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Well checkup: 9 months

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At this age, your baby may:

  • sit well
  • crawl or creep (your baby may never crawl)
  • pull herself up to stand
  • use her fingers to feed
  • imitate sounds and babble (dada, mama, bababa)
  • respond when her name or a familiar object is called
  • understand a few words such as "no-no" or "bye"
  • start to understand that an object hidden by a cloth is still there (object permanence)

Feeding tips

  • Your baby's appetite will decrease. She will also drink less breastmilk or formula.
  • Have your baby start to use a sippy cup instead and start weaning her off the bottle.
  • Let your baby explore finger foods. It's OK if she gets messy.
  • You can give your baby table foods as long as they are soft or cut into small pieces. Do not give her junk food.
  • Give your baby 400 IU of a vitamin D supplement every day.


  • Your baby should be able to sleep through the night. If she wakes up during the night, she should go back to sleep without your help.
  • Start a nighttime routine: bath, brushing teeth and reading. Be sure to stick with this routine each night.
  • Give your baby the same safe toy or blanket for comfort.
  • If you put your baby to sleep with a pacifier, take the pacifier out after your baby falls asleep.
  • You should not take your baby out of the crib if she wakes up during the night. Teething discomfort may cause problems with your baby's sleep and appetite.


Never physically or emotionally hurt your child. If you are losing control, take a few deep breaths, put your child in a safe place and go into another room for a few minutes.

If possible, have someone else watch your child so you can take a break. Call a friend or the Crisis Nursery in your area.


  • Use an approved car seat for the height and weight of your baby every time she rides in a vehicle. The car seat must be properly secured in the back seat.
  • According to state law, the car seat must be rear-facing (facing the rear window) until your baby is 1 year old. Safety studies suggest that babies should be rear-facing until age 2.
  • Be a good role model for your baby. Do not talk or text on your cellphone while driving.
  • Put gates on all stairways.
  • Never put hot liquids near table or countertop edges. Keep your child away from a hot stove, oven and furnace.
  • Turn your hot water heater to less than 120 degrees F.
  • If your baby gets a burn, run the affected body part under cold water and call the clinic right away.
  • Never leave your child alone in the bathtub or near water. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Do not let your baby get small objects such as toys, nuts, coins, hot dog pieces, peanuts, popcorn, raisins or grapes. These items may cause choking.
  • Call the poison control center (1-800-222-1222) or your health care provider for directions in case your baby swallows poison. Have these numbers handy by your telephone or program them into your phone.
  • Keep your baby out of the sun. If your baby is outside, use sunscreen with an SPF of more than 15. Try to put your baby under shade or an umbrella and put a hat on her head.

What your baby needs

  • Your baby will become more independent. Let her explore.
  • Play with your baby. She will imitate your actions and sounds. This is how your baby learns.
  • You can use discipline to control negative behaviors and encourage positive ones. Be sure to set limits and teach your child appropriately so she will learn to get along with others. Your child may feel more secure with limits and will know what you expect. Be consistent with your limits and discipline, even if this makes your baby unhappy at the moment.
  • Practice saying "no" only when your baby is in danger. At other times, offer a different choice or another toy for your baby.
  • Never use physical punishment.

Dental care

  • Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups starting at age 3 years or earlier if there are questions or concerns. (Your baby may need fluoride supplements if you have well water.)
  • Clean your baby's mouth and teeth with a clean cloth or a soft toothbrush and water.

Lab tests

Your baby may have her hemoglobin and lead levels checked.

  • Hemoglobin: This is a blood test to check for anemia (low iron in the blood).
  • Lead: This is a blood test to look for high levels of lead in the blood. Lead is a metal that can get into a baby's body from many things. Evidence shows that lead can be harmful to a baby if the level is too high.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic