Your baby has probably changed a lot since the last checkup. She may be pulling herself 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?
- Is she waving?
- Is she sitting up by herself?
- Does she respond to her name?
- Does she babble?
Feeding Questions You May Have
- When is it time for finger foods?
- How can I prevent choking?
- What should I start with?
- If your baby is trying to grasp small objects or "rake" them up and is sitting up by herself, she is probably ready for finger foods.
- Cut food into small pieces so she doesn'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 she doesn't like it at first!
Questions You May Have About Pacifiers
- Is it OK for my baby to keep using a pacifier?
- 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 she's falling asleep.Then, stop that, too.
- Offer another comfort, like a special toy or blanket.
- During the day, try distracting your baby when she wants a pacifier.
Questions You May Have About Development
- How much should I play with my baby?
- Should I worry if my baby isn't crawling?
Baby Development Tips
- Play with your baby as often as you can -- the more, the better!
- Let your baby play alone -- but supervised -- too. That teaches her independence.
- Some babies prefer scooting, rolling, or creeping to crawling. Any of these are fine.
- Do not get a walker. Walkers are dangerous and are not recommended by the Academy of Pediatrics. They do not promote early walking.
- Premature babies may be a little slower to master some skills in the first year or two.
- All babies are different -- you really can't predict when any baby will hit a milestone.
If you feel that your baby is not "keeping up" with growth and development charts, just know that every baby grows and develops at a different pace. Be sure to discuss any concerns that you may have with your baby's doctor.