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Your 9 month old – baby development guide

Baby Development Guide - nine months oldNo need for a gym membership these days, your little one will be giving you quite the workout. Life will move at a quicker pace now that your baby is beginning the transition to toddler.

How is baby going?

By the end of the tenth month many babies will be cruising the furniture and a few could even be walking alone – although many won’t walk by themselves till well after their first birthday. Remember this is all within the normal range.

Your baby is developing a real personality lately and will be interacting with you more and more. He will enjoy reading books and recognizing familiar words, he can dance, play ball and will try to mimic conversations. You might even get a regular cuddle or sloppy kiss!

At this age your baby’s memory is improving and she is beginning to understand her special relationship with you and other close family members and friends. With this new realisation comes new anxieties – you may have a clingy baby on your hands (or wrapped around your legs!)

Sleep

You might find it more difficult to put your baby to bed now that he is on the move. Once your little one works out how to pull to standing he’ll want to practice at every opportunity – even at bedtime.

The novelty will eventually wear off but in the meantime you’ll have to encourage him to lie down and be persistent with your bedtime routine. Try not to revert to habits you already gave up (rocking or feeding to sleep).

Play

It is never too early to begin reading to a child – and the benefits are enormous. Reading plays a crucial part of a child’s language and literacy development. It feeds their imagination, improves their listening and concentration skills, and builds their vocabulary. It is also a wonderful time for a parent to bond with their child. Australian author Mem Fox has some great tips for parents which she calls her 10 read-aloud commandments.

The range of high quality children’s books is incredible. There are truly so many wonderful picture books out there to choose from. You don’t even have to buy them, head to your local library where you’ll also most likely find games and activities to engage your growing baby. To start off check out our list of awesome picture books for babies.

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How are you going?

Are you nearing the end of your maternity leave – or starting to stress about money? Are you wondering if you should go back to work? Or hoping that you can take a little extra time off? Are you missing that human interaction and the ability to contribute to the household financially? Or are you not quite ready to leave your baby? What a confusing time this can be…

The good news is that, on the question of whether or not to return to work, there is no right or wrong answer. You just have to figure out what works for you and your family. You’ll likely come up against guilt and judgement occasionally – no matter which decision you make – but if you’ve carefully considered the pros and cons you’ll know that your decision is the right one for you right now. And if it isn’t, you can always change your mind!

READ: Return to work or stay at home? A practical list of the pros and cons

3 things to do when your baby is 9 months old

Please note: All babies are different, these are generic guides and aren’t a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider.

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