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Support Your Baby’s Development: Activities for Your 9-Month-Old

Support Your Baby’s Development: Activities for Your 9-Month-Old

Here are some simple activities for 9-month-olds that you can use to nurture your baby’s fascination and development. 

Medically reviewed by board certified pediatrician

Activities for your 9-month-old baby: Thinking

Cause and effect. You can teach your 9-month-old about cause and effect by showing them how dropping blocks into a bucket makes a noise, pushing a ball makes it roll, or cranking the handle on a jack-in-the-box makes the doll appear—even if it’s slightly frightening each time. 

Hide-and-seek. By covering a toy with a blanket and letting your baby search for it, you help teach them about object permanence, a child’s ability to know that items don’t disappear just because they’re out of sight. If they’re not quite ready to play this game yet, don’t worry! They’ll be there eventually.

Activities for your 9-month-old baby: Moving

Standing. If your baby is trying to stand by pulling themselves up, place toys on a low table so they can support their bodies while reaching for the objects. Once your baby knows toys are on the table, they’ll want to have a peek.

Walking together. You can support your baby in a standing position by holding their hands. If you take a step or two, this encourages them to walk with you.

Obstacle course. A fun activity for 9-month-olds that can help them become more agile is creating an obstacle course. Nothing too crazy, but you can arrange small pillows for your baby to climb over and big cardboard boxes that they can crawl through.

Let them join in feeding. Giving your baby a wide-handled plastic spoon and a cup at mealtime can encourage self-feeding. It’s easier than wrestling for control of the spoon since you’ll both have one. Yours will likely do most of the work, but they’ll feel empowered and you’ll help them hone motor skills.

Patty-cake. It may seem simple, but patty-cake is a great game for developing your baby’s hand-eye coordination, so bake away!

Safety. Your baby’s smart! So, make sure that your childproofing strategies keep up with their development. As they master each new skill, they’ll be exposed to new hazards you hadn’t considered before. For instance, as soon as your 9-month-old starts crawling, you might want to install gates at the top and bottom of staircases. That will give them freedom to roam safely, since mastering stairs might not happen for quite a while.

Activities for your 9-month-old baby: Communicating

Narrating. By now, your baby understands a lot of what you say through your body language, tone of voice, and context. Pointing things out and describing what you see, what you’re doing, or where you’re going can help them learn as you go about your day together.

Conversation. Baby babbles can be a simple way to help practice talking. After the inevitable pause in your little one’s long strings of sounds, add your own sentence. This pattern teaches them how people have a back-and-forth conversation and it makes for a very cute discussion.

Sign language. Some babies begin to understand a form of baby sign language around this age. Signing gives them another way to express their wants and may help lessen frustration and tears. If your baby responds to learning the signs, this can be a great way to communicate.

Books. A basket of board books on the floor gives your baby treasures they can reach for and look through on their own.

Activities for your 9-month-old baby: Understanding

Waving goodbye. This practice teaches them the comforting notion that when you leave, you’ll always come back.

Welcome a “lovey.” Also called a transitional object, a lovey—a favorite blanket or stuffed animal—can boost your baby’s confidence and help them feel more secure when they visit a new place or stay with a sitter.

Distraction. When your baby gets frustrated by your limit-setting, try distracting them rather than getting into a battle of wills. Move to another room with your baby, swap out a toy, or start a new activity. 

Schedules. When thinking about incorporating these activities for 9-month-olds, consider that routine can be very comforting and helps your baby feel secure—and it will help with your sanity. Try to work out a schedule for feedings, naps, and playtime that’s roughly the same every day. Weekends and weekdays should follow a similar pattern.

Activities aren’t the only things that can help support your baby’s development. Let’s help ensure they get the daily nutrients they need like those found in Enfagrow® Toddler Transitions.

All information on Enfamil, including but not limited to information about health, medical conditions, and nutrition, is intended for your general knowledge and is not a substitute for a healthcare professional's medical identification, advice, or management for specific medical conditions. You should seek medical care and consult your doctor or pediatrician for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment, care, or help because of information you have read on Enfamil.