Look at all that baby has achieved! Your 9-month-old baby is probably sitting (with or without support), pulling up to stand, clapping their hands and maybe even working on crawling and cruising. They also love picking up food to self-feed using their index finger and thumb in the "pincer" grasp. With these abilities, life has really become an adventure for baby—and you, as you've been following your child as they explore, pointing them toward new things to examine and touch. Your resourceful baby may use furniture and other objects for support while moving around a room. As usual, keep your eyes on your little one at all times, because they’re surprisingly fast and can easily take a tumble, since they’re still mastering their balance skills.
You may feel more comfortable in your skin as a caregiver now, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have questions surrounding this new phase in baby’s life. As your child continues to grow and develop, you’re likely wondering if they’re hitting all the 9-month-old baby milestones. So what should they be doing at this stage of infanthood? Is it normal for a 9-month-old to not have teeth? What if they’re still not sleeping through the night? It’s important to remember that every baby develops at their own speed. At the nine-month mark, you just might have a babbling, crawling, standing baby on your hands.
Baby isn’t just developing quickly, they’re growing by leaps and bounds! In fact, baby might just shoot up like crazy this month. It’s common for babies to have a growth spurt around 9 months.
9-month-old baby weight and length
We know you’re wondering: How much should a 9-month-old weigh? Average weight for a 9-month-old baby is 18.1 pounds for girls and 19.6 pounds for boys. Average length is 27.6 inches for girls and 28.3 inches for boys, according to the World Health Organization. Of course, height and weight can vary widely between healthy babies, so as long as baby is growing at a healthy rate—on a steady curve on the chart at the doctor’s office—and the pediatrician doesn’t see any signs of a problem, your child’s growth is right on track. Baby is likely growing nearly half an inch this month and gaining three to five ounces each week.
9-month-old’s five senses
Baby’s vision keeps getting better. Now they can see well across the room. They can easily recognize familiar faces and objects. By now, there’s a good chance they have a favorite toy or stuffed animal. Baby knows there are things they can’t see—that’s called object permanence. They’ll remember a toy and look for it.
Baby can recognize familiar sounds too. They may understand words they hear often, such as no, bottle, mama and dada.
9-month-old baby milestones
There’s plenty of exciting things happening now. Baby is 9 months old and making waves. So what should a 9-month-old be able to do? Remember, some babies are quick to learn certain skills, while others prefer to take their sweet time. While each baby is different, here are some 9-month-old baby milestones they may be working on:
Crawling. Nine months is the average age babies start to crawl, which means yours might have been doing it for a while, or you’re still waiting for them to start. A 9-month-old not yet crawling isn’t typically a cause for concern. In fact, doctors say some perfectly healthy and well-developed babies never crawl at all—they jump straight to walking! If you haven’t already, this is your reminder to babyproof your home asap.
Standing. Your 9-month-old baby may be able to hold on to the couch or coffee table to stand themselves up. Next comes cruising, which means walking around with the support of the furniture. You know what comes next after that!
Sitting. What’s most fun to a 9-month-old might be sitting for long periods of time, playing with toys and objects. Your baby loves to use their hands to do just about everything!
Pincer grasp. Nine-month-olds may begin to pick things up using their pointer finger and thumb—known as the pincer grasp. This really comes in handy when feeding and playing.
Babbling. Most 9-month-old babies make sounds like mamamama and dadadada—they may even use them to describe their parents. First comes babbling and then comes talking! Keep listening as baby might say their first word now if they haven’t already.
Growing teeth. You’ve probably noticed baby teething; how many teeth should a 9-month-old have? It really depends on the child. Some babies may have multiple teeth, others none at all. The upper and lower incisors are usually the first to appear. You can expect to see them coming in around the following ages:
Lower central incisor: 6 to10 months
Lower lateral incisor: 10 to16 months
Upper central incisor: 8 to12 months
Upper lateral incisor: 9 to13 months
If baby’s not doing everything other 9-month-olds are doing, it isn’t reason to worry. But there are certain things that could be signs of developmental delay. Tell the pediatrician if baby:
- Doesn’t put weight on their legs when you hold them upright above a surface.
- Doesn’t sit with propping or holding.
- Doesn’t babble sounds like “mama,” “baba” and “dada."
- Doesn’t play games that require back-and-forth play.
- Doesn’t respond to their name.
- Doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people.
- Doesn’t look where you point.
- Doesn’t pass toys from one hand to the other.
At 9 months old, baby is due for another checkup with the pediatrician, where they’ll have their weight, height and head circumference measured. They’ll get a physical exam and may get a blood test to check for anemia and traces of lead. If you have specific concerns or questions about your 9-month-old’s health, now’s the time to ask the doctor!
Hello, independent baby! If baby drinks from a bottle, they might be able to hold it themselves by now. This would also be a good time to introduce a straw or open cup. As for solid foods, they’re probably into the idea of eating those independently too.
How much should a 9-month-old eat?
- Bottle feeding: How many ounces should a 9-month-old drink? It should total about 24 to 32 ounces in a 24-hour period. In other words, if baby has a bottle six times per day, they should each have about four to six ounces of formula in them.
- Breastfeeding: Feedings are still typically about every three or four hours, but each breastfed baby may be slightly different. What’s important is that baby seems content, your breasts seem to have been emptied (they’re soft) and your child is gaining weight healthily.
- Pumping: A breastfed baby needs about 25 ounces of breast milk per day. So you’ll want to divide that by how many feedings your baby typically has.
- Solid food: If you’re wondering what to feed a 9-month-old baby, it’s simpler than it may seem. Baby should have three small meals plus two snacks (kind of like you!), and doctors recommend feeding baby whole foods, without much that’s processed or has added sugar or salt. Give baby a variety of foods in different food groups and different colors of the rainbow: yellow bananas, red peppers, green avocado, orange sweet potatoes, white tofu, brown whole grain cereal. Baby should be getting protein, carbohydrates and fats in every meal.
To double-check that baby’s getting enough breast milk or formula, you can check their diapers. How many wet diapers for a 9-month-old is healthy? About four or five very wet ones per day is considered ideal.
What can baby eat this month?
- What finger foods can I feed my 9-month-old? Nine-month-olds are working on their pincer grasp, so finger foods are a go. Offer their favorite soft-cooked veggies cut into small pieces, bits of banana or avocado, or tiny cooked pasta pieces. You can’t go wrong with the ever-popular Cheerios.
- Can a 9-month-old eat eggs? Many parents of 9-month-olds ask about eggs. The advice used to be to avoid giving babies eggs before their first birthday, but that recommendation has changed. Egg is a common allergen, and the old advice said egg yolk was okay around 9 months, but to wait to introduce the egg white (which is more likely to cause an allergic reaction). But newer food allergy research suggests that it might benefit baby to introduce common food allergens early and often. So the short answer is yes, you can give baby egg at 9 months (or even before!), although you should always talk to your pediatrician before introducing potential allergens. And as with introducing any new food, watch your baby for signs of an allergic reaction in the following days.
9-month-old feeding schedule
The thing that’s constantly on parents’ minds: Sleep! There are some common questions moms and dads have about their 9-month-olds’ snooze time:
How much should a 9-month-old sleep?
Nine-month-old babies typically sleep about 14 to 15 hours per day. Eleven hours of those are at night. About three hours are divided between two daytime naps.
- What if my 9-month-old baby isn’t sleeping through the night? About 70 percent of 9-month-olds sleep 8 to 12 hours at night without waking. But don’t let the fact that your baby isn’t part of the majority get you down—babies don’t need to sleep through the night, even if you might want them to! If you think your child needs a little extra nudging to start sleeping longer stretches, you might consider sleep-training. Sleep training a 9-month-old baby is totally doable. Here’s more information to help you decide if sleep training is right for your family, as well as advice on how to do it.
- What if my 9-month-old won’t sleep? Sleep regression is common among 9-month-old babies. Because your child is learning new skills, such as crawling, pulling up to stand and cruising, they might decide they want to practice them… in the middle of the night. Some older babies might decide they simply miss their parents! The good news is, babies tend to grow out of regressions like this within a month or two. Until then, use some of these tricks to try to help baby (and you!) get more restful sleep.
9-month-old sleep schedule
%% Image 2 %%
Nine-month-olds might be awake for about 10 hours per day, and they’re likely more active than ever! You’re probably looking for ideas of things to do with a 9-month-old baby. Check out this list of baby activities that’ll give you an idea of things to do now, as well as things to do with baby as they grow.
9-month-old schedule example
A 9-month-old’s daily schedule might look something like this:
%% IMAGE 3 %%
- Take baby to their nine-month checkup.
- Nine-month-olds typically get a blood test: The doctor will test baby’s blood for lead and signs of anemia.
- Schedule baby’s 12-month checkup.
- Does baby need a new car seat? A car seat for your 9-month-old baby should be rear-facing (until age 2 or 3), so look for a convertible seat that can be used for at least another year or two.
- Nine-month-olds need to have the few teeth they have brushed regularly. You can now use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste to help brush baby’s teeth. (Teaching them to spit it out can be fun!)
- Nine-month-old babies love adventure! Create a mini obstacle course with cushions baby can climb, scoot and cruise over and around to help them experiment with their movement skills.
- Take baby’s 9-month-old baby milestone photo.
- At 9 months old, baby is in the very early stages of learning the meanings of words. You might be surprised that 9-month-old babies can understand some commands already. Experiment with certain phrases like “please give me the toy,” and provide them with plenty of praise when they correctly complete a request.
- Baby’s memory is getting stronger; if your little one knows you give them a bath and read to them before bed every night, they’ll remember that going to sleep comes next.
Who knew that there could be so many 9-month-old baby milestones to look forward to? With each day that passes, your 9-month-old will continue to surprise you with their impressive growth, development and intelligence.
Medical content was reviewed by Dina DiMaggio, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of NYC and NYU Langone Health in New York City, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also the coauthor of The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers.