Babies' Physical Development from 9-12 Months

Babies' Physical Development from 9-12 Months


baby crawling on grass, mom crawling behind her


Your baby is growing by leaps and bounds - you're probably astounded by how much difference a few short months have made in your baby’s physical development.

Play with your baby often and create lots of opportunities for physical activity.

Physical Milestones

Here’s what your baby will likely do between nine and 12 months:

  • Turn in a circle when sitting.
  • Twist to pick up objects.
  • Stand by flexing his knees and pushing off from a squat.
  • Walk while holding on to furniture.
  • Walk when supported by both hands.
  • Crawl up stairs.
  • Crawl very well.
  • Use the tip of the index finger and thumb to pick up small items.
  • Put objects in and take them out of containers.
  • Point, poke, touch, and pry with the index finger.
  • Place one block on top of another.
  • Give objects to another person, if asked.
  • Hold and try to use a spoon.
  • Chew small pieces of food.

Play and Activity

Nine to 12 month old babies are so curious and active! Here are some tips for nurturing your baby’s physical development:

  • Continue to breastfeed.
  • Provide lots of encouragement.
  • Go for walks outside and give your baby practice walking with your support.
  • While playing on the floor, place favourite toys just far enough away that your baby has to reach for them.
  • Let your baby practice climbing a few stairs. Make sure you support her from behind or by holding her hand.
  • Increase the variety of foods and textures. Place small pieces of food on your baby’s plate or tray.
  • Offer water to drink from a cup.
  • Show your baby how to place building blocks one on top of another.
  • Create a safe play space in the kitchen with lots of different sized plastic containers, bowls, wooden spoons, and other objects.
  • Play finger games with your baby, such as Round and Round the Garden.
  • Introduce your baby to toys that require handling, such as activity tables or toys that make a noise when he presses a button.

Other Physical Milestones

Between nine and 12 months your baby may also:

  • Walk, with one hand held.
  • Squat down, stoop, bend over, and then get up.
  • Crawl up and down stairs.
  • Climb two or three steps without help.
  • Drop down from a standing to a sitting position.
  • Use both hands freely.
  • Pull off socks and hats.
  • Hold large felt markers and make marks with them.
  • Build a tower using two blocks.
  • Feed herself with a spoon and drink from a lidless cup.

Resources & Links:

HealthLink BC: Physical Development, Ages 1 to 12 Months

Last Updated: January 24, 2018