9 Months

Does your 9-month-old

  • respond to their name?
  • respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door?
  • understand being told “no”?
  • get what they want through sounds and gestures?
  • play social games with you e.g., peek-a-boo?
  • enjoy being around people?
  • babble and repeat sounds – babababa, duhduhduh?


If your child does not do one or several of the above, we can help!

Complete the First Words Communication Checkup or contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or 613-PARENTS for more information.

Renfrew county families may call our Intake Office at 613-732-7007, ext. 5905 or 1-888-421-2222.


Also, look out for any of these red flags:

  • Limited eye gaze
  • A limited shared interest in others
  • Limited social smiling
  • Lack of sound imitation: Child is unusually quiet; does not attempt to repeat sounds or words
  • Absence of babbling with consonant sounds
  • Late-onset/limited use of gestures (i.e. reaching to be picked up)
  • The child does not appear to be reaching the appropriate milestones
  • Any loss of any social and/or language skills


If you have noticed any of these red flags, your child may be dealing with a developmental issue as well as a language delay and will need more support.

An immediate referral to the Children’s Treatment Centre (CTC) for a developmental assessment might be required. Contact the CHEO Access Team at 613-737-2757.


Here are a few quick strategies to help your 9-month old learn to communicate:

  • Position yourself to face your baby so you can see each other’s reactions. This will help your child see the way you are making your sounds.
  • Name objects that your baby is playing with.  Talk about what interests them.
  • Avoid using “baby talk.” Call objects by their correct name.
  • Interpret your child’s sounds and gestures by putting words to them.
  • Play social games that involve lots of repetition e.g. ”peek-a-boo”, “patty-cake.”
  • Sing songs and have fun doing daily routines like meals, bath and dressing time.
  • Check out our “Strategies” and “Learning Tools” sections for other strategies and resources!