Your nine-month-old has now probably started to crawl or actually walk. This stage marks an important transition from the infant to the toddler stage. Children at this age love to learn and are eager to show off their new skills to family members. As a parent, you need to continue playing with your child to foster continued physical and mental development.
Here are few suggestions to build your child’s skills:
- Physical skills: Keep your baby’s favorite toy on a pile of pillows. Encourage the child to climb and get it. Play peek-a-boo with your child. Remember that the play area should be safe for the child’s free movement.
- Social skills: Sing songs or play music and dance to the movement of the music while encouraging your baby to do the same. Let your child play with other babies and people. Children at this age require a lot of positive feedback for things they did right.
- Emotional skills: At nine months, children often develop sensitivity for others. Show your child how to cuddle or take care of a doll or stuffed animal.
- Language skills: Encourage your baby to repeat funny sounds such as hissing or weird words. Teach different words for colors, objects, different body parts, and even letters and numbers. Quiz your child later by asking “Where’s your nose?” or “Where’s your thumb?” Let the baby feel different things such as wood, satin, water, and wool, and name each object as you do so.
- Mental Skills: Your child has developed “object permanence” or the awareness and memory of objects even if they cannot be seen. Hide a ball or a toy somewhere in the room. Ask your child to find it. Clap, or praise your child when the object is found.