Well Visit: 9 Month
By this time your baby has either been pulling up to standing or is about to do so. Independent walking will soon follow “cruising” or walking along the furniture. Sometimes, babies become shy around this age, and they may cry if approached by unfamiliar adults. This is not unusual. A word or two will probably soon be heard. Shoes are not necessary except to protect the feet when outside, and special walking shoes are not necessary. Any properly fitting sneaker is OK, but keep checking the fit since baby’s feet grow rapidly.
Your baby can start on food from the table. Cut up foods in such a way that they will be able to feed themselves with their fingers. Make sure to avoid foods that may choke (crunchy, round and slippery, hard). Some examples are: nuts, seeds, grapes, hot dogs, chips, and popcorn. Also, do not give your baby any honey, nut products (peanut butter), whole milk, or egg whites. These foods are very allergic and should be introduced later.
Encourage baby to drink from a cup. This will be messy to start with, but is necessary to learn as you work towards getting rid of the bottle at one year of age. Don’t make the common mistake of offering unlimited access to fruit juice. Not only does it dampen your child’s appetite at mealtime, but can also cause cramping and diarrhea. Dilute juice half-and-half with water, and limit daily intake to no more than 4 ounces. Water is always a good choice for quenching your child’s thirst. Wipe teeth with a soft cloth or brush once daily. Your baby should never go to sleep with a bottle, as this increases the likelihood of dental cavities and ear infections.
Be safety conscious and keep medicine, detergents, etc. out of reach. As you are well aware, your baby is very active now, and is able to act on his curiosity. Post the Poison Control phone number by your phone, and call this number first if he should ever swallow a poison or other potentially toxic substance.
Car Seat: Maintain the car seat rear facing until the infant has reached at least twenty pounds AND1 year of age. Be sure to read the manufactures instruction manual to insure proper installation into your automobile and check weight limits for your seat. There are transition seats available that can be rear facing even over 20 pounds. Your child may begin to resist being in the car seat. Be firm and consistent, for this is the only place an infant should ride.
Falls: Because of your child’s new abilities, he will likely have numerous falls. Protect them from injury by keeping them off of high places and out of rooms where they may hurt themselves. Remove or cushion edges of sharp edged furniture. Lower the crib mattress to its lowest position and be sure that the crib rails are always all the way up to help prevent the infant from falling from the crib. Once your baby is pulling to a stand, you need to remove the crib bumpers. Your baby can potentially use these as a step and fall out of the crib.
Water Safety: Never leave a child alone near a bathtub, pail of water, or wading or swimming pool even for a moment. He can drown in the most shallow water.
Immunizations and Lab Work
Today your infant will receive vaccinations against preventable diseases. Please let your doctor know if your child has a previous reaction. If fever or irritability develop, you may give acetaminophen. A blood count will also be done today to make sure your baby is not anemic.
We would like to see your baby after his/her first birthday!
For infant Tylenol, please refer to dosing directions on the side of the box.