Physical development milestones (9-12 months)

What to watch for as your baby grows

By the 9-12 month stage, your baby is beginning to show personality and expressing a desire to get up and explore the world. As a parent, you might find this growth spurt overwhelming. But it is also a good time for you to pat yourself on your back and congratulate yourself on how far you and baby have come this past year! Here are a few significant developments that will take place at this stage.

Physical milestones

#1 Movement

The biggest change at this stage is you will see baby moving independently -- either by crawling (that too, fast!) or by pulling themselves up holding furniture and cruising. If your baby is crawling, move furniture, pet dishes and indoor plants to corners so baby has the run of the house.

#2 Fine motor skills

Some babies may even be able to hold an adult’s finger and take a few steps. You would have noticed their pincer grasp is getting pretty good. This is the first step towards holding a pencil or working with a computer in the future.

Encourage baby to develop that skill by giving them small bites of food (like tiny rice/dal balls, steamed and cut veggies or fruits, etc) that they can pick up and eat. Do monitor them as they eat though.

#3 Hand-eye coordination

Your baby may be able to show you the toy they prefer during play time. If you have been playing with blocks you will notice that they will mimic you by trying to construct a tower and may get as far as making a two-block tower.

This shows that their hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness is developing. This is a significant development as soon you will see baby making taller towers and knocking them down!

Nature doesn't hurry. Why should we?

Babies develop at different rates. As all good paediatricians do, we too urge you not to be overly concerned by milestones. Keep an eye out for changes in your little one's behavior, but also wait a comfortable margin of time before checking with a doctor. Most of all, do not compare — just as nature takes its time to create, babies take time to grow. You just have to wait till they get there! :)

October 15, 2020 — Rati Girish

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