All babies have their own timetable, but you can watch for certain developments in your 9-month-old. Celebrate with your baby as he reaches or nears these milestones.

Cognitive9th month baby milestone

  • Recognizes people and objects at a distance
  • Experiments with object permanence (objects and people that are out of sight still exist)
  • Curious about objects just out of reach; reaches for them
  • Attaches meaning to certain sights, sounds, and gestures; may be ready to learn baby sign language
  • Recognizes and responds to familiar words
  • Begins to understand that objects and people have names
  • Anticipates what comes next in familiar routines (running water means a bath)
  • May be able to understand and play clapping games


  • Learns to use thumb and index finger to pick up small objects (pincer grasp)
  • Holds an object in each hand
  • Bangs objects on a table, floor, or against each other 
  • Voluntarily lets go of toys
  • Feeds self, though messily
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Sits without support
  • Scoots or begins to crawl
  • May stand using furniture for support
  • May pull self to standing position


  • Looks for and reacts to sounds outside his line of vision
  • Babbles echo actual words and include vowels and consonants (“ba ba ba,” “da da,” “bah-dah”)
  • Takes turns mimicking conversation (you talk, he babbles, you talk, he babbles
  • Expresses likes and dislikes with clear body language (smiling and kicking when happy, frowning when unhappy)
  • Vocalizes feelings with squeals, howls, and other sounds
  • May wave good-bye
  • Able to learn some baby sign language


  • Distinguishes between strangers and family
  • May show shyness or fear around strangers
  • Shows frustration when limits are set
  • Tests limits and watches for your response
  • Enjoys peekaboo and other simple games