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Between 7 and 9 months, your baby will become more mobile and will develop an even greater response to their environment.

All babies grow at different rates, but average growth rates are listed below:

  • Head size: average growth of about ¼ inch each month
  • Weight: 2 times birth weight by 4 to 5 months and 3 times birth weight by 1 year; average gain of 1 pound per month, with boys usually weighing ½ pound more than girls
  • Height: average growth of ½  inch each month

Cognitive Milestones

Your baby’s awareness, understanding and interactions will continue to increase during this time. New people and surroundings will present learning opportunities and your child will begin:

  • Showing interest in or dislike of certain foods
  • Responding to changes in other people’s emotions
  • Showing fear of strangers
  • Making sounds to gain attention, such as shrieks, coughs or snorts
  • Beginning to understand object permanence, such as reaching for toy hidden under a blanket
  • Following one-step commands with gestures (such as leaning forward for food when parent holds out spoon and asks if baby wants more)
  • Preferring mother over others
  • Becoming playful with self in a mirror
  • Appearing to understand some words (such as “mama”)
  • Paying attention to conversation
  • Responding to “no” and own name

Physical Milestones

At this age, babies will often become mobile, so home safety becomes an important issue to consider. Their physical abilities will increase quickly during this time. The list below covers some of the most common developments:

  • Sleeping most of the night, but sometimes waking up and crying
  • Napping 2 – 3 times a day for 1 to 2 hours per nap
  • Playing peek-a-boo
  • Doing pincer grasp by 8 to 9 months (grasping object between thumb and finger)
  • Teething, typically starting with 2 lower front teeth then 2 top front teeth
  • Drinking from a cup
  • Holding an object in each hand
  • Putting objects into mouth
  • Banging toys on table
  • Reaching and grasping object with whole hand
  • Beginning to pull up to standing position
  • Scooting or crawling, typically backward at first, and then forward
  • Getting up on hands and knees and rocking back and forth
  • Bouncing when held in a standing position
  • Sitting; first leaning forward on hands, then unsupported
  • Rolling over

Communication Milestones

Babies also become more social and communicative during this age. Every baby will develop these skills at different rates, such as:

  • Repeating sounds or tones made by others
  • Making several different vowel sounds, especially “u” and “o”
  • Making 2 syllable sounds (da-da, ma-ma)

Emotional Security and Development

You can continue to encourage emotional security and development in your baby by doing simple tasks and activities such as:

  • Offering a cup
  • Building a tower with your baby and knocking it down to show cause and effect
  • Establishing a bath and bedtime routine
  • Giving your baby toys that stack or nest
  • Repeating and expanding sounds your baby makes (such as “da-da” when they say “da”)
  • Reading picture books together
  • Making a variety of sounds for your baby to imitate
  • Naming common objects
  • Playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
  • Playing in front of a mirror, such as pointing to your baby in the mirror when saying your baby’s name
  • Pausing and waiting for your baby’s reaction when speaking to your baby
  • Giving your baby safe toys that make noises

Karen K. Meyer, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic Hawthorne Court (178 & Q)

Dr. Meyer answers your questions about child development and parenting. Dr. Meyer decided to become a doctor when she was in school and learned about the body's systems and the miracle of how they all work together. She likes talking to children and helping them feel better. Dr. Meyer believes that children are not little adults and they need to be treated in a way that will help them understand why they aren't feeling well and what they can do to get better. She also works to build tru ...

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