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Little A hit nine months this week! Each day he becomes more distinct. It’s crazy, the privilege of watching a person form before your eyes. He’s developing preferences and ease in expressing them. The days of laying there and looking around are over. My youngest is moving and he will follow me to the bathroom, opening drawers and dispelling contents along the way. This child requires constant vigilance and even more baby-proofing. I think we’re gonna need to nail shit down. In this post I’ll detail our nine month old’s habits, preferences, schedules, and milestones.
At A Glance
Son Deux worships his big brother. Sometimes I am sad for him: at best, Big A is mildly interested in Little A, at worst, enraged that he’s touching his stuff. Then I remember that Little A is a baby and will never know any better and I make myself stop caring. A fun game in our house “Your Brother’s Just Looking At It.”
Little A loves songs, finger games, and will mimic facial expressions for what feels like hours; crying when you break eye contact. Physical play is a big part of his day: rolling, pat-a-cake, wrestling, tickling, dancing, flying, and “getting” his brother. He likes looking at books, toys that make noise, the music table, the shape sorter, and big stuffed animals.
I still baby-wear, but not as much (my back is thankful). Little A gets excited when he sees me putting the Moby wrap on. He’s been intensely teething and soothed by being so close. The teething has affected his napping and eating. He’s more resistant to sleeping alone and drinking more bottles, eating less solids. He’s been enjoying Cheerios and banana rusks more than baby purees. Little A revels in story hours, play times, appointments and is delighted when friends and family come over.
Little A’s Schedule
- 5:30-6:30-wake up, 30 minutes play time with Daddy, morning chores/free play
- 7:30-breakfast (finger foods and fruit puree, hopefully a bottle before we leave)
- 8:00-8:20-getting dressed and out the door to take Josh to work
- 9:00-11:00-morning outing/activity, nap in the car or wrapped
- 11:30-12:30-lunch (vegetable puree, mashed potatoes/cauliflower, finger foods), clean-up, read story
- 3:00-4:30-chores, free play, snack, afternoon activity
- 4:45-5:15-get Josh from work
- 5:30-6:00-family play time
- 6:30-dinner (vegetable puree and finger foods)
- 7:00-bath time
- 7:30-story, bottle, and bed
- 10:30-dream feeding
There’s no use in getting too twitted out about checklists and milestones-these guidelines are broad and based on averages. There’s truth in the saying that each child will do things on their own time.
But-I do like to stay on top of milestones as a broad generalization to make sure that the boys are following some kind of developmental arc. I like to research in three month chunks, meaning that when Little A was born I researched 0-3 month milestones, at three months, 3-6 month milestones.
Now that Little A is nine months old I have my eye on 9-12 month milestones. There are several milestones that my youngest son hasn’t hit yet on this list. If too many in any area are lacking then I know where he needs help, as early intervention is so important.
- Turns in circle when sitting
- Twists to pick up objects
- Pulls self up to stand
- Pokes with index finger
- Stands briefly without help
- Extends arm or leg to help with getting dressed
- Crawls forward on belly
- Crawls up and down stairs
- Assumes hands and knees position
- Uses pincer grip
- Stands by flexing knees and pushing up from squat
- Use both hands freely
- Purposely lets go of objects
- Chews small pieces of food
- Holds and tries to use spoon
Activities To Help
To sit, reach, squat, stand, roll, and crawl, Little A needs a strong core. Therefore, we do reaching games. I put Little A on his bottom and place his favorite toys just outside of his reach. Stretching forward for the toys strengthens his core, bonus points if he reaches across his body. I encourage Little A to use his music table so he practices standing and reaching. We read books to practice pointing and naming objects. To increase Little A’s awareness of his lower body (most nine month olds have stronger upper bodies and tend to rely on them) I place him in my lap and hold his legs with his feet flat against the floor. I “march” his feet up and down while singing nursery rhymes. Using his shape sorter encourages Little A to use both hands and to purposely let go of objects. Little A is starting to practice walking with push toys.
- Finds easily hidden object
- Bangs two blocks together
- Takes objects in and out of containers
- Uses objects correctly (when given a toy phone child puts phone to ear, etc)
- Attempts to imitate scribbling
- Builds tower with two blocks
- Responds to simple gestures and questions such as “Where’s your belly button?“
Activities to Help
We do a lot of free play to work on these skills, hanging out on the floor with scattered blocks, containers, and puzzles. I hide small toys under blankets and pillows. Some time is spent trying to guide activities, but mostly I follow his lead. No matter what we’re doing, I try to maintain a steady stream of chatter. At nine months, Little A is only doing the first three items on this checklist.
- Pays attention to speech
- Responds to “no“
- Experiences separation anxiety
- Enjoys imitating others in play
- Uses/responds to simple gestures
- Says mama/dada
- Uses simple exclamations such as “uh-oh!”
- Attempts to imitate words
Activities To Help
Little A is definitely experiencing separation anxiety. My normally know-no-strangers child cries if anyone but me or Josh tries to touch him. Or if we leave the room. I’ve been trying to practice leaving the room and coming back, to show him that Mama always comes back. A lesson in object permanence, if you will. But he follows me so I’m not sure how well that’s working. Little A is responding to “no” (he’ll stop mid-crawl towards the Christmas tree). Much of the social and communicative work is narrating aloud, finger songs and games, repetitive vocalizations (“wooow” when I want him to look at something, “uh-oh” when he drops something), imaginative play, and reading books. We’ve been using sign with Little A as well, which will strengthen attempts of imitation and communication.
What are/were your favorite activities to do with the 9-12 month olds in your life? What did you get them for Christmas? Was it worth messing up the nap schedule to get mall Santa pictures of them? Let me know in the comments below! Did you like this article? Share it!
See Little A’s introduction here.