Your baby is very curious about everything. He is beginning to take control of his body through crawling, climbing, cruising (Cruising is moving about while holding on to supporting objects such as a coffee table, chair, couch, etc..), and beginning steps toward walking alone.
As he explores, remember to talk to him about his surroundings. Label objects: "bathtub" or "eyes-nose-mouth" and listen to his responses. Your baby is ready for simple instructions such as: "stop," "sit down," "wave bye-bye," "get up" or "come here." He will gradually begin saying words that you can recognize such as "mama," "dada," "ba-ba," "baby" and "bird." Don't forget to smile and praise him for the little things as well as the big things when he learns something new or does something well! He will be learning big things and little things every day!
Explore and handle objects: wave, shake, twist, turn, squeeze, poke and even put them in his mouth
Crawl while holding a toy
Pick up small objects between thumb and 1 or 2 fingers, although not with ease
Take steps alone; walk like a robot
Pull string to get the toy at the other end
Move a toy from one hand to the other
Hold 2 toys at the same time; maybe hit them together
Crawl up stairs
Begin to say some words
Walk if one or both hands are held
Pull self up to stand and move while holding on to furniture (cruising)
A very important skill that babies begin to develop at this age is to recognize that something stands for something else, for example: "Mama" means the person-"My Mama".
Limit your baby's time in play-pens, jump seats or behind a gate.
Offer a plastic drinking cup to begin limiting when and where the bottle is used. Your baby's teeth are beginning to come in and a bottle can lead to poor mouth development.
Remove dangerous items (such as house plants or cleaning products) that are within his reach so you can cut down on the times you have to say "no" or "don't touch."
Avoid giving him too many snacks as a way to occupy your baby when he is bored or when you are busy.
Lock doors and cabinets as your baby begins to cruise and climb. Remember: Any tools, knives, firearms, matches or lighters can be deadly to your little one. These objects must be safely stored in an area your child cannot open.
Supervise him when crawling or cruising. He could fall down stairs, bump into things or pull things over on himself, such as pots on the stove.
Always use a car seat when your child is riding in a car.
Well Baby Check-ups: 9 months, 12 months
Remember to encourage your baby to talk when you ask a question or are trying to locate something: "Would you like to go outside?" or "Can you find your doll?"
Expand your daily reading materials and think numbers: "Let's read one book."
Remember, your baby must learn about these things: hot and cold, up and down, in and out, empty and full, stand and sit, wet and dry and big and little. Spend time showing these ideas to him.
Encourage your baby to crawl, climb and cruise by providing safe places both indoors and outdoors.
Help him understand relationships by explaining how things work. "The stove is hot. It will burn and hurt you." Or "When we turn the light on, we can see better."
Identify colors and objects whenever it is appropriate; say, "See the red truck."
Include daily games such as Pat-a-Cake, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, This Little Piggy Went to Market, So Big, Ring-Around-The-Roses, One-Two Buckle My Shoe and Pop Goes the Weasel.