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Baby

It doesn’t take long to develop the confidence and calm of an experienced parent. Your baby will give you the most important information—how she likes to be treated, talked to, held and comforted.

Development

Around one month your baby will be smiling, responding to loud noises and starting to visually focus on faces. By four months, your baby is now smiling and laughing, cooing, and making “raspberries.” He/she can follow and object with their eyes and responds to their own name. They may voluntarily grab objects placed near their hands. Watching mobiles is a great pastime at this age! Continue tummy time each day – they will be holding their heads high and possibly rolling over. Drooling and putting objects in their mouths is normal at this age and not necessarily a sign of teething. Most infants’ first tooth erupts between 6 and 10 months.

At six months, your baby may be babbling, discovering his/her feet, reaching and mouthing objects and rolling over. Notice that your child is able to transfer a toy from one hand to the next. Your child should be able to sit without support by 9 months. At 9 months, you can expect your baby to begin creeping, crawling, pulling up to stand, cruising (walking along furniture), crawling up stairs, playing peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake and waving “bye-bye.”

Feeding

Feed your baby when he/she seems hungry. Crying and “rooting” (searching with his/her mouth) are cues. No feeding schedule needs to be strictly followed. There is no such thing as the “right” amount of formula or breast milk. For breastfed babies, you will want to introduce a bottle occasionally to get your baby used to it. Supplement additional vitamin D, found in either TriViSol or D-Vi-Sol (available at the pharmacy without a prescription) for breastfed babies. The recommended dose is 1mL per day. This is necessary because breast milk does not contain sufficient vitamin D.

Start with simple solid foods at 4-6 months. Believe it or not, you can start with almost anything: meat, cereal, yogurt, lentils, vegetables or fruit. For cereal, we recommend iron-fortified whole grain cereals for babies, not sweetened cereals. Remember to be safe: the foods need to be pureed to a liquid state when you start this process. As your child gets older and more graceful with eating, he can eat thicker and chunkier dishes. At 9 months is the time to start finger foods, like Cheerios, well-cooked vegetables, peeled soft fruits, shredded cheese, potatoes and finely diced meats. Pancakes and French toast are good breakfast foods. Avoid juice and offer water instead. Other foods to avoid include choking hazards such as: nuts, popcorn and hot dogs. Honey should be avoided until age 1 year. Read more about starting solids here.

Sleeping

While your newborn will likely sleep much of the day and night, waking to eat, once your baby reaches two months, he or she will be more alert and have more awake daytime hours. Keep nighttime feedings quiet and dark to encourage your baby to return to sleep. Remember to always place your infant on his/her BACK to sleep! This is the only safe way for your baby to sleep.

Elimination

A new baby may make a dirty diaper every few hours. Once your baby is two months and over, you may notice your child having less frequent bowel movements, and this is normal. Your child should have at least one bowel movement every 2-3 days, and it should remain soft/seedy and never dry or hard. Avoid the use of suppositories unless directed by your provider. Formula fed infants will have brown or green, paste-like stools, where breastfed infants have more liquid/seedy stools that can be yellow, orange, or brown/green.

Safety

  • When your baby is on the dressing table or bed, NEVER have your hand off him/her. Babies may fall off while you are reaching for a diaper. Keep things close by.
  • When bathing, let the phone ring! A baby can drown in the time it takes you to tell the caller that you will call him back. Adjust the water heater temperature to less than 120° F.
  • Never feed a baby who is lying down. He/she should always be in a semi-sitting position in your arms or an infant seat. If you are breastfeeding, you may feed him/her lying down at night.
  • The only safe way for a baby to be in a car is in an approved car seat, rear-facing, installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. THIS IS STATE LAW! Never leave a baby alone in a vehicle.
  • Avoid exposing your infant to crowds, especially in winter months when infections are more common. Practice good hand washing.
  • To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, babies should sleep on their back on a firm mattress without sheepskin. No heavy blankets, comforters, crib bumpers or stuffed animals in the crib. Pacifier use has shown to be protective against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
  • Do not put baby bottles in the microwave. Microwaves heat unevenly and the infant could sustain a burn.
  • Quit smoking and do not allow smoking in your home or in your car.
  • Never leave a baby alone with a pet.

What to Expect at Each Age

Additional Resources