Most babies approaching their first birthdays are on the brink of a major transition: they are about to get up and take those first tottering baby steps. Before your baby starts walking — which usually happens around or after the first birthday — he or she will typically be an accomplished crawler.

At this age, babies are also developing their eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills, banging objects together, holding small pieces of food between their thumbs and forefingers, drinking out of a sippy cup, and picking up and inspecting pretty much anything within reach (which is why it’s important to step up your baby-proofing efforts). Don’t worry too much if your baby fails to accomplish a few of the milestones listed below, but do consult your pediatrician if your child is not crawling or able to sit up independently.

By 8-12 months, most babies will: 

  • Begin crawling (usually around 11-12 months)
  • Sit up by themselves without any assistance
  • Pull themselves up to a standing position with the aid of a chair or table
  • Grasp small objects between their thumbs and forefingers (which is why it’s important to keep an eye out for choking hazards)
  • Feed themselves with their hands
  • Bang objects together (whether it’s appropriate or not)
  • Try to pick up anything within reach (so you should baby-proof your home to accommodate a more mobile infant)
  • Easily transfer objects from one hand to the other
  • Be able to hold onto, and drink out of, a sippy cup

By 8-12 months, most babies may: 

By 8-12 months, most babies may even:

  • Begin walking without any support
  • Eat with a fork or spoon
  • Put objects down gently, rather than dropping them on the floor or table
  • Play patty-cake or give you a “high five”

More in milestones:

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, December 2018

Takeaways

  • Babies usually begin crawling between 8 and 12 months.
  • Most babies this age can grasp small objects between their thumbs and forefingers.
  • Expect your baby to pick up, and experiment with, any object within reach.

References

  1. Nemours. Your Child’s Development: 9 Months.
  2. Medline Plus. Developmental Milestones Record – 9 Months.

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