Baby Development, 9 to 12 Months

Stimulate your baby's development by encouraging him to crawl, balance, and stand up.

Crawling is a gross motor skill that most children learn between the ages of 9 and 12 months. Let your child practice crawling on the floor, while lying on her stomach in various positions, to strengthen the back and neck muscles. You can encourage crawling by putting toys on the floor at different distances that will encourage her to reach. Children in this age group are starting to use the index finger independently of the other fingers, so stimulate your child's hand function and fine motor skills by giving her toys that are easy to grasp and that have fun details (different sizes and shapes, parts that move or make sounds).

Your child will also want to stand up with all the weight on his legs. As he becomes stronger, he will try to come up into the four-feet crawling position, lifting his chest and bottom from the floor. But his balance is still not developed, so provide support by holding him with both hands. Let him practice standing like this every day. He will gradually become steadier and manage to balance his body better. You can train his ability to stand by pulling up a table or chair and putting some toys on them so he'll want to stand up. When your child manages to stand without support, play a game to have him imitate your actions and sounds, which is good social training. Get him to pat his thighs and clap his hands and always offer praise when he succeeds in imitating you.

Starting around age 10 months, your child will be able to start walking, first supported with two hands and then with only one hand.

Copyright ? 2012 Meredith Corporation.

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