Updated: Oct 26, 2021
The last bit of their first year is a bittersweet but exciting time. Their little personalities are developing so much. They are starting to communicate their first words, waving "hi" or "bye" and are eating so many things. Check out my instagram post on 9-12 month development.
Here are a list of activities to help facilitate the development while making it fun!
Pull to stand: Pulling to stand at furniture or using your hands is a great way to work on this! Around 9 months, they naturally will want to pull themselves up so they can see all of the things going on in their environment. This skill is the precursor to walking. Doing pull to stands, they are strengthening their leg muscles and forming that motor coordination of using their legs to hold their weight. Just make sure whatever furniture they are pulling to stand on is safe and secured!
Walking: A good activity to work on walking would be using baby walkers that they can support themselves with. If they keep tipping it back, you can add ankle weights to the walker to make it a little heavier. Once they get that down, they can use your fingers to walk while they figure out how to balance and weight shift for walking independently.
Bilateral Coordination/Midline activities: Bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body) is an important skill. This can be clapping or banging blocks together. If they are having difficulty, you can model (show them) or you can do it with them putting your hands over theirs to demonstrate how to do it.
Isolating Index finger: this helps develop fine motor skills and also helps with communication. You can encourage this by using toys with buttons, the new popular "pop its", or even pointing and poking your face. If they do that, you can also use it as a language opportunity to label the parts of the face.
Tactile: using a variety of different textures for your baby to touch, pom poms, ping pong balls, etc. You can use these to drop into a container to also work on fine motor skills.
Tactile/Visual: during bathtime, using different cups, sponges, handles, strainers to play with water.
Visual/Auditory: going to new places to hear and see new experiences. This helps them develop a strong sense of the world around them. This can be a little overwhelming especially with some of these babies who have been born and grown up during the COVID pandemic. It is okay to go slowly!
Auditory: letting babies bang on everything with their hands or other toys. This helps them establish what sounds different objects make.
Things to look for:
limited to no eye contact
cannot maintain supported sitting or independent sitting
unable to crawl
cannot tolerate weight bearing on arms and knees (crawling position)
poor visual tracking
floppy or squishy arms and legs (low muscle tone)
not using both hands when playing
not able to use both hands to play at midline (middle of their body)
will not weight bear through their feet
As always, please reach out to me or book one of my consultations if you are ever concerned about your child's development.