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Your Baby's Physical Development 9 to 12 months

9 to 12 Months

Your baby at a glance


Your baby is finding ways to move around on his own, and is enjoying clapping games and picking up various objects. During this stage you are likely to see your baby:
  • Pulling to stand, supporting himself by holding on to you or furniture, and eventually standing unaided
  • Sitting on her own for longer periods of time
  • Crawling, rolling around or other ways of moving around on his own
  • Perhaps starting to 'cruise' along furniture (some even take their first steps around their first birthday, but many won't walk by themselves for months yet)
  • Perfecting the pincer grasp
  • Clapping and pointing
  • Drinking from a cup (if opportunity to practice this) and starting to feed herself (and playing with the food)

Your baby’s story


Baby CrawlingDuring this stage, your baby finds ways to move around on his own, first through crawling, shuffling or other methods of moving forward. He is learning to stand, holding on to you or furniture. Eventually he may stand unaided, perhaps only for a few moments. He will probably also develop the skill of pulling up to standing from a sitting position, which brings him lots of joy.

You may see your baby starting to 'cruise', i.e. walk along holding on to furniture during these months. Not all children do this as much, and some may start doing it later or may not do it at all. She will enjoy practicing his walking skills by holding both your hands. Some babies start taking their first steps by themselves around their first birthday, but for many it will be another few months.

In terms of fine motor development, the pincer grasp is honed and your baby will be able to pick up tiny objects with increasing precision toward 12 months. Provided she has the opportunity to practice, she will get better at drinking from a cup as well as feeding herself. She will enjoy playing clapping games with you, and may start rolling a ball. You will find that she loves looking through books, and particularly enjoying turning the pages (at this stage perhaps two or three at a time).


What you can do to support and encourage your baby’s development


Your baby will still enjoy playing with you best of all, and will love games where you bounce him while singing, play peek-a-boo or roll on the floor with him. He will also be increasingly interested in toys that make noises, have lights on or do other interesting things. As he is now sitting well on his own, surround him with different toys and things to play with. Sit with him and encourage him to explore what he can do with different things.

With more mobility and awareness of what’s around, you may see your little one becoming very interested in drawers and cupboards. Perhaps have a cupboard in the kitchen without anything dangerous or breakable inside, so she can play more freely with that. She will also love to play with pots and spoons.

It is important to ‘assess’ your baby’s tracks and make sure dangerous and breakable items are out of reach. It can be useful to go down on all fours to ‘see what he can see’, and let this guide you in what temptations and dangers to remove. All children are different, so you may want to buy "baby proofing” equipment as you observe your child’s interests and behaviours.

If your baby is standing well and wanting to move forward, you can encourage him to push a trolley or other appropriate pushing toys.


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