9th Month

Baby’s 9-Month Checkup: What to Expect

Your baby has probably changed a lot since the last checkup. They may be pulling themselves up to stand, crawling, or even crawling backwards! Your baby may also be babbling away and may even have said “mama” and “dada.”

Here’s what to expect at your baby’s 9-month checkup.

You Can Expect Your Baby’s Doctor to:

  • Check your baby’s weight, length, and head circumference
  • Perform a physical exam of your baby
  • Catch up on any missed immunizations; if it’s fall or winter, your doctor may recommend the flu shot for your baby.

Questions Your Baby’s Doctor May Ask

  • How is your baby moving?
  • Are they waving?
  • Are they sitting up by themselves?
  • Do they respond to their name?
  • Do they babble?

Feeding Questions You May Have

  • When is it time for finger foods?
  • How can I prevent choking?
  • What should I start with?

Feeding Tips

  • If your baby is trying to grasp small objects or “rake” them up and is sitting up by themselves, they are probably ready for finger foods.
  • Cut food into small pieces so they don’t choke. Remember that baby is “gumming” rather than chewing at this point.
  • O-shaped cereal or little pieces of ripe banana or avocado are good foods to start with.
  • Avoid raw vegetables, whole grapes, raisins, popcorn, hot dogs, and nuts.
  • Remember, most babies need to be exposed to the same food 8 to 9 times before they start liking it — so don’t give up if they don’t like it at first!

Questions You May Have About Pacifiers

  • Is it OK for my baby to keep using a pacifier?

Pacifier Tips

  • It’s a good idea to start weaning your baby from a pacifier now.
  • Limit the pacifier to the crib for naps and night time.
  • Using a pacifier after age 2 can cause dental and speech problems.
  • Most babies stop on their own, but you can encourage it, too.
  • Try giving it to baby only when they are falling asleep. Then, stop that, too.
  • Offer another comfort, like a special toy or blanket.
  • During the day, try distracting your baby when they want a pacifier.

Checkup Checklist: 9 Months Old

9 months…you’re becoming a pro at this! Your baby may be sitting up on their own and getting ready to crawl. Your doctor can guide you through what to expect as they become more active and mobile.

Here’s what else you can expect at this checkup:

✅ Immunizations

At the 9-month visit, your baby may receive the final dose of the hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) and/or the third dose of the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) if they did not get those at the last checkup.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend the seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot) for children 6 months of age and older as soon as it becomes available. So, if your pediatrician has the influenza vaccine available, be sure to add that one to your checklist.

Note: Infants and children up to 8 years of age who are getting their flu shot for the first time may need two doses, given at least four weeks apart. Be sure to follow up with your baby’s second dose if they get their first one at this appointment.

✅ Screenings

Developmental screening: This may be a more formal developmental test than your baby had at past appointments. Your pediatrician will ask you a series of questions about your baby’s growth and behavior and may ask you to play with your baby during the screening to observe. The results will show whether your baby is developing at a normal rate or further testing for developmental delays are needed. If your baby is at a greater risk for developmental problems because of preterm birth or low birth weight or has a sibling who has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), they may receive these screenings more frequently. Dental check: Your pediatrician may apply fluoride varnish after your baby’s first tooth appears.

✅Feeding & development

Your pediatrician will measure and weigh your baby to make sure their growth is on track, observe their development and behavior, and perform a physical exam.

Questions your pediatrician may ask

  • Do you have concerns about how your child sees​ or hears?
  • What is your baby’s nighttime routine like?
  • Can your baby pull to stand?

Questions you may have

  • When should I discontinue the bottle?
  • My baby has separation anxiety. How can I help?
  • How much should my baby be eating ​now? (Note: At this age, give 3 meals and 2–3 snacks each day.)

❓ Did you know By 9 months, a baby’s taste preferences are mostly set. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to continue introducing a variety of flavors, textures and colors into your baby’s diet.

Safety

Questions your pediatrician may ask

  • Are the TVs and furniture in your home secured to the wall? We can’t stop our little ones from climbing. We can stabilize the things they climb on. Read about how to help prevent furniture and TV tip-overs.
  • Are you taking any alone time for yourself? It isn’t selfish—taking time for yourself makes you a better mom!
  • Do you find yourself telling your baby “No!” a lot? (Tip: Use “No!” only when your baby is going to get hurt or hurt others.)

Questions you may have

  • How do I know if the toys I am buying are safe?
  • How can I tell if something has been recalled?
  • What are some safe ways to ease my baby’s teething pain? (Note: Numbing gels or creams that contain benzocaine are not recommended for infants.)
  • When do I need to buy a new car seat? (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 2 years of age or, preferably, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer.)

✅ Communication tips

Never hesitate to call your pediatrician’s office with any questions or concerns—even if you know the office is closed. If your pediatrician is unable to see you but believes your baby should be examined, they will advise you on the most appropriate place for your baby to receive care and how quickly your baby should be seen..

Doctor visit: The 9-month checkup

What the doctor will do

  • Weigh and measure your baby
    • You’ll need to undress your baby completely for weighing. The doctor weighs your baby, measures length and head circumference, and plots the numbers on a growth chart. The chart enables you to see how your baby compares with other children the same age. If he’s slowed down a little in his growth rate, that’s okay – most babies do at this age as they settle into a long-term growth pattern.
  • Do a complete physical
    • Heart and lungs: Uses a stethoscope to listen for any abnormal heart rhythms or breathing problems.
    • Eyes: Checks for signs of congenital eye conditions and other problems. May also check for blocked tear ducts and discharge.
    • Ears: Looks for signs of infection and observes how your baby responds to sound. Mouth: Looks for signs of infection and any new teeth.
    • Head: Checks the soft spots (fontanels) and the shape of your baby’s head.
    • Body: Checks your baby’s reflexes and muscle tone and examines his skin for rashes and paleness. Pale skin is a sign of iron deficiency anemia which babies are at high risk for between 9 and 24 months.
    • Belly: Presses gently on the abdomen to check for a hernia or any enlarged organs.
    • Genitals: Opens your baby’s diaper and checks for signs of infection.
    • Hips and legs: Moves your baby’s legs around to look for problems in the hip joints.
  • Give your baby his shots
    • Give your baby any missed immunizations. He may also be due for a flu vaccine if it’s during flu season.
    • An assistant may administer the vaccines. This is usually done at the end of the appointment so you can have some privacy afterward to comfort your baby.
  • Address any other concerns
    • The doctor will address any health concerns (such as how to tell if your baby has croup or an ear infection), ask you some questions (see below), and help you understand what’s normal at this age.

Questions the doctor may ask:

  • How’s your baby sleeping? Your 9-month-old may be waking up often at night. She misses the fun and companionship of daytime and will be reluctant to go back to sleep. The doctor may have helpful suggestions, especially if you have detailed information on how much your baby sleeps and when. Most 9-month-olds sleep ten or 11 hours at night and three or four hours during the day.
  • How’s your baby eating? At this point, your baby has probably begun feeding herself a few finger foods, so the doctor will ask how that’s going. Tell the doctor if your baby is having trouble with solid foods or drinking from a sippy cup.
  • Is your baby crawling? By now your baby should be crawling or getting around by some other means such as scooting, slithering, or bottom-shuffling. If she hasn’t already, she’ll soon start pulling up to stand.
  • What does your baby say? Your baby can probably join syllables together and jabber wordlike sounds. She may even be saying “mama” and “dada,” although many children still can’t at this age. Also let the doctor know what your baby understands. By now she should know and respond to her own name and a few other familiar words. If she’s not making any sounds or is making fewer than she was before, tell the doctor, and print out our list of early warning signs of a language/communication developmental delay.
  • Does your baby point at objects? Between the ages of 9 and 12 months, most babies start pointing at things that catch their attention, such as dogs and toys. It’s a nonverbal way of trying to communicate with you and an important step in language development.
  • What games does your baby like to play? Most 9-month-olds love imitative games like peekaboo and patty-cake, and find great fun in banging and rattling toys. It’s all part of finding out how the world works.
  • How are your baby’s fine motor skills? Your baby is learning to use her thumb and forefinger in a pincer grasp that lets her pick up even the tiniest objects. She probably also likes using her index fingers to poke at and explore things.
  • How does your baby react to strangers? Lots of 9-month-olds are in the throes of separation anxiety and stranger anxiety. They stick close to their parents and family members and are wary of people they don’t know.
  • How are your baby’s gross motor skills? Your baby should be able to bear weight on her feet when she pulls herself into a standing position or you hold her up. If she can’t yet get up on her hands when you put her on her stomach, or if she seems to use one side of her body more than the other, tell the doctor. See our checklist of warning signs of a developmental delay.
  • How’s your baby’s vision? At every well-baby visit, the doctor should check the structure and alignment of the eyes and your baby’s ability to move them correctly.
  • How’s your baby’s hearing? If your baby doesn’t turn toward sounds, be sure to tell the doctor. The sooner potential hearing problems are investigated, the sooner they can be treated.
  • Have you looked at your home from your baby’s point of view? Now that your baby’s mobile, there are areas you’ll need to childproof, such as electrical outlets. Now’s also a good time to check that all medicines and cleaning products are safely locked away, and to post the poison control hotline phone number in an obvious place. You’ll also want to review car seat installation instructions if you’re going to switch to a convertible-type seat.

The 9-Month Well-Baby Visit

Here’s what will happen at the 9-month well-baby visit, including the physical checkup, developmental milestones and shots. By now, it might seem like your little genius is picking up a new skill every day. Is that adorable baby babble starting to sound more and more like words? Words you really love to hear, like “”Dada”” or “”Mama””? It’s hard to know whether she’s saying those wonderful words with meaning yet, but really, does it matter when they sound so heart-meltingly sweet? Also music to your ears: At the 9-month visit, there will be no shots, unless your baby needs to catch up on a previously missed dose. But there will be plenty to cover as the doctor tracks your child’s growth and development!

The physical checkup

The doctor will once again complete a full physical examination and see how your little one is measuring up. There may also be a routine finger stick to test for anemia, though this may be done later in the first year instead.

Developmental milestones

You know all those skills your baby has been perfecting? Of course you do, but the doctor will want to see them, too — or if baby’s not in the mood to perform, to hear about them from you. Some 9-month milestones include:

  • Getting into a sitting position, sitting unassisted
  • Crawling
  • Pulling up to stand or standing holding onto someone/something
  • Working to get a toy that’s out of reach, and objecting if you take a toy away
  • Responding to her name
  • Laughing, squealing with delight
  • Copying sounds and gestures
  • Pointing and using other gestures to communicate
  • Following your gaze when you look away
  • Saying “”Dada”” or “”Mama”” without meaning (or maybe even with!)

As always, there is a wide range of normal when it comes to baby development. Still, if you have any concerns, ask the doctor.

Ask too if your baby doesn’t respond to her own name or recognize familiar people, doesn’t babble or make back-and-forth sounds, gestures or eye contact, doesn’t look where you point, doesn’t sit with help, or doesn’t transfer toys from one hand to the other.

9-month shots

Unless your baby has some catching up to do, or flu season is starting and she hasn’t received her two doses of this year’s influenza vaccine, there likely won’t be any shots this time.

Questions to ask your doctor

Have you noticed any changes in your little one’s sleep patterns? (And just when you thought you could count on a schedule!) Sleep regression is common in months 8 to 10. Several factors may be standing in your baby’s way of getting the solid sleep she needs, including that compulsion to stand, even in bed, and practice other exciting skills. Have questions about sleep regression, feeding, milestones or anything else? Now’s the time to ask:

  • How do I know if my baby is getting enough sleep?
  • My baby is starting to get super clingy around strangers. Is that normal?
  • Is it time for finger foods?
  • Which finger foods are safe to start with?
  • How do I take care of my baby’s teeth?
  • Should I teach my baby sign language?
  • My baby isn’t pulling up yet. Should I be worried?
  • Are there any games, toys or activities I should introduce to help my baby learn?
  • Can I let my baby watch TV?

Don’t forget to schedule your doctor’s appointment before you leave, which will be the 12-month well-baby visit.

Your Baby’s 9-Month Checkup

Your 9-month-old is a child on the move — exploring, investigating, and experimenting. Hiding things and peekaboo games are endlessly interesting to him because he can now picture things that aren’t in front of him.

As you might imagine, this curiosity and thinking ability makes him more fun to play with, and more challenging as well. At the 9-month visit, your provider will focus on your child’s nutrition, sleep, and development. It’s also catch-up time for any vaccinations you might have missed.

At This Visit, Your Provider Will Probably:

Weigh and measure your baby.

Help you develop a plan to teach your baby to sleep soundly at night, if he’s not already doing so. This is the age he’s likely to start awakening again.

What Your Healthcare Provider Will Want To Know

Has your baby seen another healthcare provider since the last visit? If so, why? What was the outcome of that visit, and were any medications or treatments prescribed?

  • Can your baby sit pretty well without support?
  • Can he twist and turn from a stable sitting position?
  • Can he get into a sitting position easily?
  • Is he crawling, or starting to crawl? Creeping, scooting, and hitching are all legitimate forms of movement.
  • Can he pull himself up to standing?
  • Can he use the pincer grasp to pick up small objects?
  • Can he feed himself with his fingers?
  • Does he poke at things with his index finger?
  • Is he anxious around strangers?
  • Does he say “Mama” or “Dada” yet?
  • What games does he know (peekaboo, pat-a-cake, wave bye-bye, etc.)?
  • What are his favorite toys, and how does he play with them?
  • Does he shake them, bang them, drop them, or throw them?
  • Does he have his first teeth? Babies this age may have their top and bottom incisors.
  • Does he respond to his own name?
  • Does he recognize a few words?

Talk It Over

Here are some other issues you and your provider may want to discuss at this visit:

  • Nutrition. What foods is your baby eating? Report a general daily meal plan. Is she feeding herself finger food? Can she drink from a cup? Report what milk she’s on; it should be breast milk or formula at this age.
  • Vitamins and / or iron supplements. Discuss vitamins with your provider before you give them to your baby. Discuss any special dietary issues in your family.
  • Follow-up tests. If your baby had a hearing test or eye exam because of some special concern, remind your healthcare provider now. It may be a good time for follow-up tests. If your child has had a lot of ear infections, ask your provider whether she needs a hearing test now.
  • Contagious diseases. If someone in your household or someone in close contact with the baby has a serious infectious disease such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, or meningitis, bring it up now. Your baby may need to be tested.
  • Recent illnesses, medications, or emergencies. If your child is taking any medication or has visited an emergency room for any reason since the last visit, let your provider know. Bring the records and medicine with you.
  • Discipline. It’s best to get advice now, before your baby turns into a toddler with opinions of her own. Discuss limit-setting now.
  • Safety. This is the time you need to look closely at how safe your household is. Discuss what you’ve done to childproof your house so far, and find out where to turn locally in case of accidental ingestion or emergencies.
  • Sleep issues. Sleep problems are common at this age, but your provider can help. Keep a record of your baby’s sleep patterns over three days and bring it to your visit.

Speak Up!

  • Your healthcare provider should definitely know if your baby:
  • Isn’t making sounds or if her sounds have decreased.
  • Doesn’t turn to familiar words, especially her own name.
  • Chokes or has trouble with solid foods or with drinking from a cup.
  • Is off-balance when she moves her arms or legs, or uses one side more than the other.
  • Isn’t moving around in some manner.
  • Doesn’t turn her head toward sounds.
  • Doesn’t demonstrate her special relationship with you or other family members, or shows no awareness or wariness of strangers.
  • Doesn’t bear her weight when she’s held in a standing position.
  • Can’t get up on her hands when placed on her tummy.

Remember that all babies are different and develop and grow at their own pace. This is an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns with your provider and make sure your child is on the right track.

9-Month Well-Baby Visit – What All Does It Include?

Nine-month-old babies are starting an important phase in their lives. They are learning new things such as moving, eating solids, exploring and speaking. As parents, you may wonder if your child is growing and developing properly. The baby’s doctor is the right person to answer this. The 9-month paediatrician appointment is an important visit for the baby. During this visit, the development, nutrition, sleep and movement of the baby is assessed by the doctor.

What All Does the Doctor Check at Nine Months?

During the check-up visit, the doctor will do several things to check the development of your baby. The doctor compares your baby’s growth rate with the average growth rate as per his age. He will weigh your baby, and measure his height and head circumference. To do a complete physical examination, the doctor will check the baby’s heart, lungs, reflexes, head, genitals, ears, mouth and eyes. There may be a blood test to check for anaemia.

9-Month Vaccination

During the 9-month checkup, vaccines may be administered to your baby. The vaccines may include any missed immunisation vaccines and flu vaccines.

Questions That the Doctor May Ask

During your baby’s check-up, the pediatrician asks several questions to assess the baby’s development. A few of the questions the doctor may ask you are:

1. How is the baby sleeping? A nine-month-old baby sleeps for 10 to 11 hours in the night and 3 to 4 hours in the day. Yet, your nine-month-old baby may be having an erratic sleeping pattern. He may sleep in the day and wake-up in the night. When he wakes up in the night, he may be reluctant to go back to sleep. Inform the doctor in detail of your baby’s sleeping schedule for him to suggest tips to improve it.

2. How is the baby eating? A nine-month-old baby starts to eat a few finger foods by himself and drink from a sippy cup. So to track the development of the baby, the doctor may ask about the eating habits of your baby. Tell the doctor in case your baby is having trouble drinking from the sippy cup or eating solid food.

3. Is the baby crawling? A nine-month-old baby starts to crawl or scoot, bottom-shuffle or slither to go from one place to another. The baby will soon start to pull up to start standing. The doctor may ask about the baby’s movements to assess growth.

4. What does the baby say or understand? Nine-month-old babies start joining syllables to jabber a few word-like sounds, such as ‘mama’ or ‘dada’. Though, if your baby hasn’t started doing this, there is nothing to worry as most kids may not do so at this age. Most babies start to understand a few words and respond to their name along with those words. The doctor may ask what words your baby can understand or speak. Tell the doctor if your baby isn’t making sounds yet or is making fewer sounds than before. The doctor can check communication/language development and make suggestions.

5. Does the baby point at objects? Most babies start to point at different things to communicate with their parents. The doctor may want to know this to assess language development.

6. How are the baby’s fine motor skills? Babies start to use their thumb and forefingers to pick up toys or other objects. They also start using their index finger to explore things or poke them. The doctor asks this to gauge fine motor skill development.

7. What games does the baby like to play? Nine-month-old babies love rattling toys and playing imitative games such as patty-cake or peekaboo.

8. How does the baby react around strangers? Young babies tend to cling to their parents around strangers, as they have stranger anxiety.

9. How are the baby’s gross motor skills? The baby has started to crawl and tries to pull up to stand. When standing or when you hold up your baby, he should be able to bear his weight on his feet. Inform your doctor in case your baby seem to use one side of his body more. It could be a warning sign of some developmental delay.

10. How is the baby’s vision? This is to check the baby’s vision, structure and alignment of the eyes, along with the ability to move them.

11. How is the baby’s hearing? In case your baby doesn’t turn toward your voice or another sound, be sure to inform the doctor. Early detection of hearing problems leads to proper diagnosis and treatment.

12. How safe is the home for a baby? Most nine-month-old babies start crawling, so your home should be safe for them. The doctor will ask you to childproof your home.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor During the Visit

The doctor may have checked and declared your baby healthy. Yet, as a parent, you may have a few questions about your baby’s development or any other thing. A nine-month-old baby starts to do many new things or changes the pattern of old habits like sleeping or feeding. The baby’s sleep pattern changes, they try to stand up, eat different things, or do other things. However, sleep regression and trying to stand up is common in a nine-month-old baby. The 9 month old baby doctor visit is the perfect time to ask any questions related to your baby and clear any doubts about your baby’s development.

Some questions to ask the baby’s doctor are:

  • How do I know if my baby is getting enough sleep?
  • The baby becomes clingy or starts to cry in front of strangers. Is it normal?
  • Should I start feeding finger food to my baby?
  • Which finger foods should I start with? How do I take care of my baby’s teeth?
  • Can I teach sign language to my baby?
  • My baby is not able to pull himself/ herself up. Is it normal or should I worry?
  • Are there any toy or game recommendations to help my baby learn?
  • Should I let my baby watch cartoons on TV? Doctor’s Recommendations The doctor may make certain recommendations about the baby to the parents.

The recommendations can be:

To introduce new textures of food in the baby’s diet. Parents should feed the baby normal food that they eat. However, the food should be in very small pieces to make it easier for the baby to easily swallow it. The baby should be given three meals along with two snacks daily.

Start brushing the soft new teeth of your baby with just a smear of fluoride or any toothpaste made for young babies.

Start baby-proofing the home as the baby has started crawling and will soon start walking too.

Help the baby learn new words or speak new words by showing him interactive videos, reading to him or playing with him. These activities will develop his language skills.

The nine-month pediatrician visit is important for parents to know the growth of their baby. During this visit the baby is checked by the doctor to determine their development. It is also the ideal time for parents to get their doubts cleared about their baby’s development.

Be prepared for your baby’s 9-month checkup with these tips

Taking your baby to a checkup can be a cute and fun experience. You get to see if your little one gained any weight and how tall they got. What you don’t get prepped for is that it also means your baby is going to get stuck with a needle (or two or three depending on the visit) and will scream at you for the rest of the day for what you did.

Making sure you take your baby to all of their wellness checkups is important. The doctor will be able to tell if anything seems off or wrong quicker if they have seen the baby for all of their regular checkups along the way. If this is your first baby, you’ll get the reassurance that everything is fine and your baby is healthy. But what actually happens? Do babies get shots at 9 months? Let’s see what happens during baby checkups and how to be prepared for it.

The easy stuff

There are some fun things that happen at normal baby checkups:

  • Check weight/height/head size
  • See what milestones baby has hit
  • Get to brag about baby’s development

It’s always exciting to find out how much weight baby gained. It’s like a cute little competition to see how big your butterball is getting.

There are always the assessment questions that are interesting to see where your baby is. This is also the time to brag on your baby. Are they already trying to walk? Have they already said some words instead of baby babble? Go ahead, show off your little one.

The delicate stuff

There are a few things that will make this visit a little stressful on you and baby:

  • Catch up on any missed vaccines
  • Blood test
  • Flu shot if it’s that season

If you missed any previous visits for any reason and couldn’t get a certain vaccine done, then this is the catch-up visit. You wouldn’t normally get any shots this visit, so it’s the time to get caught up.

Your little one is going to get a prick no matter what, though. The blood test to check for lead and anemia is this visit. It’s less stressful than getting shots, but still a not-so-fun thing for baby.

If it is flu season, your doctor will ask about getting the flu shot. We won’t get into the flu shot debate, but know that your doctor will ask if you ever have a visit of any kind during that season.

What you can do to be prepared

Every visit has its own specific goal. The doctor and nurse have their own goal for that visit. But you should always come prepared, as well. Make a list if you think you might forget once you are in the room:

  • Write down your questions
  • Write down any concerns
  • Have the rest of the day free if baby needs shots
  • Have baby pain medicine at home
  • Bring extra diapers/wipes/clothes
  • Make sure you schedule the 12-month visit before you leave

Always write your questions and concerns down. You say you’ll remember, yet in the rush of things something might slip from your mind. Anything you want to talk to your doctor about your baby, now is the time. No matter how little it might seem, it’s better to ask and get an answer than to worry about it until their 1-year checkup.

If your baby is getting any shots or vaccines, it’s good to have some baby pain relief at home, so you don’t have to stop on the way. Not every baby needs it, but it’s always best to have some just in case. Even if your baby didn’t need any after their last round of shots, this time could be different. You don’t want a cranky, screaming baby for the next few days.

Always, and we mean always, make sure you have extra diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes. You have to undress your baby for the checkup and take the diaper off for weighing. You never know when a baby is going to decide to do their business. It’s better to be prepared. Yes, your baby’s doctor will have extra diapers for accidents, but if your baby has sensitive skin or you want to look like you have your life together, bring your own.

Most receptionists are great about scheduling your next appointment before you leave. But some aren’t. Make sure you don’t leave before you have that appointment. If you forget, you might not remember until after the next milestone, and the doctor might be fully booked. Plus, if you forget, you know you won’t call them later, so make the appointment before you walk out.

Make it fun

Whether it’s your first baby or your fourth, checkups can be stressful if you make them that way. Your baby will feed off you at the doctor’s office. Try to make it as pleasant as you can so your baby doesn’t worry.

Maybe take your baby out for some one-on-one time after. Or take the rest of the day off and have playtime at home and do whatever baby wants. These checkups are important. The 9-month baby checkup is the last one before the big first birthday, which will bring its own set of ups and downs. You are doing great parents, keep it up!

Well-Baby Checkup: 9 Months

At the 9-month checkup, the healthcare provider will examine your baby and ask how things are going at home. This sheet describes some of what you can expect.

Development and milestones

The healthcare provider will ask questions about your baby. And he or she will observe the baby to get an idea of the baby’s development. By this visit, your baby is likely doing some of the following:

  • Understanding “no”
  • Using fingers to point at things
  • Making different sounds such as “dadada” or “mamama”
  • Sitting up without support
  • Standing, holding on
  • Feeding himself or herself
  • Moving items from one hand to the other
  • Looking around for a toy after dropping it
  • Crawling
  • Waving and clapping his or her hands
  • Starting to move around while holding on to the couch or other furniture (known as “cruising”)
  • Getting upset when separated from a parent, or becoming anxious around strangers

Feeding tips

By 9 months, your baby’s feedings can include “finger foods,” as well as rice cereal and soft foods (see below). Growth may slow and the baby may begin to look thinner and leaner. This is normal. It doesn’t mean the baby isn’t getting enough to eat. To help your baby eat well:

Don’t force your baby to eat when he or she is full. During a feeding, you can tell your baby is full if he or she eats more slowly or bats the spoon away.

Your baby should eat solids 3 times each day and have breast milk or formula 4 to 5 times per day. As your baby eats more solids, he or she will need less breastmilk or formula. By 12 months of age, most of the baby’s nutrition will come from solid foods.

Start giving water in a sippy cup. This is a baby cup with handles and a lid. A cup won’t yet replace a bottle, but this is a good age to start to use it.

Don’t give your baby cow’s milk to drink yet. Other dairy foods are OK, such as yogurt and cheese. These should be full-fat products (not low-fat or nonfat).

Be aware that foods such as honey should not be fed to babies younger than 12 months of age. In the past, parents were advised not to give foods that commonly trigger an allergic reaction to babies. But experts now think that starting these foods earlier may actually help lower the risk of developing an allergy. Talk with the healthcare provider if you have questions.

Ask the healthcare provider if your baby needs fluoride supplements.

Health tips

If you notice sudden changes in your baby’s stool or urine, tell the healthcare provider. Keep in mind that stool will change, depending on what you feed your baby.

Ask the healthcare provider when your baby should have his or her first dental visit. Pediatric dentists recommend that the first dental visit should occur soon after the first tooth erupts above the gums. Your child may not need dental care right now, but an early visit to the dentist will set the stage for life-long dental health.

Sleeping tips

At 9 months of age, your baby will be awake for most of the day. He or she will likely nap once or twice a day, for a total of about 1 to 3 hours each day. The baby should sleep about 8 to 10 hours at night.

If your baby sleeps more or less than this but seems healthy, it is not a concern. To help your baby sleep: Get the child used to doing the same things each night before bed. Having a bedtime routine helps your baby learn when it’s time to go to sleep. For example, your routine could be a bath, followed by a feeding, followed by being put down to sleep. Pick a bedtime and try to stick to it each night.

Don’t put a sippy cup or bottle in the crib with your child. Be aware that even good sleepers may begin to have trouble sleeping at this age. It’s OK to put the baby down awake and to let the baby cry him- or herself to sleep in the crib. Ask the healthcare provider how long you should let your baby cry.

Safety tips

As your baby becomes more mobile, it’s important to keep a close watch . Always be aware of what your baby is doing. An accident can happen in a split second. To keep your baby safe: If you haven’t already done so, childproof the house. If your baby is pulling up on furniture or cruising (moving around while holding on to objects), be sure that big pieces such as cabinets and TVs are tied down. Otherwise they may be pulled on top of the child. Move any items that might hurt the child out of his or her reach. Be aware of items like tablecloths or cords that the baby might pull on. Do a safety check of any area where your baby spends time .

Don’t let your baby get hold of anything small enough to choke on. This includes toys, solid foods, and items on the floor that the baby may find while crawling. As a rule, an item small enough to fit inside a toilet paper tube can cause a child to choke. Don’t leave the baby on a high surface such as a table, bed, or couch. Your baby could fall off and get hurt. This is even more likely once the baby knows how to roll or crawl.

In the car, the baby should still face backward in the car seat. Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat for as long as possible. This means until they reach the top weight or height allowed by their seat. Check your safety seat instructions. Most convertible safety seats have height and weight limits that will allow children to ride rear-facing for 2 years or more. Keep this Poison Control phone number in an easy-to-see place, such as on the refrigerator: 800-222-1222.

Vaccines

Based on recommendations from the CDC, at this visit your baby may get the following vaccines:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Polio
  • Influenza (flu)

Make a meal out of finger foods

Your 9-month-old has likely been eating solids for a few months. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start serving finger foods. These are foods the baby can pick up and eat without your help. (You should always supervise!) Almost any food can be turned into a finger food, as long as it’s cut into small pieces.

Here are some tips:

  • Try pieces of soft, fresh fruits and vegetables such as banana, peach, or avocado.
  • Give the baby a handful of unsweetened cereal or a few pieces of cooked pasta.
  • Cut cheese or soft bread into small cubes. Large pieces may be difficult to chew or swallow and can cause a baby to choke.
  • Cook crunchy vegetables, such as carrots, to make them soft.
  • Don’t give your baby any foods that might cause choking . This is common with foods about the size and shape of the child’s throat. They include sections of hot dogs and sausages, hard candies, nuts, raw vegetables, and whole grapes. Ask the healthcare provider about other foods to avoid.
  • Make a regular place for the baby to eat with the rest of the family, in his or her high chair. This could be a corner of the kitchen or a space at the dinner table. Offer cut-up pieces of the same food the rest of the family is eating (as appropriate).

If you have questions about the types of foods to serve or how small the pieces need to be, talk to the healthcare provider.

View Sources

Baby’s 9-Month Checkup: What to Expect

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/checkup-9mos.html

Checkup Checklist: 9 Months Old

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/Your-Childs-Checkups/Pages/Your-Checkup-Checklist-9-months-old.aspx

Doctor visit: The 9-month checkup

https://www.babycenter.com/health/doctor-visits-and-vaccines/doctor-visit-the-9-month-checkup_6589

The 9-Month Well-Baby Visit

https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/health-and-safety/nine-month-well-baby-visit/

Your Baby’s 9-Month Checkup

https://www.pampers.com/en-us/baby/health/article/your-babys-9-month-checkup

9-Month Well-Baby Visit – What All Does It Include?

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/9-month-well-baby-visit-what-all-does-it-include/

Be prepared for your baby’s 9-month checkup with these tips

https://www.newfolks.com/stages/baby-checkup-9-months/

Well-Baby Checkup: 9 Months

https://myhealth.ucsd.edu/RelatedItems/3,40871