Important Milestones By 9 Months

This information was originally published by the CDC.

How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children (75% or more) can do by a certain age.

Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 9 months by completing a checklist with CDC’s free Milestone Tracker mobile app, using the Digital Online Checklist, or by printing the checklist.

Social/Emotional Milestones

  • Is shy, clingy, or fearful around strangers
  • Shows several facial expressions, like happy, sad, angry, and surprised
  • Looks when you call their name
  • Reacts when you leave (looks, reaches for you, or cries)
  • Smiles or laughs when you play peek-a-boo

Language/Communication Milestones

  • Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”
  • Lifts arms up to be picked up

Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Looks for objects when dropped out of sight (like their spoon or toy)
  • Bangs two things together

Movement/Physical Development Milestones

  • Gets to a sitting position by themselves
  • Moves things from one hand to the other hand
  • Uses fingers to “rake” food toward themself
  • Sits without support

Other important things to share with the doctor…

  • What are some things you and your baby do together?
  • What are some things your baby likes to do?
  • Is there anything your baby does or does not do that concerns you?
  • Has your baby lost any skills they once had?
  • Does your baby have any special healthcare needs or were they born prematurely?


Concerned About Your Child’s Development? Act Early.

You know your child best. Don’t wait. If your child is not meeting one or more milestones, has lost skills they once had, or you have other concerns, act early. Talk with your child’s doctor, share your concerns, and ask about developmental screening.

If you or the doctor are still concerned:

  1. Ask for a referral to a specialist who can evaluate your child more; and
  2. Call your state or territory’s early intervention program to find out if your child can get services to help. Learn more and find the number at

For more on how to help your child, visit