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Development of infants between 9 and 12 months

Every child and their development are different. The age we use in this article is an indication of an age range.

The 9th month is an important time in a child's development. They transform from helpless, uncoordinated newborns into capable, (better) coordinated people. If we have provided our baby with the right environment and opportunities, by the age of 9 months he will have acquired a basic confidence in his surroundings and in himself. It is able to move, communicate and become independent, it can feed and support itself. They can make simple decisions, communicate beyond crying, set and achieve small goals, and solve simple problems on their own. Most importantly, they start to develop and show their personality.

baby shows personality

Gross Motor Development

large motor development of babies between 9 to 12 months

At around 9 months, our baby can start crawling. After a few weeks of being able to pull himself up to stand and drive along furniture, he may try to stand without support. It is important to allow this process and not to intervene too quickly to help. By learning to sit and stand, children also learn to fall. At first they may fall backwards and hit the back of their heads. Hopefully that happens on the exercise mat and it's cushioned a bit. If we try not to react with too much shock, they often go back to playing. We have observed that after the second or third time babies fall, they learn to hold their head up and this is a skill that will help them through infancy and childhood. So we can allow this process if they practice and pull themselves up to stand up, move around on a low surface and one day find they can stand unaided, perhaps when trying to work on their shelving.

baby learns to pull up

Babies at this stage enjoy crawling up stairs and climbing equipment that includes stairs or a Pikler triangle. That's why our Montessori pedagogue recommends letting the babies start with the Pikler triangle 'Yoga' in order to train their urge to move and their desire to climb.

At around 12 months, just like standing still, our baby will start to let go of his support object and try to walk without support. Let this process take its natural course and one day the child will be able to walk! This milestone can be reached at around 9 months, but sometimes as late as 16 months or even later.

Fine motor development

The baby's grip is getting finer and finer. The thumb works in opposition to the fingers and the baby begins to voluntarily initiate and coordinate eye and hand movements. It can detect hidden objects and begins to explore cause and effect.

Click on the Linkto discover the Montessori material that our educators create for babies at this stage.


1. The Montessori Baby: A Parent's Guide to Nurturing Your Baby by Junnifa Uzodike and Simone Davies

2. The Absorbent Mind Book by Maria Montessori

3. Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three Book by Lynn Lillard Jessen and Paula Polk Lillard

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