National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation

Infants Ages Nine to Twelve Months


Social and Emotional Milestones Examples of Typical Social and Emotional Development Examples of Risk Factors for Potential Social and Emotional Concerns
Social Development- Attachment:
  • Shakes head to signify “no” to an adult
  • Begins to use a few words and babbling to seek attention/express self
  • Babbles to self when alone
  • Enjoys exploring toys with an adult
  • Jayma (9 months) crawls across the floor until she reaches the plastic rings. She balances on one arm and picks one up, looks at it, babbles a few syllables, and then puts it in her mouth. Her caregiver comes over to her and says, “Jayma, did you find something to chew on?” Jayma responds by taking the ring out of her mouth, laughing, and handing the ring to her caregiver.
  • Kylea (10 months) sits on her caregiver’s lap exploring a book. As the caregiver turns the page and describes the pictures, Kylea imitates the caregiver’s tone of voice with an excited, “bah” and “whoa.” After finishing the book, the caregiver says, “Well Kylea, it is time for your nap. Are you ready for your nap?” To this Kylea responds by shaking her head “no.” The caregiver picks her up and talks to her softly and rocks her gently as she walks toward the crib.
  • When the home visitor arrives, Liam (10 months) is asleep. While he sleeps, the home visitor asks the parents if they would be willing to complete a developmental questionnaire. As she goes over some of the items, she notices the mother and father are looking at each other with puzzled looks. Sensing their confusion, she asks if they have any questions. Liam’s mother reluctantly says, “Um, he doesn’t do any of this,” as the father nods his head. The home visitor talks with the parents about their concerns. When Liam wakes, the home visitor sees that indeed, Liam is highly unresponsive, is not babbling, does not make eye contact, and does not explore the environment.
Emotional Development- Self-Regulation:
  • Explores environment by crawling or walking away, but checks back frequently to ensure adult contact
  • Shows strong feelings of affection, anger, anxiety.
  • Exhibits intensely strong feelings toward parents or other primary caregivers
  • Sophia (10 months) has just begun pulling up and cruising around the couch in her classroom. As she moves around to the side of the couch, she keeps looking back at her caregiver to make sure she is still there.
  • After Jada’s (twelve months) mother drops her off, she begins to cry. Jada stands, looking out the door, crying. A few moments later, she walks to her cubby, picks up her blanket, and then walks to her caregiver with her arms up. Jada’s caregiver picks her up and cuddles with her, saying, “I know you miss your mama. I’m sorry you are so sad.”
  • McKenna’s (9 months) caregivers think that she is fearless! She just started crawling and will crawl all around the room, without looking back to make sure a caregiver is there to support her. She is often labeled the “easy baby” because she is so agreeable and will willingly go to anyone, even if the person is not familiar. In fact, even when McKenna’s mother or father are holding her or are in the room, she will readily go to a stranger.




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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation