Your Baby's Ninth Month

Your baby is inching closer to his first birthday. At nine months the average baby weighs around 19-20 lbs and is about 27 ½ to 28 inches long. If your baby was a little chunkier, he may have slimmed down a little now that he's crawling and more active.

You probably have a regular sleep routine for your baby. Most babies take two naps during the day at this age. However this is about the time babies start giving up one of these naps. If you notice that your baby is protesting nap time, he may be ready to give up one of his naps. Usually the nap that is eliminated first is the morning nap, but some babies give up the afternoon nap first. At nine months your baby needs around 2 ½ to 4 hours of total naptime sleep. If you decide to try just one nap for your baby, watch him for cues that he might be sleepy. If after giving up his morning nap he acts sleepy - rubbing his eyes or yawning, crying or fussing, or more irritable - he may not be ready to give up his morning nap.

If your little one is a baldie or has no teeth yet, don't worry. Teeth and hair development varies from baby to baby. Some babies will have a full head of hair and several teeth by now, but it's perfectly normal for your baby to not have much of either. If your baby has no teeth yet, he should get his first tooth by the time he is a year old. If he is over a year and still doesn't have teeth, most likely he is just a late bloomer, but this may be something to talk to your doctor about. Slow hair growth is not unusual either. To help your baby's hair grow faster try washing it a few times a week with a baby shampoo and gently massaging his scalp, making sure to be extra gentle around his soft spots. Brush his hair with a soft bristle brush after washing to help stimulate the scalp.

Your baby is getting around, mostly on all fours now, but he may be getting ready to walk or even walking now. If your baby isn't crawling yet, it's not something to worry about just yet. Babies typically learn to crawl some time between 7 and 10 months and walking comes later at around 13 months. To prepare for walking your baby may be pulling himself up to stand. This skill will help him develop his muscles and coordination for walking. You can encourage your baby to pull himself to a standing position by placing a favorite toy on the couch or a chair. The toy may give him a little incentive to pull himself up.

By the end of the ninth month your baby can:

  • Stand if he is holding your hand
  • Sit in a chair without flopping over
  • Crawl while holding a toy
  • Drink from a cup
  • Walk a few steps while holding your hand
  • Follow simple instructions like "bring me that toy"
  • Hold two objects at the same time, one in each hand
  • Feed himself finger foods

Your baby likes:

  • To play near mom or dad
  • To explore new areas
  • To imitate mom or dad
  • To throw food on the floor
  • To crawl to toys or objects he likes

Safety tips:

  • Keep remote controls and objects with batteries out of reach of your baby.
  • Make sure your car seat doesn't have room to slide around. It shouldn't move more than an inch in any direction if installed correctly.
  • Do not give your baby hard objects or toys when he is riding in the car. A hard toy can injure him if you are involved in an accident.
  • Do not feed your baby foods he can choke on like hot dogs, grapes, or hard candy.
  • Check your windows. Make sure there are no chairs or furniture near your windows. Your baby can use a chair to climb up to the window and fall out.

Activities for your baby:

  • Stack em up! Grab some plastic containers or blocks and see how high your baby can stack. Show him how to make a tower. Let him stack blocks and then see if he will knock them down.
  • Start a baby band. Get some pots and pans and a wooden spoon. Let your baby make music with the pots and pans.
  • Play hide and go seek. Grab a baby blanket and a toy your baby likes. Hide the toy under the blanket and see if he can find it.
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