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

As you help your child dress, put different kinds of fabrics on their bare feet. Talk about how a soft blanket feels on their toes. Then switch to something else, like a scratchy sweater, and describe it. Watch your baby's reactions and then respond. Which textures do they smile at or pull away from?

See what your child is learning

Responding to cues like smiles or kicks shows that you're listening. It inspires your baby to keep talking through sounds and actions. Connecting ideas, like how things feel, builds your baby's brain and vocabulary.


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 or formula
    • Eat a variety of single single-ingredient soft or pureed foods from all food groups, including iron-fortified cereal, vegetables, fruit and protein foods such as beans, lentils, tofu, poultry, fish, eggs, 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 (DOHMH)

Help for infants and toddlers with disabilities

Early Intervention is a voluntary program for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays with support for families.

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

NYS Department of Health (NYS DOH)

Healthy food for families

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

Infants and Toddlers

NYC Department of Education (DOE)

Free or low-cost child care for children six weeks to two years old

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