Child Development 9-12 Months

Nine short months ago, you had a tiny helpless baby, now you have a little person with a big personality who keeps on changing every day. So, what’s happening now? Is she crawling? If not, she soon will be; time to baby proof the house if you haven?t already. Some babies are even walking at this age, although for most this is still to come.

There are many other options; crawling, bottom shuffling, sideways wriggling, but they all allow baby to move around and she will make the most of it. She knows now that she is not attached to you permanently, and while this has its benefits, it can give rise to a need to cling tight to mummy or daddy and scream when a well-meaning but unfamiliar adult comes too close.

At 10 months, baby will be getting closer to walking alone, and is most likely ?cruising?; walking around the furniture holding on for support or having both hands held. Stairs are very exciting, and babies can usually crawl up at what seems like lightning speed. When she is doing something like this, she will frequently turn round to check if mummy is watching. This is her way of testing the boundaries and is a skill that she will continually perfect for many years; ask any parent of a teenager. Also at this stage, baby will make clear her displeasure if something is removed from her grasp or taken out of reach. Verbal skills are sounding more like speech now, she will chatter away constantly with what sounds like words.

11 month old babies will be able to walk with one hand being held, and a lot can walk completely unaided. Your baby will watch other babies at play and play happily alongside, but not together yet. She will stand easily alone and will try to stoop down from standing to pick up a toy. She will have been saying mama and dada for a while, but only now will she be able to use the right word for the appropriate parent. Vocabulary will also include one other word. Her receptive vocabulary (words she understands but cannot say) is much wider than her expressive vocabulary (words she can say) but once she starts talking all the words will tumble out at once. Until then, she will express what she wants by gesture and sound, pointing to her cup and making demanding noises to let you know when she wants a drink. At mealtimes she can happily self-feed a whole meal of finger food and make a good attempt with her spoon. She will continue to test you, and at times you will feel that you have said ?no? more often than any other word.

And here it is, a whole year old! Now officially a toddler, she is twice her birth weight and triple her birth length. While you are wondering where time has gone, she is having a great time. Skills include waving, pointing, shaking her head to say no, responding to her own name, banging things together, turning pages in her picture books and even bringing you the book when she wants a story. She has learned that it is great fun to pull her socks off, and will always do it one more time than you are prepared to replace them. She will help you when you dress her, by outstretching her arms etc and will understand simple instructions like ?pick up the teddy please?. By now she will enjoy using crayons and finger paints, and your house will suddenly turn into an art gallery as you proudly display her work.

So now you?ve been a mummy for a year; enjoy the birthday party and then prepare yourself. Because next year is on its way?have you heard of ?the terrible two’s?

Author: Arlene Copeland

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