Children's Development Six to Nine Months
While reading this information, please keep in mind that all children are unique. While the sequence of development is practically the same for all children (for example, most children learn to crawl before they learn to walk), each child's rate of development is different. There is a wide variation in normal development. Some children reach developmental milestones earlier than others. Some reach them later than others. Rarely does a delay in reaching a developmental milestone mean that there is a problem. In most cases, delays turn out to be normal. Remember that premature infants generally reach developmental milestones later than other infants of the same birth age. Parents with any questions or concerns about their children's development should contact their children's health care provider.
Highlights in Physical Development
- Eye/Hand Coordination. By six months of age many infants will begin reaching for objects quickly without jerkiness and may be able to feed themselves a cracker or similar food. Not only do infants this age try to get objects within their reach but also objects out of their reach. Many infants are also able to look from hand to object, to hold one object while looking for a second object, and to follow the movements of their hands with their eyes. At this age many infants begin to poke at objects with their index fingers. After six months many infants may be able to manipulate a cup and hold it by the handle. Many infants this age begin to reach for objects with one arm instead of both. At about eight months of age, as dexterity improves, many infants will use a pincher movement to grasp small objects, and they will begin to clap and wave their hands. After they begin to clap their hands, they will then begin to transfer objects from hand to hand, and bang objects together.
- Feeding/Eating. During about the sixth month of age, most infants begin to chew. This new ability, combined with increasing eye/hand coordination, allows infants to begin feeding themselves. At about six months of age, many children begin to develop preferences for certain foods, and by eight months, many insist on feeding themselves most of the time.
- Rolling. After six months of age, many infants are able to twist and turn themselves in all directions, and many can roll over from their backs to their stomachs. Sitting. At six months of age, the ability to sit is gradually improving. At this age infants may be able to sit unsupported for a few seconds, and by the seventh month most infants will be able to sit for longer periods of time, though they will still be unsteady and may have to bend forward to balance themselves. By eight months most infants will be able to sit up completely unsupported, and they will be able to turn around while sitting.
- Crawling/Walking. At six months of age, most infants begin to support the top half of their bodies on their outstretched arms. One of the first signs of crawling behavior is the ability to bend the knees below the body. After six months of age, many infants will begin to creep by propelling on the stomach with the legs and steering with the arms. Infants may begin to crawl forward, backward, or both. As infants practice and perfect the art of creeping and crawling, they will begin to push up on their knees and rock back and forth, usually during the seventh month. At this time, most infants are also able to creep with an object in one or both hands. Between seven and eight months, some infants may be able to pull themselves up to a standing position from a sitting position, get into a sitting position from lying on the stomach, and walk holding on to furniture.
Reprinted with the permission of the Center for Effective Parenting. © 1998-2004 The Center for Effective Parenting. All Rights Reserved.
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