Age 6-9 Months
FEEDING / GROWTH:
Your baby’s growth will start to slow down. However, your baby’s primary source of nutrition is breast still breast milk or formula. Breastfeeding and formula will decrease as solids increase. Sometime between 4-8 months, babies give us signals of readiness for solids: an increase in formula intake, awakening during the night when previously sleeping, becoming interested in family mealtimes, increasing mouthing / chewing of objects, and sitting with support. Eating is a learning experience, and should be enjoyable. Babies will be messy, and may even purposefully throw food.
We recommend no more than one new food every 4-5 days. Start with cereals, and progress to vegetables and fruit. You may add meats. Solid food may be given 2-3 times a day. No sweets or “teething crackers”. Avoid extra salt and “allergenic” foods, such as egg whites, nuts, fish, wheat, and citrus.
No adult cow’s milk or honey until 1 year of age. To prevent dental cavities, and to help prevent ear problems, please do not prop the bottle or let the baby go to sleep with a bottle. Most babies do not need to awaken to eat at night.
Most babies are sleeping for 6-8 hour stretches. Your baby’s sleep may become interrupted before each new developmental stage.
URINE & STOOLS:
Your baby should have at least four to six wet diapers/day. Stools may decrease in frequency to as little as 2 times/week.
This is a fun time to be with your baby. Your baby is entering the world of mobility and “child proofing” should be in full swing. Your baby will start reaching for objects and transferring hand to hand. Everything will go into his/her mouth. Cuddle, talk, sing, read and play with your baby. Your baby will enjoy making sounds and hearing you imitate them.
If you have other children, try to set aside a small portion of the day just for them. Fifteen minutes can be enough! Parents need to spend time alone as well.
Most babies are mouthing, gumming, tonguing, and/or chewing on this. Some may be cranky, or have a change in stools. If your child is having pain, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra) may help.
PREVENT BURNS: Prevent burns by turning down the water heater to 120 degrees.
CAR SEAT: A car seat must be used for every journey. The seat should be rear facing until 20 pounds AND 1 year.
SMOKE EXPOSURE: Smoking is very harmful to your child’s health. If you smoke, your child is more likely to get infections of the ears, sinuses, and lungs. If you do smoke, talk with your doctor or other health care provider about getting help with quitting.
HANDWASHING: Wash hands to prevent infections.
CHOKING: Keep objects and foods that can cause choking away from your child, such as coins, balloons, small toy parts, peanuts, and hotdogs. If the object will fit in a toilet paper tube, it will choke a baby.
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDS: Hazards include dangling electrical cords, lamps, tablecloths, electrical outlets, bathtubs, or any bucket with more than an inch of water. Never leave the baby unattended.