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9 Months Old

9 month old
That tiny smiling newborn has grown into a full sized baby! No longer quiet, your infant has plans to explore every inch of your house and is vocalizing displeasure when you tell him no. Your baby will be more mobile, finding her way across the floor.  

You will also notice her beginning to vocalize with babbling. She will look to you to reciprocate and respond to her noises. Smiling and talking back to her will only encourage more of these noises and will form the seeds of early communication.

Typical Milestones & Activity


Advancing solids: Most infants at this age are eating three solid meals per day and eating a mix of thick or chunky purees, mashed foods and finger foods. Offer a wide variety of foods to include all of the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy and grains) and also higher risk allergy foods including peanut butter, eggs and dairy. It is recommended that you provide the higher risk allergy foods three times a week in order to help prevent a food allergy from developing. If your child develops hives, vomiting, swelling or trouble breathing within 15 minutes of eating any food, then call your doctor and avoid that food until given clearance from your doctor. Foods to avoid include any choking hazards and honey which is not to be given until 12 months of age.
Normal exploration: You will find your infant enjoys touching, tasting, and playing with different foods. Meal times are likely very messy affairs. Encourage self feeding and let your baby hold the feeding spoon as well.
Feeding and Sleep: Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar in these drinks stays in her mouth and can lead to bacterial growth that can be harmful to future teeth and decay of an existing teeth.
Cups: Offer your child a sippy cup with a few ounces of water at each meal. Do not give your child juice. You may continue to offer formula or breast milk from a bottle if you are not nursing.


Amount of Sleep: Your infant should be getting 14-15 hours of sleep daily, including 2-3 naps throughout the day. If she’s getting less than this, speak to your doctor to help her develop habits of sleeping throughout the night.
Sleep routine: Most infants can stay awake much of the day and sleep most of the night.

Self-soothing: Infants at this age are learning to self-sooth through behaviors such as sucking fingers, moving their head side to side and playing with their eyelashes

Development & Behavior

Responds to her name, smiles at her image in mirror
Plays games like peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake

“Talks” by babbling and trying to imitate sounds
Reaches for familiar persons (6 months)

May become fearful with strangers (7-9 months)
Can raise up on his arms when you place him on his tummy

Might turn in the direction of your voice and complain when a toy is taken away
Infants at this age begin to soothe by sucking their own fingers or holding a comfort object (small soft toy or blanket)


Safety Recommendations

Put a safety gate at the top of stairs. Close the latches on all windows.
Keep sharp objects like scissors, letter openers, pens, and knitting needles in a safe place.
Keep medications, household cleaners, and poisons locked up.
Make sure your baby can’t get at electrical wires, outlets, or appliances.

Practice water safety. Put a fence around any pools. Empty buckets, baby pools, and bathtubs right after use.
Sunscreens may be used now.


Allow your baby a few minutes to calm down on his own when he is tired or fussy.
Play voice games. Talk with a high or low voice. Click your tongue. Whisper. Take vocal turns with your baby - repeat any sounds made by him or her when you are face to face and let your baby watch you when you make the sounds.
Show your baby how to make different facial expressions. Face them towards you and change your expression from a big smile, poking out tongue, widening eyes, raising eyebrows, puffing or blowing, frowning. Let your baby try to imitate you.
Let your baby see, hear and touch common objects.
Gently rub your baby with a soft cloth, a paper towel or nylon. Talk about how things feel (soft, rough and slippery).
Give your baby attention while getting things done. Talk to your baby and explain what you are doing even if it is a mundane daily chore.
Play go and fetch with your baby. Your baby will like to throw toys (and food!) on the floor. It will teach them to release objects and reinforces cause and effect.
Once your infant starts rolling or crawling on his tummy, play and say "come and get me." Let your baby move, then chase after her and hug her when you catch her.


Teething: Teething begins anytime from birth to over 1 year of age, but on average between 6 and 7 months. During teething, babies drool a lot and want to chew on things. Give your baby a spoon to grasp and chew on. It is easy to hold and feels good in the mouth. It is also great for banging, swiping, and dropping. Sometimes they fuss or cry if teething hurts. They may even have a fever. Tylenol or acetaminophen can be helpful when the pain is at its worse.
Dental Care: Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, you can clean his gums. Gently wipe them after each feeding with a clean, damp washcloth.

Recommended Tests

As an infant grows older, she may deplete her reserves of iron and depending on the diet, may become iron deficient. Iron deficiency can in turn cause anemia and pose issues for cognitive development. To screen your child for anemia, we recommend the following test at the 9 month check up.

Hemoglobin from a fingerprick

Vaccinations for this visit

○ Hepatitis B

Visit Handouts

These are the handouts that are typically given at the end of the 9 month visits.