baby activities 9-month

Baby Development Series: Activities at 9 months

By the time your baby reaches their three-quarter year milestone, they are practically unrecognizable from the teeny tiny newborn bundle. They may be sitting, crawling or even pulling up to stand. In short, they are unlikely to be in the same place that you left them anymore and so activities that cater for their newfound mobility are crucial! Read on to find out our suggested activities at 9 months…

Baby Development – 9 months

Here are some of the developmental milestones you might see at 9 months. Please just note that every child is different: some might be a little later to hit these milestones and some may have already passed them.

  • Babbling – sometimes you might be able to distinguish a sound similar to mama or dada
  • Shows understanding, for example, they may get their toy bunny if you ask, ‘where’s bunny’
  • Separation anxiety can also start to show at around 9 months
  • Crawling – sometimes with an object in their hands
  • Crawling up stairs or even down – please have a stair-gate in place and only let them climb whilst supervised!
  • Changing position from crawling to sitting or pivoting around to reach a toy
  • Pulling up to standing using a chair or low table
  • Cruising around using a chair or low table

To note, I am not a pediatrician but a teacher and mama to three. If you are at all worried about you baby’s development, please contact your health visitor or GP.

10 Activities to try at 9 months

Here is a run-down of the activities we did at 9 months with our youngest child. They were all designed with E’s developmental stage in mind – as mentioned above, every child is different when it comes to these milestones but overall, E was fairly typical of the average 9 month baby.

All of these activities should be done under strict supervision. Homemade play is awesome but it also doesn’t come with the age recommendations and warnings. Only use items that don’t pose a choking hazard – if you’re unsure, click on this link to find out more.

You will notice a reoccurring theme and that is the use of everyday, household objects to create activities. If you haven’t already, it’s a really good idea to start saving some recycling so that you can do baby play on a budget. A glue gun and craft knife are also handy to have, especially if you plan to do more than one DIY activity for your littles – glue guns are relatively cheap, ours cost $5.

1. Discovery Baskets

Discovery baskets are great for babies who can happily sit for at least 5 minutes unaided at a time. What I particularly like about discovery baskets is that there is absolutely no need to go out and buy anything special for them!

Here we picked items with a red color theme, but you can just as easily do a mix of heuristic (everyday) objects such as wooden spoons and brushes.

2. Sensory Crawl

Keep bubble wrap from packaging to use as a sensory crawl for babies – tape it down using some painters tape to keep it secure and it should last for a few days. This sensory activity is great for babies as a tummy time activity too.

3. Post Box

At 9 months, baby might just start to get curious about where objects go when they are out of sight. This DIY post box helps them explore that natural curiosity.

For this simple DIY, I used a glue gun to attach the lid from a baby wipe lid to a cardboard box. I then used a sharp knife to create a hole so E could post objects through. Here were used Grapat coins but passata jar lids or similar, work just as well.

4. Squish Bag Painting

Art is so beneficial for children yet the options for under 1’s can be really limiting. For a very first arty experience, try squish bag painting – it contains all of the mess and you also don’t have to worry about baby consuming paints!

5. Toy Take-down!

This activity is so much fun for little ones who have just started pulling themselves up to standing! Start by placing the toys closer to the edge of the table, then gradually move them towards the centre. It’s a great way to encourage that pull up to standing which will eventually lead to cruising.

6. Lift the flap board

Babies just love those lift the flap books and this is a simple extension of that concept. This is another activity that helps babies to understand object permanence. Pictured is a lift the flap based on Dear Zoo, using animal pictures from a catalog – you can find out how to make your own sensory board.

7. Provide books in different places

When baby starts to pull up to standing, try providing books in different places such as a low coffee table or sofa – now is the time to acquire that skill of reading upside-down if you haven’t already!

8. Keep toys and books at a accessible height

A mobile baby means the beginning of independence! Keep toys and books where baby can reach them and rotate them once interest has dwindled. You don’t have to theme the shelves like we have here – this was done as a follow up from a farm stay we had done the previous week.

9. Climbing

If you don’t have stairs at home then try heading to the local park so your bub can get their climbing fix. Get to know the local parks if you haven’t already and find the ones that cater for the very young.

You’ll notice from this photo that E is older than 9 months and that’s because in the early days, I was right behind supervising closely!

10. Water Play

There can be a lot of anxiety about starting sensory / messy play at home. My advice is to always start with water – there is heaps you can do from simply using bath bubbles or adding a little food coloring to washing the animals or babies.

Photographed is the ever popular Flisat table but this isn’t essential. Try a small tray if your baby hasn’t quite got to the stage where they are pulling up to stand.