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NINE- TO TEN- MONTH TYPICAL DEVELOPMENT CHECKLIST (©Diane Bahr) Place a check mark next to the characteristics you see in your nine- to ten-month-old baby.

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Typical 9- to 10- Month-Old Baby

YES   NO  
Integrates involuntary suckling reflex (seems to be disappearing 6-12 months)        
Integrates gag reflex (now found on back ⅓ of the tongue secondary to appropriate feeding & mouthing experiences; 6-9 months)        
Integrates transverse (side) tongue reflex (seems to be disappearing 9-24 months)        
Controls the phasic (up-down) bite reflex (5-9 months)        
Integrates phasic (up-down) bite reflex (seems to be disappearing 9-12 months)        
Uses increasing diagonal rotary jaw movement (6-11 months)        
Uses mirror neurons in feeding making it important for care-providers to participate in & demonstrate eating & drinking activities (This is a social, interactive process)        
Gets bottom 2 front teeth (central incisors) between 6 & 10 months        
Gets top 2 front teeth (central incisors) between 8 & 12 months; removes food from bottom lip with top front teeth        
Gets bottom lateral incisors (10-16 months)        
Gets top lateral incisors (9-13 months)        
Has closed mouth & easy nose breathing during sleep & when mouth is inactive/empty        
Rests tongue in the roof of the closed mouth to help maintain palate shape        
Is free of tethered oral tissues (tongue, lip, &/or cheek ties)        
Sucks liquid from breast &/or bottle with up-down tongue & jaw movement        
Increases suck, swallow, breathe sequences on the breast &/or bottle (different on breast than bottle)        
Learns to manage appropriate food & liquid textures; relies less on breastfeeding & bottle-feeding over time        
Drinks from an open or recessed-lid cup placed at lips, but not into lip corners        
Drinks more than 3 consecutive sucks from open or recessed-lid cup with improving jaw control (9-15 months)        
Drinks from a straw with straw placed only on lips (6-12 months)        
Uses 3 or more continuous, consecutive sucks during proper straw-drinking (6-12 months)        
Removes food from a spoon with upper lip movement        
Moves lower lip inward when spoon removed (6-12 months)        
Can close lips when swallowing        
Holds and bangs spoon (9 months); imitates stirring with spoon (9-10 months)        
Can pass a food pieces from one hand to the other (8-9 months)        
Begins picking up small food pieces with thumb and fingers (9-12 months)        
Uses jaw movements matching shape & size of the food when taking bites & chewing        
Tightens lips & cheeks to keep food in place during chewing on side where food is placed        
Moves lips with chewing (6-9 months)        
Moves lips inward slightly when food remains on them; moves lip corner & cheek inward on the side of chewing (8-11 months)        
Moves upper lip forward & downward during chewing (8-12 months)        
Moves lower lip inward while removing food with upper incisors (9-21 months)        
Uses lips & cheeks to control & move food (8-18 months)        
Uses up-down biting & chewing/munching on a soft cookie (6-9 months) & on a hard cookie (6-19 months)        
Uses diagonal rotary chewing on the side where food is placed (6-9 months)        
Bites through a soft cookie (7-12 months)        
Moves tongue up & down with the jaw, but begins moving tongue toward small pieces of food on the side gums with a rolling &/or shifting motion (6-9 months)        
Begins to move the tongue independently from the jaw during sucking (7-11 months); transfers food from center of tongue to both sides of mouth (7-12 months)        

9-12 Month Foods/Liquids (unless advised otherwise by pediatrician, dietician, etc.)
Soft, cut-up cooked and safe, soft, cut-up uncooked foods (such as bananas, skinned peaches, peeled avocado, etc.); introduce citrus slowly.        
Cooked fruit or vegetable strips.        
Soft, chopped meats (such as stewed chicken, no bone; ground meat; no fish).        
Casseroles with noodles, pasta, or rice.        
Bread, toast, crackers, dry cereal without sugar (no chocolate).        
Eggs (yolks at 9 months, whites at 12 months) and cheese (soft cheese strips, cottage cheese, yogurt formulated for babies).        
Sips of water, formula, or breast milk from an open-, recessed lid-, or straw-cup        
Breast milk or formula from breast or bottle, allowing baby to self-limit.        

BODY DEVELOPMENT (Typical 9- to 10- Month Old)
Full Body Reflexes        
Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex/Response: The flexion part of this response is usually integrated by the brain by 4 months; the extension part of this response may take as long as 3 ½ years        
Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex/Response: Develops between 6 and 9 months; seems to disappear (become integrated by the brain) around 12 months        

When Sitting (Typical 9-Month-Old)
Has good trunk/core control and pelvic/hip adjustment while placing legs in a variety of positions        
Can circle/ring, long-leg, and side sit (Note: W-sitting stresses ligaments and can destabilize the trunk/hips)        
Stretches leg muscles in long-leg sitting when reaching forward        
Transitions to crawling from newly acquired side-sitting        
Reaches for objects in a variety of ways, including items overhead        
Can voluntarily push, hold, transfer, and drop objects; begins using a pincer grasp (thumb and index finger)        

When Sitting (Typical 10-Month-Old)
Is usually eating and drinking (hopefully in a suitable, well-fitting chair) or examining toys; otherwise, the baby is typically moving (e.g., crawling, pulling to stand, cruising)        
Long-leg sits (legs out in front), side-sits, and frequently tailor-sits (with feet together or ankles crossed)        
Can move easily out of side-sitting and tailor-sitting to crawling and climbing        

When Using Hands (Typical 10-Month-Old)
Increasingly manipulates/explores toys with hands and vision (visual, tactile, proprioceptive systems)        
Picks up small, appropriate, safe food pieces with pincer grasp; uses thumb, index, and middle finger to pick up appropriate small toys (three-jaw chuck)        
Takes objects easily out of containers with improving toy release to drop into containers        
Coordinates hands in activities (e.g., moves objects from hand-to-hand, bangs objects together, holds a container while removing objects/food - such as finger feeding appropriate foods from a bowl)        

When Crawling (Typical 9-Month-Old)
Explores the environment, as well as attains and transports toys        
Returns to sitting by shifting hips and legs to one side or the other        

When Crawling Typical 10-Month-Old
Moves legs and arms reciprocally, smoothly, and quickly with trunk/core rotating appropriately in opposite directions (main way of moving around the environment)        
Kneels and half-kneels while playing        

When Kneeling or Half-Kneeling (Typical 9-Month-Old)
Can play with toys with one hand placed on a bench or step to stabilize the body        

When Climbing (Typical 9-Month-Old)
Shifts weight to one side or the other and lengthens the weight-bearing side        
Can shift from climbing to kneeling or half-kneeling but cannot climb down stairs or from furniture        
Combines climbing, kneeling, half-kneeling, and rotating hips/pelvis to sit in a chair        

When Climbing Typical 10-Month-Old
Experiments with climbing over and onto objects (e.g., furniture)        
Learns which items are safe or unsafe on which to climb via experimentation        
Uses active problem solving and motor planning while making refined changes in postural control (dynamic stability)        
Enjoys climbing stairs        
Begins to demonstrate mindfulness when descending stairs (i.e., looks behind, lowers weight-bearing leg, tailor-sits on step, rotates trunk/core, stabilizes body with arm(s), and repeats)        

When Standing (Typical 9-Month-Old)
Places one hand on furniture to stabilize and balance body while placing weight on legs        
Rotates body over hips from one side to the other while holding onto furniture with one hand or the other        
Can lower from standing unless using both hands to manipulate a toy (may drop to sitting)        

When Standing Typical 10-Month-Old
Rises from half-kneeling position using the weight-bearing hand for balance and postural control; may squat from standing        
Uses one hand for support while reaching with the other (developing increasing postural control)        

When Cruising Typical 9-Month-Old
Shifts weight laterally (to one side or the other), rotates hips/pelvis toward unweighted leg (face-side) and transfers weight to that leg        
Changes side-to-side cruising toward forward walking while holding onto furniture with skull-side hand        

When Cruising Typical 10-Month-Old
May move sideways (stabilizing with two hands) or turn body in direction of movement (stabilizing with one hand)        
Increasingly engages motor planning while cruising along a variety of items in a variety of directions (variations on a theme develop generalization – Suzanne Evans Morris)        

During Supported Walking Typical 9-Month Old
Makes stepping motions while fixing the shoulder girdle, upper trunk/core, and hips with arms upward and hands/arms held by care-giver’s hands        

When Supported in Walking Typical 10-Month-Old
Fixes shoulder girdle, trunk, and pelvis but increasingly dissociates leg movements with one or two hands held        

Primary References

•Bahr, D. (2018). Feed your baby and toddler right: Early eating and drinking skills encourage the best development. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons.
•Bahr, D. C., & Hillis, A. E. (2001). Neurological and anatomical bases. In D. C. Bahr Oral motor assessment and treatment: Ages and stages (pp. 1-41). USA: Pearson College Division.
•Bly, L. (1994). Motor skills acquisition in the first year: An illustrated guide to normal development. USA: Psychological Corp.
•Feldenkrais, M. (1972). Awareness through movement (Vol. 1977). New York: Harper and Row.
•Morris, S. E., & Klein, M. D. (2000). Pre-Feeding skills: A comprehensive resource for mealtime development. (2nd ed.) . San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skill Builders.
•Neuro Restart (2019). Primitive reflexes. Retrieved from
•Vulpe, S. G. (1994). Vulpe assessment battery-revised: Developmental assessment, performance analysis, individualized programming for the atypical child. East Aurora, NY: Slosson Educational Publications.