9 Months

Nate has now turned 9 months old and is definitely on the move.

Congratulations, Nate. You can now sit without support!

This is a major achievement for him. Look how proud he is! He celebrates by clapping his hands. Applause, applause.

He keeps balance while he sits by leaning forward. Soon, he will be able to, while sitting, turn his upper body so that he also can reach objects behind his back without falling.

Now that he's managed to sit up, the next major achievement in motor development will be crawling. Many children learn to sit and crawl at almost the same time, but this differs from child to child.

Crawling is the forward movement created by a child on his hands and knees with the chest and the buttocks free from the ground.

Until Nate manages to perfect crawling, he will use other crawl-like techniques to move forward while being on his stomach.

This is creeping, meaning that he pushes himself forward with his arms and legs, but does not lift his body off the ground.

We see that Nate's speed is quite impressive even though he is not crawling yet. He manages to get to where he wants to.

Here Nate is on his stomach and suddenly manages to get into the right position for crawling. He takes one step forward before this position becomes to heavy for him, and he has to start creeping. Hurray! At least I can get where I want, Nate thinks.

Soon, you'll reach your next important motor achievement, Nate. That is crawling!

Nate has developed even more strength and balance when standing even though his mother supports him by holding both his hands. When we compare Nate to himself from 2 months ago, we notice that his ability to stand now is much more controlled, even though he still needs some support.

In this phase of development, many children will start putting one leg in front the other and visa versa. This is the beginning of learning to walk.

Between 7 and 12 months of age, most children develop several support or developmental reflexes (which are different from the ones that you are born with). These new reflexes are vital for the development of the balance needed to be able to sit, crawl, stand and eventually walk.

At this age, the child's control over his hand and finger movements is improving and gets more and more sophisticated. Watch Nate as he examines his toy using his forefinger. His grasp also improves, making it possible for him to manipulate very small objects.

It is still interesting to taste objects, but small objects can cause a child to choke. Always make sure that the child's environment is childproofed and always supervise a child at this age if they are handling small objects.

Typically a 9-month-old child cannot easily loosen his grip and let things go, but he can shift a toy from one hand to the other. He enjoys banging things together or against the ground, especially if it makes a funny noise. He is also learning that using more force makes a louder noise. Nate thinks that this is very funny.

Watch how well Nate uses his forefinger to examine his toy.

Your 9-month-old baby can make many different sounds and has a lot to say. She has started to play with sounds like "ga ga ga" and "ba ba ba". She also knows that some sounds, like "mama", mean special people and soon she will start saying the names of people and objects.

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

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