Nine Month Old Visit

Diet

Over the next three months infants generally develop the ability to feed themselves. You can start to incorporate more solid foods into your child’s diet as he/she seems ready. Ensure that solid foods are cut into small enough pieces so that if the child had to, he or she could swallow it whole. Meals suggestions include cooked vegetables, fruits and meats cut into small pieces. Nine-month-old children may begin having eggs at this point. You should wait until fifteen months to incorporate fresh strawberries and nuts into your child’s diet as these foods more commonly result in allergic reactions and prolonging the exposure may make it easier to detect an allergy. Prolonged exposure to theses foods will not make your child more or less allergic. Infants are typically doing three meals a day and two snacks at nine months old. Children receiving formula generally consume between 16-24 ounces daily. Breastfed children will normally have 4-5 sessions daily. Juice should be limited to no more than 4 ounces daily mixed with water. Encourage your child to use a cup at nine months. Children should be weaned from the bottle by 12 months.

Elimination

Infants are generally having less bowel movements than they previously did. Stools should continue to be soft. If your child is having hard stools, increasing water and fruits and vegetables in the diet may be helpful.

Sleep

It is very important for nine-month-olds to have regular bedtime routines to promote healthy sleep cycles. Your routine may include a bath and a bedtime story. Children at this age should be sleeping through the night. Generally they still require about fourteen hours of sleep daily, so they will likely nap one to two times during the day. Children should not be receiving any bottles or feedings overnight at this point. If you child continues to wake in the night, try to just settle him or her back to sleep.

Development

Children often start to crawl between nine and twelve months. Your child will also become more eager to interact with other people at this point. He or she may exhibit separation anxiety as nine months can be the height of stranger awareness. Nine-month -old children begin to use gestures such as pointing as well as vocalizations to let you know what they want. They may also start to show their preferences more clearly such as refusing to eat certain foods.

Safety

Nine month old children must continue to remain in rear-facing car seats until they are at least twelve months AND twenty pounds. The newest recommendations encourage that keep you child rear-facing for as long as possible as this remains the safest position for young children. Make sure to check the specifications of you child seat as the various height and weight limits vary from model to model.

As you child become more mobile, ensure that you home is a safe environment for an infant. Outlets should have safety covers on them and cabinet doors should have safety locks. It is also important to have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in you home to protect your infant as well as the rest of your family.

Health Tips

Generally immunizations are not given at the nine month visit. You will be given a prescription today to have your child’s blood drawn to test his or her lead level and complete blood count. These are standard tests we do at one and two years. You can take this prescription to any lab to have the blood drawn.

Next appointment is at 12 months.