Your Baby's Development from 6 to 9 months - Boys Town Pediatrics

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Congratulations on surviving the first six months of parenthood!

Hi, I’m Dr. Michael Dawson, pediatrician at Boys Town Pediatrics.

As we approach months 6 through 9, get ready to enter the third gear of development.

In this video, we will explore milestones

and answer common questions about feeding, sleeping and teething.

Between 6 and 9 months, your baby's weight gain will likely slow a little. She will no

longer be packing on an ounce a day. Your pediatrician will compare your baby’s

size with other babies of the same age on a growth chart and make sure that he or she

is gaining height and weight and that his or her head is growing appropriately. Don’t

worry if your baby is a little bigger or smaller. Consistency is what is important here.

Remember, most of your baby’s nutrition comes from breast milk or formula until 1

year of age. As your baby approaches 6 months, many babies are ready for the introduction

of cereals and purees, such as pre-packaged baby foods or some foods processed in a blender

at home. Remember, it’s just practice eating for now.

There is no magic order for food introduction. Many start with a single-grain, iron-fortified

cereal such as rice cereal or oatmeal. Baby cereals are easy to digest and boost your

baby’s iron intake. Mix the cereal with a little baby formula, breast milk, or, in

a pinch, water.

Whether you introduce veggies, fruits, or meats next, wait a few days between different

foods to give baby a chance to get used to texture and watch for reactions like rashes

or diarrhea.

Some babies take foods better if you stop feeding before your baby is completely full

on breast milk or formula. Then introduce a solid food. Your baby will still be hungry

and may try a few bites. Remember, only a few tablespoons is a success.

Ahh, sleep. Remember that? Well good news, between 4 to 6 month of age, many babies start

sleeping through the night and soon will be taking about two naps per day. Your goal is

to put your baby to bed drowsy, but awake, so she falls asleep on her own. Many babies

start to self-soothe around 4 months of age. If your child wakes and isn’t hungry or

in distress, she will be able to put herself back to sleep.

Some babies still have yet to master sleeping 6 consecutive hours at night. To help your

baby learn that nighttime is for sleeping, keep your visits short and quiet (brief and

boring). Calm your baby by giving a pacifier, turning on the mobile or gently placing your

hand on her stomach. Look at your baby, but do not talk or play with her.

Teething usually begins around 6 months of age; however, babies can start teething any

time after 2 months of age. The lower front teeth may come in first, followed

by the upper front teeth, but there’s no set order.

Signs of teething begin 3 to 5 days before the tooth appears.

Some babies become fussy when teething due to gum swelling. Babies may bite on their

fingers or toys to help relieve the pressure. They may also refuse to eat and drink. Anything

can happen from fevers below 101 to diarrhea. Some babies are not affected by teething.

If your baby shows signs of discomfort you can

Give a mild pain reliever that is labeled for your baby’s specific age.

Use a clean finger or cold washcloth to gently rub your baby's gums for about 2 minutes at

a time. Provide safe objects for your baby to chew

on, such as teething rings. In general, many teething remedies, such as

gels, are not recommended. If you want to try these products, talk to your doctor about

which types are safe and how often to use them.

It was just a couple of months ago when you were swaddling a tiny newborn. Now, you are

seeing your baby reach small social and physical milestones that are laying the foundation

for an independent and mobile infant. By 6 months, your baby’s early communication

skills are becoming more evident. She has started to recognize her feelings and needs.

She may give you one type of cry when she is hungry and another when she wants to be

held. She is also learning social attachment. She

recognizes familiar faces and may become nervous around strangers. She will turn towards familiar

voices and smile back when you smile and play with her.

Encourage social development by showering her with smiles and cuddles. Reply when she

babbles, read together daily and name objects you see in the books and in the environment

around you.

By 6 months, many babies have started rolling and are able to maintain a sitting position.

Shortly after that, she will be able to sit up and lean forward to grab a toy.

Keep giving your baby tummy time. You will notice her starting to do pushups, lifting

her head and chest off the floor. She is preparing for the crawling stage.

You’ve noticed your baby grabbing at anything she can get her little hands on, and you'll

find a strong grasp when she clenches on to her treasures. As she approaches 9 months,

she will progress from a raking grasp –swiping at objects with fingers open –to a pincer

grasp – using the index finger and thumb to pinch objects. This grasp will help make

self-feeding much easier.

Your baby thrives on the interactions she has with you, so integrate play into everything

you do with her. Give her lots of opportunities to strengthen

her new physical skills by helping her sit and positioning her on both her stomach and

back to play. Before she can crawl, be sure to childproof your home to keep her environment

safe for exploring. Provide a variety of safe, age-appropriate

toys and household objects for play. Work on establishing a routine for sleeping, feeding,

and playtime. Remember, each baby grows and develops differently.

This video generalizes where most babies are from 6 to 9 months of age. My advice is to

contact your child’s physician any time you have a question or concern about the health

or well-being of your child.

Boys Town Pediatrics offers a 24-hour nurse helpline, so answers are only a phone call

away, any time of day or night.

For more videos and articles on pediatric health and development,

Thank you for watching this Boys Town Pediatrics

Milestone Video. Enjoy this special time with your growing baby!