In our last post we discussed child development from Birth to Six Months of age. This post will deal with developmental milestones occurring between Six and Twelve Months of age. This period is critical, as children are laying the foundations necessary for their first words and first steps.

6-9 Months of Age

Your child should be:

  • Using variegated babbling. This is a more complex type of babbling, where your child will use multiple consonant and vowel sounds within one babble, for example “ma-wee-ba-duh”.
  • Using different sounds for different emotions. Your child will begin to understand that there is a difference between happy, in pain, tired, and hungry, and they will begin to give you more clues that they are experiencing each emotion. You will start to see sighs, squeals of excitement, and grunts of frustration.
  • Responding to their name. As your baby becomes more aware, they will begin to associate their name with themselves. They should begin to seek the person saying their name, respond with smiles, and begin to understand when they are being caught out.
  • Understanding common words. As your baby grows, their receptive language skills will continue to develop. They will start to comprehend a few very familiar words, for example ‘car’, ‘bottle’, ‘dog’ and ‘rattle’.
  • Showing joint attention. Joint attention is the ability for two people to share focus on an activity or object. This skill is a vital prerequisite for having a conversation, or engaging others. As your baby develops this skill, they will look at the object, then to you to check you are looking, then back to the object.
  • Sitting independently. Your baby should be able to sit without the support of others and engage in play with a favourite object. One hand may be required to prop self at side.
  • Pivoting whilst on tummy and beginning to crawl or scoot backwards.
  • Holding toys and transferring it between hands. Your baby should be able to intentionally grasp and release objects.
  • 9-12 Months of Age

    Your child should be:

  • Understanding object permanence. Your child should begin to understand that an object still exists, even when it is not seen, and start to search for an item they have seen hidden (for example, under a blanket). This milestone is the precursor for symbolic development (words are considered to be symbols) and therefore is an essential stepping stone to talking about objects that are not in their immediate view.
  • Copying gestures. Your child should begin to copy your actions and movements such as clapping, high fives, and covering their face during a game of peek-a-boo.
  • Using communicative gestures. As your child becomes more confident copying gestures, they will begin to use these gestures to communicate. Your child may begin to wave, shake their head ‘no’, and put their arms up to ask to be picked up. If you are using Baby Sign with your child, you may notice them stating to sign back to you at this stage. Our OT, Pip, runs our Baby Massage courses, and always enjoys including a session about feeding and Baby Sign. Call (02) 6583 4063 to book your spot in the next Baby Massage Group.
  • Conversing back and forth. Your child should begin to have pretend conversations with you where they babble and wait for a response, or babble in response to you talking. This shows that they are beginning to understand the social rules and structure of a conversation, and that they want to converse with you.
  • Understanding familiar short phrases. Further to the above point where your child began to understand familiar words, your child should now be able to understand some familiar short phrases, for example “ta for mum”, “all gone”, “where’s daddy?”.
    Lifting self-up on all fours and beginning to crawl with their stomach off the ground.
  • Pulling self-up on furniture and cruising around furniture.
  • Walking whilst holding on to their parent’s hands. Some children are early walkers and will begin to walk around the 10-11 months.
  • Posting objects – pulling them out of a container and putting them back in.
  • Beginning to use a spoon to self-feed at meals (this will be messy but is a key skill in developing hand-eye coordination).
  • Please note that each child is different, and will achieve these milestones at different ages. The above information is based on the average age that typically developing children will achieve these milestones.

    If you have any concerns about your baby achieving these milestones, please contact your GP or our friendly Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists on (02) 6583 4063.

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