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Developmental milestones 6-9 months and 9-12 months

The cognitive, social, gross motor and fine motor developmental skills babies acquire between 6 and 12 months.

6-9 months

Between the age of 6-9 months physical advancements move very quickly and babies can become quite sociable. Baby's eyesight is now developed enough to be able to see tiny detail. They have also started to be weaned to solid food.


Cognitive development

  • Plays for 2-3 minutes with a single toy
  • Follows a fast moving object with their eyes
  • Opens mouth for a spoon
  • Finds partially hidden objects
  • Looks for a dropped toy or object

Social and emotional development

  • Says "Dada" or "Mama" non-specifically
  • Lifts arms to parents when they want picking up
  • Shouts for attention
  • Vocalises pleasure and displeasure
  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Responds to simple requests with actions e.g. holding out arms
  • Responds to their own name
  • Looks for a familiar family member when named
  • Responds playfully to facial expressions or when looking in a mirror
  • Imitates sounds
  • Distinguishes between friendly and angry voices

Gross motor development

  • Supports their own head
  • Rolls from their stomach to their back and from their back to their stomach
  • Gets into a crawling position and rocks
  • Begins to crawl backward or ‘drag' themselves towards object
  • Sits using their hands for support
  • Supports their entire weight on their legs
  • Stands for several seconds while holding onto something

Fine motor development

  • Self feeds finger foods
  • Holds their own bottle or cup
  • Transfers an object from one hand to another
  • Releases objects voluntarily



9-12 months

Between 9-12 months motor development increases greatly as baby prepares to walk.


Cognitive development

  • Throws or drops objects to see what reaction occurs
  • Imitates gestures
  • Shows an interest in picture books
  • Responds to own name
  • Cooperates in games such as ‘pat-a-cake' and clapping hands
  • Begins to recognise themselves in a mirror
  • Understands much of what is said to them

Social and emotional development

  • Moves to rhythms by bouncing, rocking or moving arms or head.
  • Uses gestures to show understanding of words, e.g. Points at daddy when asked, "where's daddy?"
  • Waves or responds to "bye bye"
  • Imitates others during activities
  • Understands simple commands and requests e.g. "No" or "bath time"
  • Says "mama" and "dada" to the right parent
  • Indicates what they want with gestures
  • Explores the environment around them
  • Shows a preference for certain people, objects or places
  • Tests parental reactions during feeding and bedtimes
  • Starts to develop independence

Gross motor development

  • Crawls well
  • Sits unsupported for a couple of seconds
  • Goes from tummy to sitting to crawling unaided
  • Pulls themselves to standing
  • Stands without support for several seconds
  • Walks with adult support or while holding on to objects ("cruising")
  • Walks two or three steps without support
  • Twists while sitting to pick up objects behind them
  • Throws an object

Fine motor development

  • Clap hands, and can bang two objects together
  • Points
  • Picks up small objects using a pincer grip e.g. a pea
  • Feeds themselves finger foods confidently
  • Begins to hold a spoon
  • Puts objects into a container
  • Scribbles with a crayon
  • Cooperates with dressing by extending an arm or leg





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