By nine months, he may also be able to hold his bottle and drink from a straw or open cup. He takes more interest in eating solid foods independently.

Babies should be eating three small meals plus two snacks of unprocessed whole foods. Feed him a variety of different colors from different food groups and make sure that he's getting protein, carbohydrates, and fats at every meal.

To check that baby's getting enough formula to drink, he should have about 4 to 5 very wet diapers per day.

Finger foods are popular since he is working on his pincer grasp. So offer him Cheerios, tiny cooked pasta pieces, or bits of cut-up veggies or fruit.

You may also find that baby is content sitting and playing with toys and objects for long periods. They love to use their hands for just about everything.

Cognitive Development Milestones, 9 Months

  • She will have her favorite toys now. She will start to guide moving toys, such as small cars. 
  • She will start paying particular attention to words she knows
  • She will repeatedly drop objects purposely
  • Will start exploring in many different ways, such as throwing, dropping, shaking, and banging
  • Will begin to throw objects and watch where they land
  • Enjoys playing peekaboo
  • Anticipates a reward for successfully completing a task
  • May often be able to focus on what's being said without being distracted by extraneous noise 
  • Begins to understand object permanence. Tries to find objects that have dropped from sight. Can recover an object she knows is hidden. 
  • Can multitask. While playing, she can still communicate with mom or dad.
  • Stacks similar objects 

Motor Development Milestones, 9 Months 

  • Can sit correctly in a chair. He can get down from a couch or chair. 
  • Can avoid falling backward by bracing himself with his arms
  • Starts to crawl forward (milestone ranges from 6-10 months) unless skipping this milestone
  • He begins to crawl backward (milestone ranges from 7-9 months)
  • Goes from crawling position to sitting without difficulty
  • Can climb steps on all fours
  • He can take a peg out of a pegboard
  • Can extend his wrist 
  • Can carry two small objects in one hand 
  • Using furniture can pull up to a standing position, although he may still need some help. (milestone ranges from 6-10 months)
  • May begin to walk by holding onto furniture as he cruises. He may even begin to walk unassisted (milestone ranges from 9-18 months).
  • Can sit up from lying on his back or his belly. He may be able to hold a spoon (ranges from 9-12 months)
  • Can grab thin objects, such as string
  • Can open a drawer and explore its contents 
  • Starts using hands simultaneously in two different ways, for instance, for support from one and exploration with the other 

Communication And Language Milestones, 9 Months 

  • She will begin pointing at objects 
  • Will start to show her understanding of simple phrases. For instance, by lifting her arms when you say, "it's time to pick you up."
  • Starts making babbling noises of single sounds, like "da," "ba," or "ma" (ranges from 8-12 months). May exhibit more sophisticated babbling, combining different consonant and vowel syllables such as "mi-ca-bi-ma"
  • Starts responding to her name
  • Shakes head from side to side while saying "no" 

Social And Emotional Milestones, 9 Months 

At bedtime, he will start to test parental reactions to his behavior

Becomes more aware of social approval and disapproval

Imitates sounds, gestures, and facial expressions. Displays a wider variety of moods: impatience, happiness, sadness, anger, excitement, and boredom. Gets bored more easily these days.

Picks one or a few toys as favorites

He will begin to show greater separation anxiety (milestone ranges from 6-10 months). May become wary of strangers and stay close to familiar people.

He will start "relational play," for instance, brief instances of pretending to brush his hair or feed himself. Will assist more in getting dressed by moving his arms and legs where they need to be.

May only let a single parent take care of him (ranges from 9-12 months)

When To Talk With The Pediatrician 

If your child isn't hitting every milestone, it's no reason to worry. But certain indications may be signs of developmental delay. Talk with your pediatrician if:

1. Baby doesn't put weight on his legs when you hold him standing on a surface.

2. If he doesn't babble and makes sounds like "dada," "mama," and "baba."

3. He can't sit without some propping or holding him.

4. Doesn't play any games that require back-and-forth or give-and-take.

5. Doesn't respond to his name.

6. Doesn't seem to recognize people he is most familiar with.

7. Doesn't look when you point at something.

8. Doesn't pass his toys from hand-to-hand.

And there you have it, 7-9 month milestones. I hope you've found this article interesting and helpful. And happy parenting! 

About the author 

Dan Sperling

I'm the proud father of two great children. They are grown up now, and although I would have preferred to be a stay-at-home dad, I had to work. Luckily, I could work out of my home so I was around a lot. I ran a video production company, had a couple of great guys working with me and it allowed me to be around the children a lot. I was the "fun guy" for my kids and fathering was something I just took to.
When my daughter became pregnant, I was glad to see my son-in-law was doing everything right--or as good as it gets--we're always winging it, right? It got me thinking that so many dads would like to be more emotionally involved and knowledgeable when it comes to their wives' pregnancy and the first year of their children's lives.

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