Magic of Everyday Moments - Chart on everyday ways to learn (6-9 months)

Based on content from ZERO TO THREE®: National Center for Infants, Toddler and Families.

For every age range, there are important developmental milestones. Learn "What to expect" and "What you can do" to enrich your baby's learning through everyday routines and interactions.

What to expect between 6 and 9 months

I've Got Brain Power

What To Expect:
Your baby's brain power grows as he experiments with toys in more complex ways.

What You Can Do:

  • Provide a variety of safe toys for the bath??? containers, rubber toys, plastic bath books, plastic ladles. Join his exploration and show him different ways to use the objects.
  • Show him how to take a cup of water and pour it over the ducky to let him watch what happens. Help him fill up the whale and squirt the water out.

I Can Move and Shake

What To Expect:
Your baby is increasingly mobile??? creeping, crawling and even pulling herself up to stand.

What You Can Do:

  • Create an environment that is safe for exploration. Make sure only safe objects are within her grasp and that anything she might use to pull herself to standing is sturdy and fastened down to support her weight.
  • Remind yourself that babies develop their motor skills at very different rates. Sometimes early crawlers are late walkers (why bother walking when she can get to where she needs to go so easily on all fours?). Development is an unfolding process . . . not a race.

I'm Good With My Hands

What To Expect:
Your baby's ability to use his hands and fingers is increasing every day.

What You Can Do:

  • During the next few months he will begin to hold things between his thumb and forefinger. This makes it much easier for him o do things with his hands, like feeding himself.
  • Play back-and-forth games. He'll love to hand you things that you hand back to him. This can go on for hours, and it's a great way to learn give-and-take!
  • Now that your baby can pick up lots of things, make sure he doesn't get his hands on objects he can choke on ??? anything that he can fit entirely into his mouth.

I See You!

What To Expect:
Your baby begins to understand that people and things exist even when she can't see them.

What You Can Do:

  • Play peek-a-boo. Even though you're hiding your head for just a moment (and in a very obvious way), this kind of game is practice for saying good-bye in other settings.
  • Play disappearing and reappearing games, such as find the missing toy (hidden under cloth, table, etc.) or drop an object and watch her try to locate it.

Who, May I Ask, Are You?

What To Expect:
Your baby begins to be uncertain or fearful around strangers or even family members he doesn't see very often. Becoming quiet or even distressed when meeting someone new is quite typical.

What You Can Do:

  • Introduce your baby to new people from the safety of your arms. Ask the new person to approach him slowly.
  • Give the new person one of your baby's favorite toys or books to help engage him.
  • Prepare your extended family and friends for your baby's new wariness and make sure they understand that it isn't anything personal.

Now Hear This!

What To Expect:
Your baby begins using sounds and gestures to communicate her wants and needs.

What You Can Do:

  • Become your baby's interpreter. If she points to her bottle, ask, "Do you want some juice?"
  • Encourage communication and motor skills by describing what she is doing. When she throws a toy down, you can say, "Okay, you don't want the car. But you're looking at the bear. Do you want to hold him?" Then put the bear within her range and encourage her to get it.

I'm a Copycat

What To Expect:
Your baby becomes a great imitator. Imitating is not only a great learning tool . . . it's lots of fun.

What You Can Do:

  • Play copycat games. Make a sound and give him time to copy you.
  • Push a button on the jack-in-the-box to make the clown appear, then wait for him to do it. This teaches him cause-and-effect and that he can make things happen.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

What To Expect:
Your baby is intensely curious and wants to spend almost every waking hour exploring.

What You Can Do:

  • Follow her lead on what interests her and encourage exploration.
  • Think about the way your baby explores things. Does she explore a book, for example, from beginning to end, page by page? Does she turn it upside down, flip the pages quickly or look at one page again and again. There are no "rights" or "wrongs." Some babies may find books so delicious that they'll want to chew on them for a while. That's okay, too, as long as they're safe.