I like to move it, move it! If your little one hasn’t started crawling, they may do at this age, and there’s a chance they could even start walking! This range of possibilities shows how normal it is for two babies of the same age to be at such different stages. Always remember that babies grow and learn at different speeds, so don’t panic about them not meeting general milestones; they have a lot to learn and they will get there.
In this post, we’ve highlighted the general milestones that babies may reach at this age, along with how their routine might progress. This is the fourth post in this series, and we’ve previously looked at:
Keep an eye out for future posts where we’ll be looking at further milestones!
- They need around 750-900 calories a day, half of which should be from breast milk or formula (around 720ml a day).
- They can eat many different foods, just make sure they’re not too hard (like nuts or popcorn) and they can’t have honey or cow’s milk until they’re at least 12 months old.
- Give them soft, nutritious foods such as fruit and cooked vegetables, cereal mixed with breast milk or formula, cheese, meat, fish, beans, eggs, pasta, rice or potatoes (make sure they’re cut into small pieces).
- They may turn their head away at some foods as they begin to develop preferences.
- They will sleep for around 13.5 hours in 24: 11 hours at night and 2.5 hours in the day.
- It’s possible that they may sleep through the night, but still be prepared for night wakings.
- They shouldn’t need night feeds at this stage, but may still wake for changing or attention.
- They’ll typically only need 2 naps a day, and by 10 months may only need 1.
- Sleep disturbances can be caused by illnesses, teething and growth spurts.
- Changing may become more messy as they’ll want to wriggle away!
- They’ll produce 4-6 wet nappies every 24 hours.
- Change their nappy at bedtime to reduce night wakings.
- Poos should be similar to the previous few months, with the introduction of solids making them larger, darker and stronger in smell.
- Sometimes, they may not poo for up to a week, but they shouldn’t be pooing more than 4 times a day. Look out for runny poo, which may be a sign of an infection, and solid poo or blood which may be due to constipation, allergies, infection or digestive problems.
- Once they start crawling and walking, your baby’s activities may change a little bit as they’ll want to explore more.
- Not only will they need to be encouraged to grasp, pull, push, etc. but they should also start playing games that involve moving around the room to encourage sitting, crawling and walking.
- They will be even more interested in books, so spend lots of time reading to them and showing them pictures.
- It’s also important to keep up the sensory play to encourage their development.
- They understand familiar words such as ‘no’, ‘mama’ and ‘dada’, and objects such as ball and cup.
- They can respond well to their own name.
- They may respond to familiar things, even though they can’t say them, such as looking at Grandma when you ask “where’s grandma?”.
- Their eyesight is almost as good as an adult’s and, once they’re crawling and walking, they’ll have better eye-hand-foot-body coordination.
- They can see across the room.
- They easily recognise familiar people and objects.
- They’ll enjoy looking at pictures in books.
- They may start crawling at this stage, or start crawling faster if they have already been doing it previously.
- They may start walking, but don’t fret if not – it’s a big challenge.
- They start dropping, picking up and throwing things (watch out).
- They use furniture to pull themselves up to a standing position and might start cruising.
- They will sit for long periods of time and play with toys.
- Their pincer grasp will become stronger.
- Words will correlate with gestures so they may start waving goodbye when they see you leave.
- Empathy can start to develop so they may cry when they see other babies crying.
- Vowel sounds might turn into ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ or something similar – the average age for a first word is at 10-11 months.
Other cute little things
- They may become fixated with a favourite toy or blanket.
- The average 9-month old baby weighs 18.1 pounds for girls and 19.6 pounds for boys.
- You may start to notice whether they are right or left handed.
- You will start to see your baby’s personality coming through – you may see shyness or confidence, and they’ll show you what they do and don’t like doing.
Tips to help development
Play, play, play
- They’ll love all kinds of toys, such stack cups, blocks and rings, or toys with moving parts such as cars and trains.
- Try a push along toy to help them balance if they’ve started to walk.
- As their co-ordination improves towards 10 months, they may be able to throw and catch. Try throwing something small and soft in front of them and see if they pick it up and throw it back. Alternatively, try rolling a ball towards them and see if they can roll it back.
- Towards 10 months, introduce letters and numbers. Point to letters and tell them the word, give them 3 blocks while saying “Here’s 3 blocks,” etc. to develop their understanding
- Once your baby is crawling or walking, they will love to explore. One second they’ll be right there and the next they’ll be on the other side of the room, so it’s important to make sure that their environment is safe for them to wander around.
- Add soft plastic covers to the corners of furniture to protect your baby if they fall
- Keep small or dangerous objects (tools, stationary, etc.), cleaning products and toiletries high up and out of reach, as well as hot drinks and pot handles
- Install stair gates and childproof catches on cupboards.
- Secure heavy pieces of furniture to the wall and put non-slip pads under rugs.
- Hide electrical cords and remove tablecloths and blinds with looped cords
- Socket covers may seem like a good idea but babies fingers can’t reach far enough inside sockets to cause any harm, whereas the covers actually increase the danger of electric shock and fire. Try blocking open sockets with furniture and always keep an eye on your baby.
Get them used to solids
- Let them feed themselves, as this can help with hand to mouth coordination (but you’ll probably want to avoid messy foods). Use finger foods such as fruit, soft vegetables or cut up meat.
- Try giving them a spoon to use. They may not understand what it is at first but will get used to it over time.
- Don’t force them to eat. Something they don’t like today, they might like tomorrow – they’re inconsistent but will settle into what they like soon.
- Try different textures – introduce crunchier foods instead of pureed and mashed foods.
- Continue to introduce new foods one at a time to look out for allergies.
- When your baby starts to pull themselves up, use cushions or stand close in case of falls.
- As always, continue talking and reading, and use repetition to encourage their language development.
- Hold them up to get them used to standing.
- Ask simple questions that they can answer by pointing such as “Where’s Mummy?” And when they point to an object, tell them what it is.
Things to look out for
Your baby is learning and growing at an astonishing speed – there’s so much going on in that tiny little body so if they get some things earlier and some a bit later, you shouldn’t panic. It’s understandable that you may be worried and there are a few things to look out for. Contact your healthcare professional if you have concerns over your baby:
- Having a squint in one eye or eyes not moving together
- Not being able to put weight on their legs
- Not babbling 1 and 2 syllable sounds
- Not responding to their own name
- Not recognising familiar people
- Not passing a toy from one hand to the other
- Not being able to sit by themselves
- Not seeing or recognising objects or people in the distance
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Crying excessively or not smiling and laughing
Remember, no two developmental timelines are exactly the same so just make sure to comfort and encourage your baby and make the most of this special time.
Don’t forget to check out our previous blog posts in this series and to keep an eye out for further ones.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any tips for development or sensory play!