You are holding a baby on your hip only to be poked in the eye out of the blue. If this sounds familiar, you have held a 9 month old! By this age, they are coordinated enough that you only need one arm to hold them. For many kids it seems, your free hand must constantly deflect that inevitable grab for your glasses, hat, or earring. Of course, if you wear glasses, you don’t have to worry about being poked in the eye like the rest of us!
Nine month olds do these things for several reasons. First off they are curious. Eyes, ears, mouths and even noses are holes they want to explore. Think about toys for children this age, many have crevices designed for little fingers to prod. Nine month olds have not yet figured out that your tongue is always in your mouth, even when it is out of sight. (Check out my post on object permanence for an explanation.)
The most tempting earrings to 9 month olds are hoops and dangling earrings that sparkle or move when the wearer turns her head. The hoop is a circle that was designed for a little finger to grasp. I very rarely see a baby grab a stud earring even if it is the size of a quarter. Those dangling earrings usually have moving parts. If you offered either of these attached to a burp cloth, a 9 month old would still be interested. Of course on your ears, they are exactly at eye level for a baby held on your hip. My suggestion is to consider how appealing your earrings are before you decide to wear them. You could even see which ones your child is least interested in before you decide on your new favorite pair.
For glasses, start off by never letting your child play with anyone’s glasses, not even cheap sunglasses. It will take a few weeks, but your child will learn that glasses are off limits. In the meantime, buy a sports glasses strap to keep them on your face. You can also reduce temptation by holding the baby so her back is facing you. A firm “No!” in your no-monkey-business voice can also help deter glasses snatching. Popping her hand will not be effective and will make hitting you a bigger problem later on.