9 Months

Discover tips, tools, and support for this age

Your baby takes in information by touching, watching, and playing. Every moment you spend with them is a chance for them to learn! Around this time, your baby may point at objects and people, play games like peek-a-boo, and crawl around the house. They’ll also sleep a lot—up to 14 hours per day!

Scroll down to learn more about your baby’s development, get support for your family, and find free activities to go to together.


The Early Childhood Family Toolkit

The Early Childhood Family Toolkit is a growing collection of our favorite resources for families with young kids. Discover learn-at-home tips and activities, health support, and more—all chosen by the NYC Department of Education.


Explore our favorite family resources

Brain Building

Learn through life's everyday moments

When feeding your baby, talk about what they're doing and why you think they're doing it. "You're drinking your milk because you're so hungry!" Talk about what will happen next. "After your tummy is full of milk, you'll be sleepy and it will be time for your nap."

See what your child is learning

Talking with your baby and labeling their sounds and actions helps them connect words to feelings, and builds vocabulary. When you talk about your baby's daily routine, you help them feel safe throughout the day's changes.


Skills babies develop as they play, learn, speak, act, and move are called milestones. Learn about milestones to help you understand your baby's development and act early if you have concerns.

Around 9 month old, many babies:

  • Social

    • May be afraid of strangers
    • May be clingy with familiar adults
    • Have favorite toys
  • Communication

    • Understand "no"
    • Make different sounds like "mamamama" and "babababa"
    • Copy other people's sounds and gestures
    • Use fingers to point at things
  • Learning

    • Watch an object as it falls
    • Look for things they see someone hide
    • Play peek-a-boo
    • Put things in their mouth
  • Physical Development

    • Stand while holding onto something for support
    • Get into sitting position and sit without support
    • Pull themself up to stand
    • Crawl
    • Pick up objects, like breakfast cereal pieces, between thumb and first finger
    • Move things smoothly from one hand to the other
  • Health

    • Eat fork-mashed, ground, or cut-up food and other soft foods with breast milk
    • Eat cereal, single-ingredient pureed vegetables, fruit, and meat
    • Sleep about 14 hours per day
    • Stay on schedule with shots

Act early by talking to a doctor, teacher, or social worker if your child:

  • Act Early

    • Doesn't hold weight on legs with support
    • Doesn't sit up with help
    • Doesn't babble, making sounds like "mama," "baba," or "dada"
    • Doesn't play any games involving back-and-forth actions
    • Doesn't respond to their name
    • Doesn't seem to recognize familiar people
    • Doesn't look where you point
    • Doesn't pass toys from one hand to the other


Get the support your family needs to thrive

The Early Intervention Program (EIP)

NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Early help for infants & toddlers

Support for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

NYS Department of Health

Healthy food for families

Free healthy food, counseling about healthy eating, breastfeeding support, and referrals for women, infants, and children under five.


NYC Department of Education

Child care for infants & toddlers

Early child care and education services for up to 10 hours a day.

Virtual Events

See what your family can do for free in NYC

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

American Sign Language Storytime With Rhys

Storyteller, Rhys, will share stories, songs, and activities in ASL, with English captions included so those who are learning or curious can follow along.