Baby's Development 7-9 Months
This is an especially exciting time for you and your baby, and a period we affectionately like to refer to as the age of rock and roll!
During this stage of development, your 7-9 month old baby is interacting more and more with you and his or her environment, beginning to understand reciprocal play and beginning to engage in more play with their hands as they begin to sit independently, and are solidly rolling all over the place!
As your baby becomes mobile, if you haven’t already, you should make sure that your home is now baby-proofed for safe exploration. Not sure your home is ready? Click here for a comprehensive baby-proofing checklist corresponding with each stage of development.
Your baby is continuing to learn new and exciting skills each day, building on previous milestones to interact more with their environment-physically, socially, and mentally!
Remember that our development is not linear, and often our children will seem to excel in one area of development like gross motor skills that we are easily able to observe, while building skills in other areas like cognition or language which will be evident later on. In this manner, each area of development has its own rate of progress, dependent on environmental stimuli and each child’s individual experiences.
This list is meant to briefly summarize your baby’s milestones and offer suggestions for Busy Baby product use for your child, and does not substitute for medical advice. If you are at all concerned regarding your child’s development or achievement of their milestones, please discuss these concerns with your pediatrician.
How to use your Busy Baby Mat
Capitalize on your babies fine and gross motor skills and visual skills at this age, by varying your use of the Busy Baby Mat, a versatile product that grows with your child, to aid in promotion of these skills through developmentally appropriate activities!
- Building on the prior development of fine and gross motor skills at 6 months, your baby will be ready to start solid (puree, or BLW) foods! Additional signs your baby is ready include: ability to support their own head while positioned in their highchair, and interest in food (staring at, opening mouth, reaching/grabbing for food near them). Early on if starting with spoon fed purees, you may notice your baby protrudes their tongue out of the mouth-this is a normal reflex in early infancy which aids with latching to a nipple or bottle, and also protects the infant from choking on foods they are not ready for, and eventually disappears around 6 months when beginning solid foods.
- Note: Reflexes like the one mentioned above are a normal part of infant development. Though not explicitly mentioned in detail in this post, our reflexes are automatic and involuntary movements or neurological responses from the brainstem, in response to specific stimuli like touch or sudden movement which keep us alive as newborns. Over time, as we develop and mature, these reflexes are integrated (replaced with voluntary movements). Click this link for both permanent and primitive reflexes explained more in depth.
- When seated in a high chair, will hold and drink from their bottle independently!
- Enjoys teethers that can massage sore/swollen gums during teething.
- Stays full for longer periods after eating with pureed and mashed table foods now added to his or her diet, and starts to look and reach for food that is nearby.
- Shows strong reaction to new smells and tastes with fun facial expressions and noises!
- Your baby is already starting to develop their preferences for foods, so keep offering different flavors for continued exposure to encourage a broad palate of accepted foods.
- With more purposeful grasp, your baby will be able to hold onto their utensil for longer periods, though they are likely not using their spoon independently yet, continue to present spoons at each meal to gain familiarity and practice with holding and bringing to their mouth!
- Tip: Try not to become discouraged when your baby shows a strong negative reaction to a food the first time-this doesn’t necessarily mean your baby doesn’t like it, in fact, offering the food numerous times (10-15 times on separate mealtimes) will help the brain accept a new food into his or her diet.
- Attach the mat to the highchair tray or your table with first foods to promote pincer grasp development, attach tethers to their bottle, utensils, and toys to promote increased grasping and exploration of bringing items to mouth, and building independence with self-feeding!
- To work on all skills, place a favorite finger food on the play mat just out of reach for your child, watch as they utilize their primary mode of movement (crawling, army crawling, or scooting) to reach their favorite food, and problem solve to use pincer grasp to pick up the item and lastly bringing to mouth to self-feed.
- As your baby begins teething, utilize your cooling teethers attached to tethers on your Busy Baby Mat to provide some much-needed relief to baby’s sore gums!
- Have fun with sensory exploration by attaching the mat to a vertical surface such as a cabinet, refrigerator, or dishwasher, and add some fun purees or whipped cream and watch your baby explore with their hands, bringing fingers to mouth, and also working on their trunk control!
Gross Motor Development:
- Promote increased trunk control and strength with sitting by attaching your mat to a sliding glass door, cabinet, or other vertical wall surface, using tethers to attach favorite toys and manipulatives to encourage reaching, grasping, and visual tracking of items!
- Try placing your silicone mat just out of reach on your hardwood floor /tile/laminate during tummy time to encourage reaching, scooting, and crawling to retrieve favorite toys!
- Use during bathtime, as you transition baby a tub as they begin sitting independently, attach your Busy Baby Mat or Mini Mat to the side of your tub with toys attached to tethers. Watch as your baby reaches for these to bring to their mouth, visually tracks as they bounce around, consistently begins to bring items to their mouth, and stays entertained!
- Attach toys to all four tethers to promote cognitive development through problem solving- as your child reaches for an item in each hand, they will be intrigued by the other toys and have to figure out they must release one toy to grasp for another.
Out and about
- Continue to utilize your Busy Baby Mat during appointments on your baby’s car seat handle, over your baby’s stroller, over your shopping cart handle, and on your airplane tray/window.
Additional tips and tricks
- Each child will vary in the timing of achieving each developmental milestone. No two children are alike, even siblings differ in their milestone development.
- If you have concerns about your child’s development, contact your pediatrician for further guidance and support. For a list of red flags by month for your child for early intervention referral click here
- For additional games to engage and support your child’s development click here
- Make sure your home is baby-proofed as your child begins to become mobile-after you are finished, double check by crawling around on all fours and seeing what things you can find to get into!
- Here is a great video highlighting some of the gross motor, fine motor, and visual skills your child will be working to master at 7-9 months discussed above.
Get creative, and enjoy your baby!
-Katie the OT Mom