Well Child Care 9 Months


Your baby should continue to have breast milk or infant formula until he is 1 year old. Babies at this age will eat 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks each day. This is a good time to begin weaning from the bottle.  Encourage your child to drink formula, water, and juice from a cup now. Do not let your baby keep the bottle between meal times.
If your doctor recommended finger foods today, you may start with slightly overcooked vegetables cut into small pieces.  You may also begin pieces of soft, ripe fruit without the skin.  Do not offer foods your baby may choke on (nuts, seeds, raisins, whole grapes, candy, raw vegetables, hot dogs, popcorn or peanut butter).  Babies may not have honey until they are 1 year old.


Babies are starting to pull themselves up to stand. They love to bang things together to make sounds. Soon, they may start to say “dada” and “mama.” At this age, babies learn what “no” means. Say “no” calmly and firmly and either take away the item that your child should not be playing with or remove him from the situation. Comfort your baby by using a soothing voice and being gentle with him.
Give your baby a choice of toys. Talk to him about the toy he chooses and what he is doing with the toy. Peek-a-boo is a favorite game.
9-month-olds have a lot of energy and it requires a lot of energy to take care of them. Make sure you get enough rest. Ask friends and family for help so you can take a break and rest. If you are rested, you will be better able to take care of your child.
A regular bedtime hour and routine are important. Babies enjoy looking at picture books. You may want to read one regularly with your child. A favorite blanket or stuffed animal may help your baby feel secure at bedtime. Never put your baby in bed with a bottle. Put your baby to bed awake. If your baby wakes up a lot at night, ask your doctor or nurse for advice.
Shoes protect your child’s feet, but are not necessary when your child is learning to walk inside. When your child finally needs shoes, choose a flexible sole tennis shoe.

Reading and Electronic Media

Your child will enjoy feeling the rough and smooth textures found in “touching” books and listening to the sounds of nonsense verse and nursery rhymes. You’ll be surprised at how quickly she will learn to join in the rhymes and songs. Do not prop an infant in front of a television.

Dental Care

By now, many children have 2 or more teeth. After meals and before bedtime, try to brush the teeth.  Do not use any toothpaste until after the first birthday.  Try to make this a fun time for your baby.
Fluoride supplementation is important to make teeth stronger and prevent decay.  If the water in your community is fluoridated you will not require an additional supplement.  If there is no fluoride in the water your doctor will recommend a fluoride supplement for your baby.

Safety Tips

Child-proof the home. Remove or pad furniture with sharp corners. Keep sharp objects out of reach.  Babysitters and relatives who watch your child must child proof their homes as well.

All parents, caregivers and babysitters should be certified in CPR every two years.  Your local hospital may have a class available.

Choking and Suffocation
·         Avoid foods on which a child might choke (such as candy, hot dogs, popcorn, raw vegetables or peanuts).
·         Cut food into small pieces.
·         Store toys in a chest without a dropping lid.
Fires and Burns
·         Check your smoke detector to make sure it is working.
·         Put plastic covers in unused electrical outlets.
·         Keep hot appliances and cords out of reach.
·         Keep all electrical appliances out of the bathroom.
·         Don’t cook when your child is at your feet.
·         Use the back burners on the stove with the pan handles out of reach.
·         Turn your water heater down to 120°F (50°C).
·         Make sure windows are closed or have screens that cannot be pushed out.
·         Don’t underestimate your child’s ability to climb.
Car Safety
Children must ride facing backwards in the back seat of the car.  If your child reaches 20 pounds and is still riding in an infant seat, it is time for a new car seat. Some car seats can convert from a backward-facing infant seat to a forward-facing toddler seat. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing new or converting old car seats for your child.
Water Safety
·         Never leave an infant or toddler in a bathtub alone — NEVER.
·         Be within arm’s reach of your baby around any water, including toilets and buckets. Infants can drown in a bucket that has water in it. Empty all water and store buckets turned over.
·         Keep all medicines, vitamins, cleaning fluids, and other chemicals locked away. Dispose of them safely.
·         Put safety latches on cabinets.
·         Keep the POISON CONTROL number (1-800-222-1222) on all phones
·         Children who live in a house where someone smokes have more respiratory infections. Their symptoms are also more severe and last longer than those of children who live in a smoke-free home.
·         If you smoke, set a quit date and stop. Set a good example for your child. If you cannot quit, do NOT smoke in the house or near children.


Flu vaccines (also called influenza vaccines) are given every year starting in late September.  Your baby will require a flu vaccine every year because each flu season is caused by a different set of viruses.  If flu season has not started please mark your calendar and call our office in late September.