May 17, 2023

6 to 9 Months: What to Expect

Jane Magnani
Jane Magnani
6 to 9 Months: What to Expect

As your baby turns six months old, you will notice how active they are! So much will happen during the next three months in terms of development as your baby starts exploring the world more. This will be a busy time for you. 

There are many things to look forward to at this age as your little one learns to sit up and start to eat solid foods. You might find life busier as your baby gets more mobile, and life is about to get messier!


So, when can you start weaning your little one? Six months is the time to begin introducing your baby to their first foods.

You may want to start introducing solids by offering spoonfuls of puréed food, or you may want to opt for baby-led weaning (BLW). BLW means offering your baby finger foods, like cooked broccoli, chunks of cooked apples, bananas, or unsalted breadsticks. You may want to try both, mixed weaning.

Whichever approach you take, never force food on your baby if they're not interested. Instead, follow their lead and let them guide you.

You need to continue feeding your baby breast milk, formula milk, or a combination until they are one year old. But as your baby eats more solids, they will start to drink less milk.

As your baby begins eating solids, it's a good idea to introduce them to drinking water from a cup at six months. 


By nine months, some babies will be sleeping through the night. While for others, sleep can seem to get worse.

Some babies who have previously slept well may start waking up. This could result from separation anxiety or developmental changes and growth spurts. It's also possible your baby will wake at this age with teething pain.

Personal, Social, and Emotional Development

Making relationships

  • Is interested in playing with others interactive games such as peek-a-boo, clapping hands and pat-a-cake-like games

  • Maintains eye contact with people during a playful interaction

  • Reaches to familiar people and raises hands towards them to be picked up

  • Begins to show signs of separation anxiety

  • Begins to be scared of strangers

Sense of Self

  • Your baby is becoming more aware of their physical self

  • Enjoys mirror play and seeing themselves in the mirror. However, your baby might still not know their reflection looking back at them

  • Your baby begins to use their voice and cry to attract others' attention

Understanding Emotions

  • Your baby stops crying when an adult communicates with them

  • Your baby begins to understand emotion in their primary caregiver's voice

  • Begins to communicate a range of emotions (e.g. pleasure, interest, surprise, excitement) through making sounds, facial expressions, and moving their bodies 

Baby lying on floor legs up

Baby lying on floor legs up

Physical Development

Moving and Handling

  • Sits without support

  • Sits and reaches for toys without falling

  • Moves from tummy or back into sitting

  • Starts to move with alternate leg and arm movement, e.g. creeping, crawling - aids with sensorimotor development as your little one experiences the world while developing their brain and body

  • Your baby begins to lift their head and chest by supporting their arms and elbows, leaving their hands flat on the floor during tummy time

  • Your baby begins to turn their head to look for and track objects while sitting

  • Shows more control while rolling and sitting

  • Transfers toys from one hand to the other

  • Your baby explores objects and toys using their mouth

  • If held standing, your baby enjoys moving and bouncing up and down

  • Turns several pages of a chunky (board) book at once

  • Uses a palmer grasp when picking up objects

Health and Self-care

  • Communicates discomfort or distress with wet or soiled nappy

  • First teeth usually appear

  • Chews on toys and a baby toothbrush

  • Opens mouth for a spoon

  • Alert for periods of increasing length

  • Anticipates food routines with interest 

Communication and Language Development

Listening and attention

  • Your baby begins to enjoy music, songs and rhymes, especially if they include actions

  • Listens to and recognises own name.


  • Begins to babble repeated sounds and plays around with these sounds

  • cooing, laughing, and gurgling become stronger

  • Babbling contains repeated sounds, consonants and vowels together, e.g. ba ba ba ba ba, ma ma ma ma.


  • Starts to understand contextual clues, e.g. familiar gestures, words and sounds

  • Begins to understand the emotion in their primary carer's voice

  • Follows some routine commands when paired with gestures

  • Looks at familiar objects and people when named

  • Recognises the sounds of their name

What to look out for:

Remember that each child is unique, and they all develop at various times and different rates. So, if your baby isn't doing the same things as your friend's kid, give your little one time! Your little one may be finding the following skills challenging:

  • Can’t sit without assistance.

  • Doesn’t babble.

  • Won’t respond to her name.

  • Doesn’t put weight on her legs.

  • Doesn’t play any games involving back-and-forth play.

  • Doesn’t recognise adults she knows.

  • Doesn’t look where you point.

  • Can’t transfer toys between her hands.

If you are concerned about your little one, seek help from your GP or health visitor. No matter how small your concern is don’t let it linger in your mind, ask for help.


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