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.

Brain Building

Learn through life's everyday moments

When you're folding laundry, take long socks and dangle them above your child's head. Encourage them to try and capture the toes of the socks! As they move their arms up and down to reach the socks, you can say, "Up" and "Down" to describe their actions.

See what your child is learning

When you play this game, your child is learning new words as they listen to you describe what they're doing. They're also introduced to important concepts like up and down through their senses.


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

Early help for infants & toddlers

The Early Intervention Program (EIP)

NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Support for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays.

Healthy food for families

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

NYS Department of Health

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

Child care for babies & toddlers

EarlyLearn NYC Child Care

NYC Department of Education

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