National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation

Infants Ages Six to Nine Months


Social and Emotional Milestones Examples of Typical Social and Emotional Development Examples of Risk Factors for Potential Social and Emotional Concerns
Social Development:
  • Reaches out to familiar adults to be picked up and held
  • Babbling
  • Seeks out adults for play
  • Can sit up by herself and can reach for toys
  • Carlos (6 months) is sitting in his high chair eating his lunch. After about 10 minutes he begins to cry when his caregiver tries to give him more bananas. His face turns red as he moves his hands in front of his face rapidly. When his caregiver asks him if he is all done, he reaches up to her until she picks him up out of the high chair.
  • Shantee (9 months) crawls to her caregiver and then props herself up next to the caregiver. She laughs as her caregiver covers her face and then quickly uncovers it, saying, “Peek-a-boo!”
  • Tara (7 months old) is not yet able to sit up on her own. She has very poor muscle tone and prefers to lie on her back in her crib or on the floor. Occasionally, her caregivers will prop her up with pillows, but generally she usually slides down and ends up lying on her back again. She is not yet babbling, nor is she making attempts to seek out adults for play or attention.
Emotional Development- Self-Regulation:
  • Uses a blanket or other toy for security
  • Tries to make things happen
  • Seeks comfort from familiar caregivers
  • Expresses feelings of discomfort, anxiety, pleasure, hunger, and being tired
  • Acts anxious around unfamiliar adults
  • Henry (7 months) sits and hits at a toy. When he hits the button, the toy lights up and plays music. When this happens, his eyes light up, he laughs and then looks at his caregiver as if to say, “Did you see that!”
  • Maria’s (8 months) caregiver was sick, so a substitute was caring for her. When the new caregiver approached to pick Maria up after her nap, she cried and searched the crib anxiously for her favorite stuffed toy. The caregiver said, “Oh, you don’t know me so well do you? Does your bear make you feel better?”
  • Mario (9 months) is startled very easily by loud noises, bright lights, or if someone touches him unexpectedly. When this happens, his body will begin to tremble as he cries uncontrollably. The crying typically continues from 20 minutes to one hour. When he cries, he sometimes gets the hiccups and spits up. His caregivers have tried holding him, rocking him, walking with him, and giving him a pacifier, but nothing will console him. On several occasions the caregiver has called his parents to seek advice and assistance when he cries for such a prolonged period of time. Once his father came to pick him up when he cried for over an hour. When his father arrived, Mario did not respond positively; rather, he cried with even more intensity.




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