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Child development: 6-9 months

You and your baby are starting to feel (and act) like separate people. She is starting to sit up, reach
out and act on the world. She worries that you might not come back when you go away from her
and lets you know it. She will really respond to you providing lots of things to look at, touch and
safely put in her mouth.
Time playing on her tummy on the floor will strengthen her back and get her legs into crawling
mode.

Social and emotional development
There are some big emotional and physical developments in your baby that you will notice between
6 and 9 months. Your baby is becoming able to move around and take a much more active part in
family life.

Firstly and most importantly, she begins to realize she is a separate person surrounded by
her own skin [and finishing at her hands and feet]. She no longer experiences floating in a
sea of feelings and needs where the outside and the inside are all mixed together, instead she
begins to feel she has an outside and an inside and to know where the boundary of the
outside is. She will start to understand that you are separate from her, and it will worry her
when she can't see you or feel you nearby.
Secondly, her insides feel more organized to her. She begins to recognize and identify her
own feelings and that they are different. For instance she may know the difference between
feeling hungry and feeling lonely and may be able to give you some clue as to whether she
wants food or a cuddle. She knows this because you have helped her to recognize different
feelings by responding to her hunger with food and her loneliness with cuddles etc.
She will begin to have desires of her own, simple things she knows she wants, like wanting
to hold an object or wanting to be picked up immediately. Her desires may not always be
the same as yours and for the first time you may feel yourself clash with her tiny will!
She will, in the course of these months, come to recognize the important, familiar people in
her world and therefore become sensitive to strangers. By 9 months she will be shy with
strangers, and for a while she might not even want to be too close to people she knows, such
as her grandparents. However, it is a very sociable age and she will love to be talked to and
played with.

Physical development
He will put everything in his mouth. His lips and tongue are the most sensitive part of his body and
will give him lots of information about texture, shape and taste. Also, you can swallow some bits of
the world but not others and he is just learning this!

The different textures feel very strange to him at first. front to back and back to front sit alone for a few moments when you put him into a sitting position. then manage to sit by himself without falling over  do push ups when on his tummy.   He will start to take some mashed solids around this time. [under your supervision]. play with them and put them in his mouth. He also develops a perception of depth and therefore can be afraid of heights and falling. The topic 'Feeding your baby' has more ideas about helping him to learn to manage these different tastes and textures. At first it is hard for him to work out the eating action because he is used to sucking. so keeping the food inside his mouth can be a challenge! Just because the mashed pumpkin gets spat out does not necessarily mean he hates it. Hearing . then crawl on all fours reach for a rattle and shake it swap a toy from one hand to the other find his feet. ie lift his head and chest off the floor and support himself on outstretched arms then start to move while on his tummy. By 9 months he can not only see a drop but understand that it is scary. first 'commando' style ie pulling himself along on his arms. and later some soft finger food such as toast. Moving At some time during these four months he will be able to:   roll over.     Seeing His eye muscles will be working well and he will be able to focus on small objects. he just may not yet have got the hang of keeping it inside his mouth.

At this age. . and copy different sounds like clicks and lip bubbles as well as her word-like sounds. People are much more interesting than things.       She enjoys making sounds and she knows that she has made them. not only verbally but by banging objects together.here is mummy's nose" drop his toy from the highchair or pusher endlessly and delight in watching you pick it up play 'ahh boo' as you bring your face quickly down to his tummy. If we want our children to be able to act in the world when they are grown up. Speech and language While she has been cooing and babbling for many weeks her sounds will now take on a closer resemblance to real words. He will love to:         have you talk to him have you look into his eyes lie on his back and grab his feet lie on his tummy and reach for a brightly coloured toy or piece of paper have you play "here is your nose . She will use lots of different sounds to express different emotions. Activities for the 6-9 month old He loves to touch and grasp and to 'make things happen'.He will turn towards familiar sounds and voices and want to make sounds himself. Even though it may still be accidental these same sounds will be repeated as she works out how to make the noises. rather than because she understands that this sound is a word she can use when she wants her mother. play 'peek-a-boo' as you hide your face behind a book or cloth and say his name when you come out. squeals and chortles of delight are all in her repertoire. She might say 'ma-ma-ma' because she can. and she will try to talk back to you using her babbling sounds. babies still need most of all to be with and to interact with people. frustrated grunts. and put into their mouth. These activities are not only great fun but also help him to understand that he has an effect on the world. he can DO things to it. Conceptually he is learning about up and down as well as coming and going and he will love to play games that act these things out. although they want things that they can hold and shake and drop. ie make things shake or bang or move towards him. She will probably be putting a vowel and a consonant together as in "muum". She will experiment with. this is very important. or "bubbub". especially their parents and other people who are close to them such as their brothers and sisters and grandparents. She will listen to you carefully when you speak to her.

creeping) tales objects to mouth by 6 months. if by nine months your child is not:        sitting up without help by 8 to 9 months smiling and laughing out loud grasping. but most babies can do these things by 9 months. poking out tongue. Motor skills A baby usually:    sits without support by 8 months starts to move around by 8 months (rolling. Your child may be progressing quite normally. starts to withdraw from strangers begins to turn around when is name is called starts to become anxious if primary caregiver is out of sight stretches up her arms to be picked up initiates gestures such as cough. and reaching for. There may be a problem if a baby: o o o does not show pleasure when she sees familiar people is not making eye contact cannot be reassured by mother or close carer. objects by 8 months. Summary Social emotional A baby usually:      knows familiar people.Alert! You should check with a health professional. holding and shaking things reaching out for objects and putting them into their mouth turning towards you when you call their name beginning to try some 'solid' foods making lots of different sounds. There may be a problem if a baby: o o o is not sitting by 9 months holds his body stiff and cannot be put in a sitting position is not interested in. .

by 6-8 months holds a spoon . Speech and language A baby usually:   babbles by 6-7 months making one and two syllable sounds eg 'dada' listens to a person speaking. by 7 months begins to try some 'solid' foods. There may be a problem if a baby: o o does not recogise mother does not show interest in surroundings.Daily activity A baby usually:     can hold a bottle to drink can start to drink from a cup. which is held by an adult. . then 'answers' in babbling sounds. Understanding A baby usually:    looks for a fallen object by 7 months plays 'peek-a-boo' games cannot understand 'no' or 'danger'. There may be a problem if a baby: o does not babble or make other sounds when someone talks to him.but cannot use it.

you will come back again. He will smile and babble and try to engage you in a conversation and copy simple hand games like 'clap hands' or 'bye bye'. This may suit you if you found the tiny baby stage restrictive. and [very sensibly] be wary of strangers.Child development: 9-12 months Your baby is moving around now and the pace of life has quickened somewhat. He also has some understanding that you see him and that he can hide from you. In other words he is becoming aware of himself as a social creature. He starts to know that when you go away. Moving around . He will be 'talking' and making recognisable sounds and he will really love you talking to him and repeating single words clearly. He starts to understand that he is a person. He may be clingy and wary of strangers but he is forming special relationships with family members and his personality will be becoming clear to you. No wonder 'peek-a-boo' and 'hiding' are favourite games because they play out in a simple way the comings and goings of people that your baby has come to recognize and depend upon. and he can recognise himself in the mirror. although he is going to spend the next eighteen months checking its meaning exactly! The down side of all this is that he is frightened when you leave him and will cling and cry. He will have developed some definite ideas about what he likes and does not like. Social and emotional development It is usually in these three months that your baby begins to understand his very special relationship with you. although he still thinks that if he can't see you. and that you are still there even when he cannot see you. and with friends and relatives. He may kick and resist nappy change time or other restrictions on his freedom. you can't see him. He understands the meaning of "no".

Some babies will start to walk by themselves during these months. See 'Choking'.keeping them safe'. She pokes and points with her finger and transfers objects from one hand to another. She might pull herself along with her arms. roll around or crawl on all fours. Talking . If you have loved the tiny baby stage you may have some sadness when your baby starts to look like a child or else you may be relieved to see the promise of some independence to come. During this time she will start to pull herself to standing and support her weight while holding on to you or to furniture. probably holding on and not walking quite yet. You need to baby-proof your house and make sure all poisons and dangerous items are locked away up high. Put things that she might break well out of reach too. Safety is a big issue when babies start to move around by themselves. See 'Home safety' and 'Toddlers . Her fine motor skills are improving quickly too. She will still put anything she holds into her mouth and now that she can pick up small things this can be a risk time for swallowing dangerous objects or choking. She can't stop herself from touching anything that looks interesting. but vertical nevertheless. She cannot however control putting things down and she has to drop to release objects from her grasp.The big break through in motor development is that she will move all on her own. She is also able to drink out of a cup with a spout without help. She will be feeding herself in her high chair although she may often be more interested in squishing and feeling than the actual eating bit. although many won't walk for a few months yet. She will be able to sit on her own for quite long times and will enjoy exploring objects and the sounds she can make with them while sitting on the floor. She can pick up an object with her thumb and fingers rather than grabbing with the palm of her hand. It's a big thing to see your baby 'standing on her own two feet'.

laughing and trying to attract your attention. Babies can be very interested in books now (see 'Reading with babies'). Look at simple books with clear pictures in them. like move or make a noise. front of mouth sounds. He is not making the huge variety of sounds that he was in earlier months because his sounds are more specific to his native tongue. Activities for the 9-12 months old           Make her a kitchen cupboard of her own to open and shut the door. Cuddle and roll on the floor. Play 'hiding' behind the couch or curtains. Give her pots and spoons to bang. but they are starting to have some interest in toys that do something. Summary . What to watch out for Seek help from your health professional if your baby by 12 months is not:        pulling himself up to stand moving around somehow changing objects from one hand to another looking up when you call his name copying simple sounds like "mummum" showing signs of being especially attached to his parent smiling. (if English is his native tongue). Bounce her and sing. He recognizes several words and may shake his head for "no''. He may be saying simple sounds like 'mumum' and 'daddad'. Sing songs and repeat phrases. He begins to drop [for instance] those European sounds deep in the back of his throat for more English. He begins to love music and rhymes and he will bounce and sway to the rhythm and he will love the repetition of songs that help him to learn that language in itself is a musical thing. Talk to her a lot. Sit her on the floor with her toys. Children of this age still like being with people best of all. Encourage her to push a trolley with bricks in it.He has got the idea of conversations now and even though he may not have any recognisable words he will 'chat' away with the right inflexion in his voice.

There may be a problem if a baby: o is not interested in new objects. .Social emotional A baby usually:     is well aware of strangers and familiar people and withdraws from strangers may not even go to familiar people for a while .demanding the primary caregiver gives cuddles by 10 months enjoys peek-a-boo games. There may be a problem if a baby: o o is not sitting by 9-10 months is not starting to move around by any means. There may be a problem if a baby: o o does not show pleasure when she sees familiar people does not show anxiety when separated from her main caregiver. Understanding A baby usually:    is interested in small objects and reaches out for them starts to look at and feel objects before taking them to his mouth looks in the correct direction for things that have fallen down. Motor skills A baby usually:     can move around by crawling or bottom shuffling by 10 months can lean over while sitting without falling over can pull up to standing by 10 to 11 months walks with hands held by 10 to 12 months. Speech and language A baby usually:     is putting strings of babble sounds together shakes head for 'no' by about 10 months recognises several words including own name (eg looks for daddy if 'daddy' is said) imitates sounds made by other people. There may be a problem if: o babbling has not become more complex and baby does not babble in 'conversation' with others.

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