Your baby continues to make great strides as he develops his personality. You may notice your child wavers back and forth between demanding independence and frustration when he can’t master something quickly. This is quite common considering he is learning to feed himself, crawl, walk and talk. You may see a glimmer of temper as you move through these next few months.
Your Baby’s Sleep: By now, your baby is most likely a good sleeper. He is taking a couple of naps per day and clocking about 10½ hours of consistent sleep per night.
Your Baby’s Feeding: Keep introducing new foods into your baby’s diet. At this point, you can give him soft finger foods such as Cheerios, ripe bananas and well-cooked pasta. You may also introduce small amounts of protein into the diet. Pureed cooked meats, poultry and fish are good choices. Also well-cooked mashed beans such as green, black or pinto beans.
Your Baby’s Motor Skills: Big changes are happening on this front. Sitting, standing, cruising, crawling and even some walking may be occurring. Don’t compare your child to the baby next door. Each child develops at a different pace. Your baby can climb onto things at this stage but he may not be able to get down! It is also at this point you may notice your baby’s preference for using the right or left hand. Watch as he looks in the mirror and realizes he is separate from the image staring back at him.
Your Baby’s Communication: Your baby is communicating with you more verbally and can also understand what is being said. He can understand simple one word commands and even understand the meaning of “No,” though he doesn’t like to hear it! Your baby can respond to his name and will babble constantly. He also will begin to use words like “Dada” and “Mama.”
Your Child’s Safety:
- Your baby is shaky on his feet and that may lead to falls. Keep a close eye and close gates and doors so you can “contain” your baby in a safe area.
- Only allow your child to eat while seated to minimize the risk for choking.
- Keep medicines and cleaning supplies out of reach and latch all doors and cabinets.
- Keep electrical cords out of reach.
- Move the baby to the big tub and never leave him unattended.
- Lower the crib to the lowest setting.
- Don’t expose your baby to tobacco smoke.
While the growing independence your child is exhibiting may lead to some frustration for you, take the time to marvel at the milestones your baby is hitting right now. Put on the music and let your baby dance and sing for you. Hide objects under cups and play Peek a Boo and Patty Cake. Any simple game is a party for your nine-month old. Enjoy the little person he is becoming and we will see you at your 12-month visit.