While every child is unique and special, most children demonstrate specific skills or tasks by a certain age. These “developmental milestones” cover everything from physical growth, cognitive and language development, to social and motor development. Smiling for the first time, looking at your face, waving “bye-bye,” crawling, and taking the first step are all considered developmental milestones.
Why are developmental milestones important?
Developmental milestones are important markers to help you track your child’s developmental health. These milestones are used by parents, pediatricians, and many other care providers to ensure that your child is developing as expected, and can help identify and address delayed development to facilitate early interventions.
"Milestones are categorized around five major areas: physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social development, language development, and sensory and motor development," explains Cari Whitlock, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist at Healthy Young Minds. "Milestones help you understand how your child learns and grows, and delays in any of these areas can result in mild to severe struggles at home and school. Proper assessment can lead to services that help your child reach their full potential."
How to track a 7-9 month old’s developmental milestones
Many pediatricians work from standardized forms to assess and track your child’s developmental milestones. As a parent, it’s important to keep track of the skills your child exhibits as they grow, since you are most familiar and involved in their day-to-day care. There are multiple tracking apps out there, including the Milestone Tracker App from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Child Development Milestones: 7-9 Months
Social emotional milestones
What are the cognitive milestones for a 7-9 month old?
Around this time, your baby starts to explore new ways to learn about the world around them. Babies at this age will start to track movement of objects (ball falling to the ground), bang toys/objects together, look closely at objects, uncover toys after seeing you hide them. Your baby will continue to put things in their mouths too.
What are the physical milestones for a 7-9 month old?
By 9 months old, your baby will learn how to move into a sitting position independently and sit without support. They are using their fingers more and will ‘rake’ food or small objects towards self. Your baby will start moving around by crawling, rolling, or shuffling. Get outside to experience new sensations as your baby crawls and plays with nature.
What are the speech and language milestones for a 7-9 month old?
At this age, your baby is babbling and will use a variety of tones that almost sound like a conversation. Your baby also loves hearing your voice go up and down as you talk with them. Babies love to copy or imitate your sounds and body language while playing and talking. Your baby will still use body language and noises to communicate, as well as point to objects and people to communicate expressively. You can build your child’s imagination by talking about the pictures in a book and telling stories.
What are the social and emotional milestones for a 7-9 month old?
Around this age, your baby loves playing with you and really enjoys peekaboo, hiding and finding toys, laughing, and making funny sounds and animal noises together. Babies will have favorite toys and objects they like to play with. Your baby will react to strangers by crying, fussing, or quieting. They still enjoy spending time with familiar adults and sharing that attachment through play helps your baby feel loved.
Do babies need a 9-month check up?
At 9 months, your baby is due for a more in-depth developmental screening as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask your pediatrician about your baby’s developmental screening; these results will show if your child is developing typically or needs further testing for developmental delays.
What if my child is not meeting milestones?
No one knows your child better than you. Always trust your gut. If your child is not meeting age-appropriate milestones, talk to your pediatrician.
Learn more about when you should worry about missing developmental milestones.