Infant development: Milestones from 7 to 9 months

Your baby might surprise you with how quickly he or she is picking up new skills. Infant development milestones for a 7- to 9-month-old include sitting, standing and laughing. By Mayo Clinic Staff

As your baby becomes more mobile and inquisitive, infant development takes off. It might seem that your baby learns something new every day. Understand your baby's next infant development milestones and what you can do to promote his or her growth.

What to expect

Your baby will continue to grow and develop at his or her own pace. From ages 7 to 9 months, your baby is likely to experience:

  • Advancing motor skills. By this age, most babies can roll over in both directions — even in their sleep. Some babies can sit on their own, while others need a little support. You might notice your baby beginning to scoot, rock back and forth, or even crawl across the room. Some babies this age can pull themselves to a standing position. Soon your baby might cruise along the edge of the couch or coffee table.
  • Improved hand-eye coordination. Most babies this age transfer objects from one hand to another or directly to their mouths. Pulling objects closer with a raking motion of the hands will give way to more refined movements, such as picking up objects with just the thumb and forefinger. This improving dexterity will help your baby handle a spoon and soft finger foods.
  • Evolving communication. Your baby will communicate with you through sounds, gestures and facial expressions. You'll probably hear plenty of laughing and squealing. Your baby might even respond to his or her own name. Babies this age can distinguish emotions by tone of voice. They might repeat the sounds they hear — or give it their best shot. Your baby's babbling is likely to include chains of sounds, such as "ba-ba-ba." You might even pick out an occasional "mama" or "dada."
  • Stranger anxiety. Many babies this age become wary of strangers. Your baby might resist staying with anyone other than you, shunning even grandparents or familiar baby sitters. If your baby fusses when you leave — or melts down entirely — resist the temptation to sneak away. Say goodbye with a hug and kiss and a reminder that you'll be back soon. Chances are, your baby will stop crying as soon as you're out of sight and something else grabs his or her attention. You might even plan ahead of time how the caregiver will distract your baby.
  • Teething. If your baby still has a toothless grin, you can expect the first tooth — likely one of the middle teeth in the lower jaw (a lower central incisor) — to break through anytime. You might notice your baby drooling more than usual and chewing on just about anything. Offer a cool, wet washcloth or teething ring. If you haven't done so already, get in the habit of cleaning your baby's teeth and gums at least once a day. Use plain water and a soft cloth or baby toothbrush.
Jun. 17, 2011 See more In-depth