• Infant Birth to 18 months
  • Toddler 19 months to 3 years
  • Preschooler 3 to 5 years

Infant : 7 to 9 Months

Seven to nine month old

The second half of the first year shows some remarkable new abilities. At this stage you will notice your baby will begin to:

  • Move either by crawling, bum shuffling, or pivoting on the tummy.
  • Use their first and second fingers with their thumb – even feed themselves a cracker.
  • Copy actions they sees others do, such as waving bye-bye.
  • Clearly attach themselves to familiar caregivers and want to stay close.
  • Show intention when exploring objects to understand what they do or sounds they make.

By now, your baby can make some gestures to show what they want, such as raising their arms when they want to be lifted. They also like to make things happen, such as shaking an object to make a noise. They can also move a toy from hand to mouth, and bang a spoon placed in their hand. And about now they are responding to their name, looking up at you when you say it. They coo, chuckle, gurgle and make some consonant and vowel sounds. They can probably stay alert for about two hours at a time.

Things to Remember...

Even when you seem to be pulled in many directions at once, it’s important to make time for your baby. If you have a partner, try to work it out so that you take turns with chores and spending time with the baby. Housework isn’t the highest priority. Build a network of friends, relatives and neighbours – we can all use a bit of help.

Developmental Milestones at 7 to 9 Months

Social

Social Development  at this stage is all about how your baby develops relationships with you and other adults; imitating behaviours of adults, and maintaining connections. These skills emerge and develop throughout infancy; and are best supported through the nurturing of  caregivers and other adults in an infant’s life.

Typical Skills

  • Plays social games such as peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, so-big, bye-bye and ball games
  • Holds hands over eyes, trying to get someone to play peek-a-boo
  • Shows desire to be included in social interaction by showing off to adults; performs for home audience and repeats act if applauded
  • Resists pressure to do something they don’t want to do, for example, no longer automatically accepts feeding and will push spoon away
  • Copies actions they see others do
  • Intentionally points to things they want
  • Shouts for attention; breaks into the conversation with their voice signalling emphasis and emotion

Emerging Skills

  • Demonstrates sense of control of their environment, e.g., extends toy to show you, but won’t give it to you
  • Learns to protect self and possessions
  • Tests parental reactions during feeding and bedtime
  • Able to concentrate other people’s actions, e.g., likes to watch people scribbling on paper
  • Shows persistence and may refuse to allow themselves to be distracted

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Emotional

Emotional Development include how your baby establishes a sense of self, how he learns and experience a variety of emotions; and develop self-regulation over time with the support of parents and other familiar adults. These skills are increasingly developing overtime as infants learn more about themselves and are consistently supported through nurturing relationships from you and other caregivers.

Typical Skills

  • Feels strongly about what they do want to do or do not want to do
  • Laughs because they have discovered they can laugh whenever they want
  • Looks worried when they hear a loud noise, such as a balloon popping or the vacuum running or when someone speaks in a very stern voice
  • Displays fear of separation, i.e., is clearly attached to familiar caregivers, follows and wants to stay close to them
  • Expresses fright, i.e., is frightened by new experiences, new people and will fuss or cry if you look or behave differently

Emerging Skills

  • Shows clear like or dislike for certain people, objects or places
  • May be more sensitive to other children and will cry if they cry
  • Begins to think about people’s moods and motives

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Fine Motor

Fine Motor Development includes the development of various forms of grasps such as palmar and pincer grasp. Palmar grasp is when an infant holds an object with their entire palm; pincer grasp is when an infant holds an object using their forefinger and thumb to lift and hold small objects.

Typical Skills

  • Grasp is more refined; progresses from holding things in palm to using thumb, first and second fingers
  • Rakes at tiny objects and picks up shoe laces, cereal or crumbs with thumb and forefinger
  • Drops objects unintentionally and then looks for them
  • Feeds self some finger foods such as a cookie or cracker
  • Picks up, holds and manipulates an object, in each hand simultaneously; bangs objects together at center of their body
  • Explores objects by grabbing, shaking, sliding and banging

Emerging Skills

  • Removes pegs from pegboard
  • Is able to throw objects
  • Builds tower of two blocks
  • With index finger, pokes fingers into holes or anything that looks interesting
  • Takes objects out of container purposefully
  • Releases objects voluntarily

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Gross Motor

Gross Motor Development refers to crawling, pulling oneself up to stand, cruising, and walking. These gross motor skills occurs for all infants as they first begin crawls and eventually start walking as they become toddlers.

Typical Skills

  • Balances themselves while sitting; sits alone steadily for longer periods without holding on; sits and bounces on their buttocks
  • Pushes up on hands and knees and rocks back and forth; sits up by pushing up from crawl position with arms at side
  • Crawls with an object in one or both hands; may also move by “bum” shuffling or turning in circles on stomach
  • Helps out when you pull them to stand; sometimes pulls themselves up using furniture; stands firmly on their legs when held in standing position

Emerging Skills

  • Makes stepping movements
  • Stands holding on to your hands; held standing, puts one foot in front of the other
  • Uses protective extension of arms to keep from falling backwards
  • Lowers themselves to sitting from standing, holding on to supports
  • Crawls up stairs
  • Takes side step holding on to furniture (called cruising)

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Intellectual

Intellectual Development means exploring cause-and-effect exploration, problem solving, imitation, spatial and memory exploration. Cause-and-effect exploration is repeating actions that produce similar outcomes. Problem solving within infancy is exploring objects with their hands, finger, toes or other body parts, and finding hidden toys, objects or people. Spatial and memory exploration is tracking moving objects and recognizing previously seen objects or faces.

Typical Skills

  • Recognizes size of objects by reaching for small object with finger and thumb and large object with both hands
  • Distinguishes near and far objects and space
  • When exploring objects, demonstrates understanding of what they do or what sounds they make, e.g., the baby bangs a block on the floor, shakes a noise maker harder, purposefully pushes buttons on toy, or hits a rubber toy to make it squeak
  • Searches for an object when it is taken away but only in the place where it first appeared
  • Continues to experiment with things they can do with one side of their body, then the other
  • Understands meaning of ‘in’ and ‘out’, demonstrated by dropping several large beads in a cup or bowl, dumping them out, and repeating the game over and over

Emerging Skills

  • Shows problem solving by using another object to get the one they want, e.g., pulling a string horizontally to pull toy closer or holds onto two objects and reaches for a third
  • Realizes size differences between objects
  • Begins experimenting with familiar behaviours, e.g., imitating people when they’re out of sight and earshot; will imitate a new gesture
  • Starts to combine known bits of behaviour in new ways
  • May associate picture of baby with themselves, and make a sound of recognition

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Language

Language Development refers to various forms of communication: verbal and non-verbal communication skills which an infant develops from the first month of infancy through to 24 months as they become toddlers. Verbal communication is the sounds infants typically make, such as ‘oooooh’ or ‘aaaah’. These sounds continuously develop and eventually become words. Example of non-verbal communication; eye contact with caregivers, gazing with the eyes and various forms of gestures to communicate the infant’s needs.

Typical Skills

  • Says several sounds like ma, mu, da, di, and ba all in one breath as well as multi-syllabic babbling, e.g., da-da-da or ga-ga-ga
  • Recognizes some words; shows excitement when they hear “bottle” or some other familiar word; looks toward mommy when asked, “Where’s Mommy?”
  • Can do simple things when asked, for example, “Show me the ball” or “Wave bye-bye”
  • Turns to listen when they hear familiar sounds like the telephone or their name
  • Uses special words meaningfully, dada and mama as specific names

Emerging Skills

  • Shows understanding of words through appropriate behaviour or gesture
  • Labels an object in imitation of its sound, example, train – choo-choo or dog -‘woof’
  • Has adult intonation when babbling
  • Listens selectively to familiar words and begins to recognize some
  • Knows what ‘no-no’ means

Activities to Support Your Child's Development