9 Month Visit
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.” Your child may become timid with strangers and cry when you leave. Transitional objects (blankets, stuffed animals) can also help soothe baby at this time.
Feeding your Baby
Now 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. Juice should be avoided- offer the baby water instead. Foods to avoid include choking hazards such as: nuts, popcorn and hot dogs. Honey should be avoided until age 1 year.
- Baby proof your home before you infant starts crawling or walking.
- Children are very inquisitive at this age and will try to get into anything and put everything in their mouth.
- Keep those VERY DANGEROUS items completely out of reach: drain cleaner, dishwasher detergents, furniture polish, paint thinner, turpentine, and all medications.
- Keep purses out of reach.
- Look for areas of standing water in and around your home, such as buckets, planters and toilet bowls. These can be drowning hazards – drain the water or secure the lids well.
- Check all your cabinets to be sure there are no cleaning supplies or medications within reach.
- Keep gates at the head and foot of stairs and check them often for secure placement.
- Your water heater should be kept below 120° F to prevent accidental burns.
- As always, NEVER leave your child alone in the bathtub, no matter how shallow the water is.
- Keep the Illinois Poison Control number near the phone – 1-800-222-1222 and call if the baby ingests any poisonous substance.
- Check your car seat – your baby should remain in an infant seat until 20 lbs. but continue to face backwards.
Obstinacy and acting out are normal at this age. Your child is learning what is and is not allowed so be sure to set consistent limits. Teach “no”, and try to divert behaviors by offering an alternate toy or activity. Not wanting to go to sleep is common. Don’t feed the baby to get him/her to sleep, and don’t bring the baby into bed with you. Let him/her fall asleep on their own – the baby will sleep better. Be consistent with bedtime and nap time routines.
Your child may receive the third and final dose of Hepatitis B Vaccine. As with all vaccinations, your child may experience discomfort at the injection site or lo-grade fever. You can give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) to treat these symptoms. Please call our office with any fever over 101° F, inconsolable crying lasting longer than 3 hours, or if your child becomes pale or limp.
Starting at six months and older, we strongly recommend all children be protected from the flu by receiving a flu vaccination.