Child Development 6-9 Months

6 months already! It is time to consider weaning, ask your health visitor if you aren?t sure your baby is ready. Most babies at this stage will be ready to use a cup for drinking. A 6 month old will hold out his arms to get picked up, and reward you by sticking his fingers in your mouth or patting your face (thereby telling you that you are his favourite person!). He will reach out to touch other babies and respond to his own name, and will turn his head to listen to you from across a room.

Physically, baby can probably roll over in both directions. Another joy to look forward to is teething, beginning with the central two on top and bottom. Vocally, he will repeat noises you make, rewarding your efforts at entertaining him with a laugh and an encouraging squeal of pure joy. Another source of fun is a mirror, patting his reflection and ?talking? to himself.

By 7 months, baby will enjoy some finger foods, and there will be a lot of interest in holding his own spoon although a very limited amount of food will make its destination. He will be sitting up, although he may have difficulty twisting his trunk round to reach for a toy without falling over. A few babies will be pulling themselves up to standing position. He can wave bye bye just from watching you but be warned, you will get bored of it long before he does. Sight at this stage is very sharp, and he will have definite preferences for high contrast colour combinations such as red and yellow.

At 8 months, a new trend emerges. Baby will get upset when you leave him. This is known as separation anxiety and is more pronounced in babies who are not used to alternative caregivers. It won?t last forever, he will always be reassured by your return, and can be distracted easily so wont remain upset the whole time you?re away. When he has had enough to eat, he will turn his head to refuse more food, or to indicate a dislike of whatever you are offering. He loves dropping a toy for you to lift so that he can drop it again. This may seem tiresome after a while but notice that he is watching as it falls to see where it lands; more skill development.

A 9 month old understands a lot more words than he can say. He will imitate actions such as clapping. He enjoys playing with a ball, often able to roll it back to you. At last he can release objects and loves putting things into containers and taking them out again. Pincer grip means he can pick up small objects between finger and thumb, and can put 2 blocks on top of each other to make a tower. He can point at things, and will have favourite toys. No longer ?out of sight out of mind?, if something suddenly goes away he knows its there somewhere, whether that means teddy is under the blanket or mummy’s face is behind her hands. This is what professionals call object permanence (and mums call peek-a-boo). Physically, baby is sitting sturdily, crawling, standing and sometimes even walking already.

If there was ever any doubt in your mind, you can see now just how individual your child is, and how comparison with other babies is futile, but if you are in any way concerned that your child is genuinely behind the majority of babies his age, or seems to have regressed in any area, speak to a professional.

The HSE have a downloadable guide to a childs development