Development at 6-9 months

Personal and Social Skills            

Baby with abacus toy. Concept of early learning child

  • Smiles at self in mirror
  • Enjoys peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
  • Becomes attached to a particular toy or object
  • Begins to fear strangers


  • Provide a safe, peaceful environment.
  • Avoid violent, angry sounds.
  • Hug and cuddle baby often.
  • Smile at and talk with baby.
  • Play How Big Is Baby, Peek-a-Boo, Pat-a-Cake.
  • Let baby play in front of large, secured mirror.
  • When you introduce new people to baby, allow time for baby to get used to the new person while you are still there.
  • Play with baby during routine activities (diapering, bathing, dressing).

Language and Understanding Skills

  • Starts imitating sounds
  • Uncovers toy that is hidden by cloth
  • Responds to own name (by looking, smiling, turning head, reaching)
  • Vocalizes to self when alone
  • Jabbers
  • Recognizes one or two specific names for people (mama, dada)


  • Look at picture books with baby. (Avoid letting young children watch television.)
  • Sing songs to baby.
  • Play Hide-n-Seek with toys under cloth.
  • Use different tones when expressing approval, disapproval, happiness, and other emotions.
  • Imitate baby’s jabbering.
  • Identify people by name.

Small Muscle Skills (Fine Motor)

  • Holds and feeds self a biscuit or other safe food
  • Rakes or scoops small objects
  • Grasps objects with thumb and two fingers (inferior pincer grasp)


  • Give baby the opportunity to pick up safe foods (dry cereal, crackers) and feed self.
  • Let baby play with simple books made of cloth, cardboard, or vinyl.
  • Provide small toys and other objects for baby to pick up-but make sure they are too big for baby to swallow.

Large Muscle Skills (Gross Motor)

  • Sits unaided for a short time
  • May creep or crawl
  • Gets into a standing position by pulling up on furniture or an adult’s hands
  • Maintains a standing position by holding onto furniture or an adult’s hands
  • Rocks back and forth when on hands and knees
  • Plays with feet while lying on back


  • Encourage baby to pull up to a standing position by talking to baby and holding a favorite toy for baby to reach for.
  • Place a toy out of reach and encourage baby to try to get the toy by crawling to it.
  • Allow baby to stand holding on to furniture.
  • Allow lots of room and safe places for baby to crawl and explore (supervised).
  • Childproof your home, putting dangerous items out of baby’s reach.


Above are some examples of a child’s development between 6-9 months. It is important to remember that not all children develop at the same pace. If you have a concern regarding your child’s development please contact call 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow. For more information of developmental milestones feel free to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.