Development (6 - 9 Months)

Ways to Encourage Development (6 - 9 months)

Muscle Skills

  • Provide a safe environment so infant can creep, crawl and explore.
  • Have lots of toys of different shapes, textures and colors. Be sure toys are safe (no small pieces or sharp edges).
  • Provide finger foods infant won’t choke on. (Children progress on solid foods at different rates; start out with crackers and then move on to small foods.)
  • Let infant begin feeding self. Try to use cup with small amounts of fluids.

Language Skills

  • Talk to infant, use descriptive words to comment on infant’s activities.
  • Praise when infant makes sounds.
  • Imitate sounds made by infant.
  • Provide squeaky or musical toys.

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Continue to provide the same caregiver as much as possible.
  • Play games such as peekaboo, or making toys disappear and then immediately come back.
  • Provide playtime with infant.

Thinking Skills

  • Continue using toys suggested for 3 to 6-month-olds. Try rotating them so some new toys become available each week.
  • As infant begins creeping or crawling, provide large, safe area to explore.

Developmental Tasks (6 - 9 months)

Muscle Skills

  • Sits alone without support, has good head control and may crawl.
  • Able to get from lying to sitting (6 ‑ 11 months).
  • Can pull self to stand up, may take a step while holding on (6 ‑ 10 months).
  • Reaches out and grasps objects (rattles, toys).
  • Looks for object that goes out of sight.
  • Begins self‑feeding with finger foods and cup.

Language Skills

  • May say dada or mama but does not connect these words with specific people.
  • Imitates speech sounds and noises.
  • Turns and looks in the direction of sounds.
  • Likes musical sounds, squeaky toys.

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Begins to be shy or uneasy with strangers.
  • May show strong preference or attachment to one or two people.
  • Enjoys games like pat‑a‑cake or peekaboo or hiding a toy and then having it reappear.
  • Smiles at self in the mirror.

Thinking Skills

  • Spends much of daytime awake and alert.
  • Recognizes familiar people and objects.
  • Begins to develop memory.

 

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