9 Months

Feeding and Elimination

  • The baby should be comfortable with a variety of baby foods by now. There is not a “right” amount of solids that should be taken in. If the baby is satisfied and growing and developing normally, they are taking in the “right amount”.
  • Start moving to 3 meals a day with 2 snacks in between. An example of a meal is a cereal and fruit for breakfast or vegetable and meat for dinner.
  • Finger foods can be introduced into the diet as snacks (goldfish, cheerios, freeze dried fruits, and teething biscuits).
  • It is important to remember that the amount of formula or breast milk taken will decrease as the percentage of solids in their diet increases.
  • It is safe to introduce meats into their diet. The same rules as previous food introductions apply; start with small amounts and wait 5-7 days before each new introduction.
  • Experiment with different textures of food in small amounts to slowly get the baby used to regular table foods. Make sure to avoid choking hazards like popcorn, hot dogs, and peanuts.
  • Start introducing the sippy cup for liquids (i.e. with snack). They may not like their milk in a sippy cup right away but start with 4-6 ounces of water or diluted juice a day.

General Care and Common Concerns

  • Since the baby is now mobile, shoes become more than really cute accessories. Shoes should be flexible, flat, well-ventilated, and wide enough to accommodate the foot.
  • The baby should still be taking 1-2 naps during the day. A consistent bedtime routine is pivotal to ensuring a good night’s sleep. Night wakening with a desire to be picked up is common at this age. It is usually best to allow them to self soothe and learn to put themselves back to sleep. Make sure you are consistent with the way you handle night waking. Inconsistency will send mixed message and aggravate the problem, so come up with a plan and stick to it!!!
  • This is a great age to start playgroups or get the baby involved in group activities to stimulate socialization. Children at this age do not “play together” but are incredible observers of how other children and adults are interacting, so provide plenty of opportunities for observation and interaction.
  • Discipline at this age will still mainly consist of distraction but consistent enforcement of absolute rules is necessary (i.e. it is never ok to stick their fingers in the electrical sockets).

Development

  • Babies at this age can understand their name, respond to simple words like “no” and say mama and dada non-specifically. Be sure to talk to the baby, sing simple songs, and play games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake to increase vocabulary.
  • Babies at this age are usually sitting independently, crawling, standing, and possibly cruising holding furniture. Safe exploration of their environment should be encouraged.
  • Stranger anxiety is very common at this age – continue to reinforce your presence as well as exposing them to new faces and places.