Between the ages of 9 and 12 months babies are growing and developing in every possible way. You’ll see physical changes of course, but also changes in their understanding and in how they relate to other people and their environment. Many babies begin taking a few steps before their first birthday and a few will start to talk. Even if they don’t speak recognisable words yet, they will understand a lot more of what you say.
This means that their toys will be much more varied at this age. Some toys will develop their walking skills, others their fine motor skills and hand co-ordination, language, or reasoning skills.
You can’t generalize about babies’ development in this age group as precisely as you can for younger babies. They’ll do different things at different ages. You should never feel that there’s something wrong with your baby just because he or she starts walking or talking later than another baby. So instead of looking at the best baby toys month by month, we’ll take them by theme.
Baby Toys 9 Months – 12 Months for Physical Development
If you don’t have a baby walker yet, it’s time you did! It will encourage babies who are standing to take those first steps.
We recommend the VTech First Steps Walker (pictured) which has an activity centre on the front.
You may be surprised how fast your baby can push the walker so watch out for damage! The baby and the walker will probably be fine, but anything in their path may suffer. It’s time to shut the Ming vase away in a high cupboard, if you haven’t already!
At the same time babies will be developing more control over their hand and finger movements. Go for building blocks, cars and trucks suitable for under-3s, dolls, animals and anything that makes a noise or lights up when the baby presses something.
Baby Toys 9 Months – 12 Months for Learning
The biggest cognitive development that you’ll notice in a baby between 9 and 12 months is that they’ll be beginning to understand language. You may notice that they pay attention to the words of a song as well as the tune and the emotion. They’ll recognise the names of the people and things that are most important to them. They’ll also start expressing their likes and dislikes with clear gestures and sounds if not exactly with words.
They’ll enjoy repetitive word games and in fact almost any game that you play with them, because they’ll love having your attention and hearing your voice. They’ll love to practise making different sounds and noises with their own voices too. Picture books may start to intrigue them for the meaning and images, instead of just being something to throw around or chew on. It’s a good time to start introducing baby jigsaw puzzles and first educational toys like the Laugh and Learn Puppy.
Next article: Baby Toys 6 Months – 9 Months
Published 23 May 2013