Welcome to

Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.

Learn More
Blog

9-12 Month Developmental Milestones

Movement and Physical Development

Normal Development

  • Gets to a sitting position without help
  • Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”)
  • May take a few steps without holding on
  • May stand alone

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • Fewer chances to explore and have new experiences due to procedures and treatment. Tubes, drains, and lack of space can keep baby from moving and exploring normally.
  • Slower to learn large body movements, such as controlling head and upper body while sitting, crawling, and standing without help.
  • Slower to learn small movements, especially hand/eye coordination and holding things with thumb and finger.

Ways to Help

  • If available, go to hospital infant playtime to help baby learn physical skills.
  • Ask for floor mat for movement and exploring.
  • Give toys with texture or musical toys to get baby interested in grabbing and moving objects.
  • Show baby “hide and seek” and other interactive games.
As part of normal physical development, your child may pulls up to stand, and walk while holding on to furniture (which is called “cruising”).

As part of normal physical development, your child may pulls up to stand, and walk while holding on to furniture (which is called “cruising”).

 

Language and Communication

Normal Development

  • Responds to simple spoken requests
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
  • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
  • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”
  • Tries to say words you say

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • Fewer chances to be social and communicate due to feeling sick, tired, and sometimes mouth sores.
  • Might be slow to develop language or say first words.
  • Certain medications might impact hearing, which in turn can impact communication.

Ways to Help

  • Read to, smile at, and sing to baby.
  • Talk about what is happening in the room.
  • Take walks so baby can explore surroundings and safe equipment.
  • Follow directions for proper hearing aid use if prescribed.
As part of normal communication development, your child may uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye."

As part of normal communication development, your child may uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye."

Social and Emotional

Normal Development

  • Is shy or nervous with strangers
  • Cries when mom or dad leaves
  • Has favorite things and people
  • Shows fear in some situations
  • Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story
  • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention
  • Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
  • Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • Less interest in playing due to feeling sick and tired
  • Might go through painful procedures
  • Senses stress and anxiety in caregivers
  • Might be separated from parents in hospital or during procedures and be stressed by having different caregivers
  • More fussy, irritable, clingy, and anxious than normal
  • Bonding might be harder than usual because sickness and hospital surroundings make baby less trusting

Ways to Help

  • Watch for times when baby is awake and alert and play as much as baby can handle.
  • Caregivers should prepare for procedures and learn how to help comfort baby
  • Parents and caregivers should take good care of themselves to reduce stress
  • Have the same caregiver as much as possible
  • Hold baby when meeting new staff to reduce anxiety
  • Encourage playfulness
As part of normal social development, your child may plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake.”

As part of normal social development, your child may plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake.”

 

Thinking and Learning

Normal Development

  • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing
  • Finds hidden things easily
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
  • Copies gestures
  • Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair
  • Bangs two things together
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
  • Lets things go without help
  • Pokes with index (pointer) finger
  • Follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • Less chance to physically explore their environment
  • Might feel less like playing, particularly when “counts” are low or after procedures
  • Fewer opportunities to observe others engaged in play
  • Certain medications can impact hearing, which in turn can impact learning
  • Certain medications may affect baby’s sense of touch, which in turn can affect baby’s physical exploration of materials

Ways to Help

  • Provide your baby with toys that can be easily placed in and taken out of containers
  • Hide objects under blankets and encourage your baby to find the missing toys
  • Talk about what your baby does in play (e.g., “You are putting the block in the bucket, ‘plop!’ It made a noise when it hit the bottom, now you are taking it back out of the bucket”
  • Talk about what you are doing when playing with your baby or when engaged in daily tasks (e.g., “Daddy is hanging his coat up. Now I am going to wash my hands.”
  • Follow directions for proper hearing aid use if prescribed.
  • Read to your baby often; point to pictures within the book and name the items
  • Encourage your baby to point to pictures within the book—when they do so, name the items for them
  • When your baby follows simple commands, enthusiastically praise him or her for doing so
When your baby follows simple commands, enthusiastically praise her for doing so.

When your baby follows simple commands, enthusiastically praise her for doing so.