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Managing Emotions

Developmental Milestones

Milestone chart

At 6 Months:

  • Knows familiar people
  • Likes to look at himself in a mirror
  • Laughs

At 9 Months: 

  • Is shy, clingy, or fearful around strangers
  • Shows several facial expressions, like happy, sad,
    angry, and surprised
  • Looks when you call her name
  • Reacts when you leave (looks, reaches for you, or cries)
  • Smiles or laughs when you play peek-a-boo

At 12 Months:

  • Plays games with you, like pat-a-cake

Ideas for Learning and Growth

Idea icon

At 6 Months:

  • Play on the floor with your baby every day.
  • Learn to read your baby’s moods. If your baby happy, keep doing what you are doing. If your baby is upset, take a break and comfort your baby. 
  • Show your baby how to comfort itself when upset. Your baby may suck on her fingers to self soothe.
  • Use “reciprocal” play—when your baby smiles, you smile; when your baby makes sounds, you copy them.

At 9 Months:

  • Pay attention to the way he reacts to new situations and people; try to continue to do things that make your baby happy and comfortable.
  • As she moves around more, stay close so she knows that you are near.
  • Continue with routines; they are especially important now.
  • Play games with “my turn, your turn.”
  • Ask for behaviors that you want. For example, instead of saying “don’t stand,” say “time to sit.”


Concerns Icon
  • Is there anything your infant does or does not do that concerns you?
  • Has your infant lost any skills he/she once had?
  • Does your infant have any special healthcare needs or was he/she born prematurely?

If your infant is not meeting one or more milestones, has lost skills he or she once had, or you have other concerns, act early. Talk with your infant’s doctor, share your concerns, and ask about a developmental screening.

If you or the doctor are still concerned:

  • Ask for a referral to a specialist who can evaluate your infant more.
  • If the evaluation still shows concerns call your state Early Intervention program to find out if your infant can get services to help. Learn more and find the number at Missouri First Steps Program.

What's Next?

Download the Milestone Tracker app today!

Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with the CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from the CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun.


Download the App