Child development at age 9-12 months

This period should prepare the child for becoming a toddler. It is marked by the child's growing independence, albeit within the sheltered familial environment. This happens by the child learning to walk and to interact verbally with its caregivers. Children should gradually be introduced to a healthy family diet  in order to allow the child to participate in family meals and still meet nutritional requirements after its first birthday.

Toddler walking his first steps
Baby's body development at age 9-12 months

Baby’s body

Learning crawl up the stairs and to walk with assistance, babies' bodies develop remarkably between the ages of 9-12 months, and of course, the child's independence grows with it.  
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Baby’s mind

In this period, a baby's word pool starts to build and babies utter their first consonants and tones. In some cases, babies even speak their first words. They also become increasingly independent regarding their mind; forming their own opinion, participating in clothing selection, and getting attached to a favourite toy, for instance.  
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Baby sitting next to his stuffed animals
Baby's mental development at age 9-12 months
Baby sitting in a high chair and holding a carrot in the hands
Nutrition at age 9-12 months


Infant nutrition should be as healthy and as natural as possible, particularly  regarding low sugar and salt content. Since the child is still exploring new food, it is important to offer a variety of different foods including various vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish (Koletzko et al, 2013). This also ensures that the required energy intake of approximately 700kcal per day and a balanced nutrient supply have been provided. Foods should be rich in vitamins A, C, and D because they are important in infant nutrition at the age of 9-12 months. They deliver a variety of health advantages for the child, such as supporting the immune system and the development of the eyes, improving bone health, and providing antioxidant and other functions.
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  • Baby's body

    Typically, at the age of 9-12 months, babies start to:

    • manage drinking from a cup with some help;
    • transfer objects from one hand to the other in order to pick up a second object;   
    • crawl on stairs and flat surfaces;
    • walk three or more steps with assistance; and
    • scribble spontaneously.

    (Bartolotta and Shulman, 2010; UNICEF, n.d.; University of Pittsburgh, 2015)

  • Baby's mind

    Babies’ minds are constantly expanding. At the age of 9-12 months babies usually:

    • begin to interact verbally with their caregivers;
    • speak their first words;
    • are able to respond to simple instructions
    • spontaneously say familiar greetings and farewells;
    • understand the word “no”;
    • show agreement or disagreement
    • start to show assertiveness and/or separation anxiety;
    • imitate the movements of their caregivers;
    • repeat activities that provoke a positive response from others;
    • bring toys to share with a caregiver;
    • become attached to a favourite toy or blanket;
    • are able to point to five or more familiar persons, animals, or toys;
    • realise objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen;
    • start to understand how to use common objects;
    • look at pictures in a book;
    • are able to remove rings from ring-stacking toys;
    • cooperate in dressing and undressing;
    • chew textured foods; and
    • drink from a sippy cup independently.

    (Bartolotta and Shulman, 2010; UNICEF, n.d.; University of Pittsburgh, 2015)


More about babies' natural growth path