Six to Nine Months
By this age, your baby has much greater control over his hands, can drop one object in order to pick up another, and will look closely at things and turn them over to explore them further. S/he’ll love holding things, and will put them in his/her mouth to ‘explore’ them
Games to Play
- Fun to feel: A great toy that you can make yourself is a feely box. Put lots of large coloured objects of different sizes and textures in a box & let baby ‘feel’ and move around all the different objects to play with.
- Musical toys: Babies like music all along but at this stage s/he gets the “maestro complex” and loves to make his/her own music! S/he’ll enjoy playing with anything that makes a sound, as well as singing games and music groups so brush off (or Google if you can’t remember!) all those nursery rhymes in the back of your mind!
This stage is also dominated by the urge to move!
Shufflers and sitters
The Sitter - S/he will constantly pull the tummy muscles and want to sit. They may enter a phase where you are nothing but a prop and they insist on sitting at all times. Remember though that baby is using weak muscles, and you know how it is if you overdo it in the gym or run for a bus which has the edge on you......the next day you really feel it! Until the sitting up is well established, baby needs to rest and be carried/lie down etc every now and then or sit in a walker or door bouncer.
Be aware that those lovely baby springy seats are now a liability and baby can capsize it canoe style and probably isn’t up to a seal roll yet!
The Bumshuffler - He/she sits first and then quickly moves onto shuffling around. The speed is amazing and the hands are free to grab...a very happy state for baby and a total life and limb risk for anything in the way! Cats, dogs and laptops with dangling leads are favourite victims.
Bumshufflers need to pointed in a safe direction and let loose. Sewing patches on the bum area of his trousers will help minimise clothing costs!
Often a shuffler is a late walker but this should not worry you-just keep up to date with regular health visitor checks.
The laid-back Billy - Typical of a chilled out type or a younger child where siblings run and fetch everything they could ever want.S/he is not in the usual hurry to move around and may go from immobile to walking in a week when the time is right. Just be checking with your health visitor about the lack of jiving and don’t worry too much.
Give lots of opportunity for baby to move around - not too long in baby seats or prams and car seats.
Commando and crawlers- These guys are off on the go by one way or another. It may be the traditional hands and knees crawl or some strange wriggle-crawl-pull system but it does the job!
Ideally once you have a mover, try to play in a way which allows them to move around.
For example, races - baby will love it if you get down at their level and crawl around! You feel a bit daft doing it at first but it’s a bit like the copying you did with the tiny baby and it is endlessly amusing for baby! It’s easy for time pressure to crowd out the time to do kids’ stuff with them and to force them to do grown-up stuff with you way too much (every kid HATES DIY shops and timber yards are no place for safe discovery!) This goes on right through our kid’s lives...make time to do life their way (even if that’s on your knees!). Learn more about your baby by watching for developmental milestones here.