Baby Basics

What Happens At Baby’s Nine-Month Checkup?

Baby’s nine-month checkup is coming up. What questions, procedures and immunizations should I expect?  

There aren’t any shots at this visit (unless baby has missed some). Yay! Here’s what happens at this standard checkup, says Preeti Parikh, MD.

Questions the doctor will ask

• How are things going? Are there any concerns? Is there anything new going on?

• Are you introducing new textures into baby’s diet? Is she feeding herself?

• Have you introduced water?

• Has baby started babbling more?
 
Procedures the doctor will do

Weight check. The doctor or nurse will measure and weigh baby and plot weight, height, and head circumference on a growth chart that indicates the average height and weight for boys and girls. They’re checking to see that baby stays within the same percentile range from checkup to checkup. 

Physical. The doctor will check baby’s heart, lungs, genitals, reflexes, joints, eyes, ears and mouth. She’ll also check the shape of baby’s head and check his soft spots (fontanels) to make sure they’re developing properly.

Blood test. Nine months marks the start of checking baby’s blood for iron (to test for anemia) and lead.

Recommendations the doctor will make

• Start introducing new textures into baby’s diet. It shouldn’t be too different from your own diet, but food should be cut into much smaller pieces. Baby should have around three meals and two snacks per day.

• Brush baby’s new teeth with a smear of fluoride.

• Baby-proof your home (even more than it already is!): Baby is likely crawling and maybe even starting to walk.

• Help language development with interactive songs, peek-a-boo and reading with board books.

Expert: Preeti Parikh, MD, is a pediatrician in New York City and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

By Anisa Arsenault