From nine months, your baby will gradually develop control around the hips and start pulling himself up to stand.
Watching your baby grow and develop is one of the most fascinating aspects of being a parent. Always remember that babies develop and learn to move at different rates and there is a wide variation of what is normal.
Your baby will learn to move through age-appropriate play and exploring his environment. Here’s what you can do to help.
Surfing The Furniture
Placing small toys on low furniture will encourage play while standing, although you will probably find that once he discovers he can stand, there is little that will discourage him.
Infants also need some time to play by themselves in a safe environment. As they play, they are gaining strength, skills and independence.
Cruising around furniture, climbing over and onto objects and people will improve their balance and strengthen the developing muscles ready for free standing and walking.
Equipment – Do You Really Need It?
Lots of equipment is not necessary. Equipment such as bouncinettes and swings offer a variety of positions. However they can cause unnecessary physical stress if used over extended periods prior to the development of sufficient muscle control.
“Jumpers” put babies in an unstable situation when they have yet to develop their own stability and may also cause unnecessary physical stress.
“Baby walkers” will not teach babies to walk and can be dangerous – with babies propelling themselves down stairs or into objects.
What Else Goes On After 9 Months?
Babies of this age chatter a lot, so take time to listen and join in conversations with them. It all sounds like nonsense to us of course, but it’s at this stage they learn that a conversation is about taking turns to listen to each other.
Chasing balls or taking turns rolling them backwards and forwards between each other is endless fun.
At this age they are also learning about space, so often they will drop something over the edge of the highchair, look to see where it has gone and wait for you to pick it up.
Posting boxes or simple shape sorters will help to develop their hand and finger skills further.
As a baby learns to stand, push-along toys become lots of fun.
Remember that babies do not learn to sit by being propped, nor do they learn to walk by being held to stand. Babies learn to move through the experiences provided by age-appropriate play and exploring the environment around them.
If you have any questions regarding your baby’s movement development, please contact your Early Childhood Health Centre, where you can receive further advice regarding positioning, handling and interaction with your baby.