Your Baby's Abilities
Babies are rapidly developing their physical abilities at this age. They become mobile for the first time and safety in the home becomes an important issue. While babies may progress at different rates, the following are some of the common milestones your baby may reach in this age group:
- Rolls over easily from front to back and back to front
- Sits leaning forward on hands at first, then unsupported
- Bounces when supported to stand
- Gets on hands and feet and rocks back and forth
- May creep, scoot, crawl − backwards first, then forward
- Begins to pull up to stand
- Reaches for and grasps objects using whole hand
- Bangs toy on table
- Can hold an object in each hand
- May hold a bottle
- Plays peekaboo
- Grasps object with thumb and finger by 8 to 9 months
- Begins teething, usually starting with the two center front teeth in the lower jaw, then the two center front teeth in the upper jaw
- Learns to drink from cup
- Puts everything into mouth
- Naps are usually twice, sometimes three times a day, for one to two hours each (on average)
- May begin to awaken during the night and cry
Your Baby's Communication
What can my baby say?
It is very exciting for caregivers to watch their babies become social beings who can interact with others. While every baby develops speech at their own rate, the following are some of the common milestones in this age group:
- Makes two syllable sounds (ma-ma, da-da)
- Makes several different vowel sounds, especially "o" and "u"
- Repeats tones or sounds made by others
What does my baby understand?
A baby's awareness of people and surroundings increases during this time. While babies may progress at different rates, the following are some of the common milestones in this age group:
- Responds to own name and "no"
- Pays attention to conversation
- Appears to understand some words ("eat")
- Prefers mother over others
- Enjoys seeing self in mirror
- Responds to changes in emotions of others
- Is afraid of strangers
- Shows interest in and dislike of foods
- Makes attention-getting sounds such as a cough or snort
- Begins to understand that objects that are hidden still exist (i.e. ball under a blanket)
- May follow one-step commands with a sign to demonstrate ("get the ball" while parent points to ball)
Development and Emotional Security
- Give your baby safe toys that make noises when shaken or hit.
- Play in front of a mirror, calling your baby by name and pointing to your baby's reflection in the mirror.
- When talking to your baby, pause and wait for them to respond just as when talking with an adult.
- Play pat-a-cake and peekaboo.
- Name common objects when shown to your baby (blanket, ball).
- Make a variety of sounds with your mouth and tone of voice.
- Repeat and expand the sounds your baby makes, such as "ma-ma" when they say "ma."
- Show picture books and read stories to your baby every day.
- Give your baby toys with objects or knobs to push, poke or turn.
- Give your baby toys that stack and show them how they work.
- Build a tower of blocks with your baby and show them how to knock it down.
- Establish a routine for bath and bedtime.