At nine months, you’ll start to hear emerging baby speech patterns. Get ready for lots of babbling as your baby will soon be able to follow a simple command, like “Give Mommy the cup.” Babies at this age also have a great time mimicking you by mirroring your facial expressions and echoing your sounds.

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What's happening at 9 months:

Your bright, babbling baby might be developing the ability to grab anything within reach, so be mindful to keep harmful objects out of sight. Help test your baby’s verbal skills and learn to connect words to meaning by incorporating gestures into your communication. Shaking your head from side to side when you say the word, “no,” waving when you say, “bye-bye,” and pointing to the ball when you say, “go get the ball” will help your baby understand what you’re saying.

Look for these expected behaviors at 9 months: 

  • May be afraid of strangers
  • May be clingy with familiar adults
  • Smiles and laughs while looking at you
  • Has favorite toys
  • Understands "no"
  • Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama" and “babababa”
  • Uses voice to make different sounds to express emotion
  • Copies sounds and gestures of others
  • Uses early gestures like giving and reaching to request
  • Uses fingers to point at things
  • Watches the path of something as it falls
  • Looks for things he sees you hide
  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Puts things in their mouth
  • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other
  • Picks up things like cereal Os between thumb and index finger
  • Stands, holding on
  • Can get into sitting position
  • Sits without support
  • Pulls to stand
  • Crawls

Talk to your doctor if you notice your child:

  • Doesn't bear weight on legs with support
  • Doesn't sit with help
  • Doesn't babble (mama, baba, dada)
  • Doesn't play any games involving back-and-forth play
  • Doesn't respond to own name
  • Doesn't seem to recognize familiar people
  • Doesn't look where you point
  • Doesn't transfer toys from one hand to the other

Additional Resources:

Talk With Me Baby is made possible by a grant from the United Way of Atlanta and is a collaborative effort among organizations.