06) Nine Months

DEVELOPMENT

Daily Activities

  • Continues to enjoy banging, waving, and throwing toys
  • Becomes absorbed in toys and games
  • Imitates play
  • Explores food with fingers
  • Scrutinizes toys and other objects

Motor Skills

  • May begin to pull to stand
  • Stranger anxiety becomes an issue (even with grandparents)
  • Stands holding furniture
  • May try to crawl up stairs
  • Tries to move one foot in front of the other when held upright.

Language

  • Imitates the rising and falling sounds of adult conversation
  • Repeats sounds again and again
  • Imitates more speech sounds, but does not yet understand them
  • May begin to say “Mama” and “Dada”

Emotional/Behavioral

  • Continues to resist doing what he/she does not want to do
  • Loves showing off for family audience
  • May cry when parent leaves the room
  • Difficult to diaper (yes, we’ve all been through it)

FEEDING

Your baby still needs breast milk or infant formula to continue healthy growth. The quantity of milk consumed may vary widely. You have entered a transition toward more solids and less milk. Now is the time to introduce more table foods.

We encourage three solid meals per day with snacks as needed. Please avoid hot dogs, eggs and peanut butter as they may be choking or allergy risks. Now is a great time to introduce soft table foods. Sippy cups may be introduced but we do not expect you to discontinue the bottle until twelve months. 

SAFETY TIPS

  • Never leave your child alone, except in a crib.
  • Keep all medicines, chemicals, cleaning products locked safely out of reach
  • Avoid choking hazards and suffocation
  • Never leave a child alone in the bathtub
  • Place your baby in the bed on his/her back ONLY
  • Keep the crib sides up. Keep an eye out for explorers
  • Never eat, drink, or carry anything hot while you are holding the baby
  • Place plastic protectors over outlets
  • Never allow smoke near your baby, have you checked your smoke alarms?
  • Use an approved infant car safety seat. Follow instructions for proper installation. Remember Tennessee State law mandates rear facing until twelve months and at least twenty pounds. Parents should wear seat belts to set good example.
  • Place the Poison Control number close to phone
    (1-800-222-1222)

SLEEP

Most babies are sleeping through the night. A regular bedtime hour and routine are important. Babies at this age enjoy looking at picture books. If your having difficulty with nighttime awakenings please ask us for advice. 

TEETHING

Your baby may begin teething. While getting teeth, your baby will drool like a madman and chew on almost anything. A teething ring or partially frozen washcloth may come in handy! 

NO WORRIES

Each child is unique. It is therefore difficult to describe exactly what should be expected at each stage of a child’s development. While certain behaviors and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide spectrum of growth and behavior for each age is normal. These guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general progression through the developmental stages rather than as fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to attain some milestones earlier and others later as they continue to grow and learn.