The First Year
How to Take Care of a 9-Month-Old Baby
Not sure how to take care of a 9-month-old baby who’s increasingly mobile, curious and communicative? Find some tips here for baby care during this time in your child’s life, including information on the proper feeding and sleeping schedule for your baby.
What to Expect in Your Baby’s 10th Month of Life
When your baby turns 9 months old, they’ve come a long way from when you first brought them home. They’re probably moving around the house (whether by crawling, standing or even taking their first steps), increasingly stubborn and individualistic, and chatting your ears off with their nonsense syllables. You have a curious little adventurer on your hands — one that’s likely giving you a run for your money as they want to learn more and have different experiences than ever before!
How to take care of a 9-month-old baby can seem overwhelming at times. You can no longer put them down and expect them to stay in one spot; you’ll need to watch them like a hawk as they crawl around and explore. Babies at this age are faster than you may think!
Knowing what to expect from a nine-month-old baby is the first step to preparing for this increasingly active part of your child’s life. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place with this article. Below, find a few important tips for how to take care of a 9-month-old baby and all of the new changes they’re experiencing in their life.
What to Expect from a 9-Month-Old Baby: Important Milestones
As mentioned, your 9-month-old baby is hardly recognizable from the little bundle of joy you brought home. In fact, they’re hardly recognizable from who they were just a few months ago. They truly are a little human at this point — full of their own personality, crazy amounts of curiosity, and an eager desire to learn.
At this point in your child’s life, you may wonder what to expect. A 9-month-old baby typically hits certain milestones but, because every baby is different, yours may not be at certain development stages yet. That’s okay; your baby may take more or less time to hit certain milestones, or they may skip stages completely — like skipping crawling to go straight to walking.
If you’re ever concerned with what to expect from a nine-month-old baby and whether your child is developing normally, talk to your pediatrician.
In the meantime, here are some developments you may expect at this age:
- Ability to quickly change positions: At 9 months old, most babies are easily transitioning between sitting, crawling and standing positions. However, it may be a bit difficult for them to go from standing to sitting — so be ready for them to cry out for your help when they get stuck. Don’t worry about getting your child shoes quite yet; supporting themselves while barefoot helps babies develop the muscles in their feet.
- Increasing understanding of language: Whether or not your baby is spouting off real words of their own yet, they understand yours. If you ask your baby a question, you may be thrilled to see they point at the object you are talking about. Therefore, start implementing boundaries by making sure your child understands “no” early on.
- Longer-term memory: Your child recognizes familiar faces at this time, but that also means they recognize what those faces mean. For example, if Grandma usually comes over for babysitting duty, your child may become agitated and upset. They know her arrival means you are about to leave. Don’t worry — 9-month-olds are pretty easily distracted, thanks to their short attention span.
How to Take Care of a 9-Month-Old Baby: Getting Started
When your baby reaches nine months of age, it’s time for another checkup! Your pediatrician will check to ensure your baby’s height and weight are developing normally and will also complete a blood test for lead and signs of anemia. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about what to expect from your 9-month-old baby at this time.
As your baby continues to grow, you may be unsure of how their feeding and sleeping schedule will be affected by their increasing independence. You can read a bit more about each of these aspects of your baby’s routine below.
Developing a Feeding Schedule for a 9-Month-Old
Many parents wonder what to feed a 9-month-old. After all, a child at this age is eating an increasing amount of solid foods, so it’s normal for parents to wonder whether formula or breastmilk is still necessary in their 9-month-old baby’s feeding schedule.
The answer is yes. In general, feeding a 9-month-old should include about 24 to 32 ounces of breastmilk or formula per 24-hour period. At the same time, a feeding schedule for a 9-month-old baby should include about three small meals and two snacks of solid food. The foods to feed a 9-month-old can include whole, unprocessed foods like bananas, sweet peppers, avocado, and grain cereal. Make sure your baby is getting a balanced meal of foods that are soft enough to prevent the risk of choking hazard.
Always watch out for signs of an allergic reaction when introducing new foods. Talk to your pediatrician for any concerns about what to feed a nine-month-old and how to avoid developing allergies.
What to Know About a 9-Month-Old’s Sleep Schedule
If your 9-month-old won’t sleep through the night, you may be worried that they are experiencing 9-month-old sleep regression. While about 70 percent of nine-month-olds sleep through the night without waking, not all do. If your 9-month-old is not sleeping through the night, they may be experiencing discomfort from an illness or teething, want to practice their new crawling and cruising skills, or simply miss being with their parents. This can understandably be frustrating for new parents.
If you haven’t already, you may consider sleep-training your 9-month-old. This training helps your child develop positive sleep habits, including the ability to self-soothe after they awaken at night. Make sure you are helping your child build sleep independence by following the recommended steps for putting a child to sleep at their age.
It’s normal for new parents to wonder how to take care of a 9-month-old baby when their son or daughter hits new milestones in his or her development. First-time parents are especially guilty of worrying whether they are doing the right thing for their child. If you’re in this position, take a deep breath. You always have information available to help, as well as the guidance of your pediatrician. Above all else, enjoy these last couple of months before your baby’s first year of life is over!