Baby Development Guide for Baby’s Ninth Month (weeks 36-39)
Your child is now nine months old and he or she has grown up so fast! Significant mobility is not too far away (if it hasn’t already come), social interactions are slowly transforming and intellectual capacities are rapidly increasing. As a parent, are you tired yet? (Be sure to take care of yourself through the process!)
Your baby will get his nine month check up around now. At that doctor’s visit you will be asked about teething, sleep patterns, baby’s diet, mobility progress, vocalization of your child and so forth. Another topic that will probably be discussed is that of nursing vs. bottle feeding. Nursing in the United States often does not go past the first year but internationally it often goes on for years.
At this age your son or daughter will probably be able to pull themselves up and stand while holding on to furniture. And if they are able to do that they will also cruise around the perimeter of tables, desks and chairs. To make matters more challenging, your child might also be a climber- gaining interest in reaching things that are higher up. Now is the perfect time to make sure your house is safe for baby cruising!
At nine months your baby might show their personality through the form of fears (for example she might become afraid when you have to leave the house to go grocery shopping). When this happens simply offer reassurance and keep “goodbye” times light, short and sweet.
Your baby will love his siblings but he would much prefer to be playing with toys instead. His interactions with siblings will also change with his increased mobility- older brothers and sisters might not appreciate having their space invaded and might do things such as shut the younger “intruder” into a closet or surround him with toys to disallow movement. While these situations are probably hard to observe as a parent, they are actually quite harmless and can even be beneficial to your 9 month old. Try to not react unless your baby is in real danger. Instead, channel it into a game that each sibling can play together.
A great new addition to your baby’s interests is her enjoyment of simple interactive games. Playing “how big is (Ashley)? So big!” can be a fun way to get laughs and teach her all at the same time. These games teach her about herself and the world and they can add self-esteem too.
Intellectually your child’s distinct cognitive style will begin to really shine through (all kids are unique). She will be more aware of vertical space and might be fearful of heights. He will probably also be harder to amuse because he remembers toys and games from day to day. This new skill makes the “newness” of every toy and activity fade more quickly and he might seem harder to entertain.
Finally, most experts agree that well before your child turns one he or she has gained a sexual identity. This is perfectly normal and needed for each child and, although it’s hard to detect specific activities or events that formulate this discovery the best thing you can do is love on them and show them that you cherish them in a way that they best receive it.
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