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Baby Month By Month

9 Month Old Baby

Your baby is nine months old!

Look at all baby has achieved! Your nine-month-old baby is probably sitting (with or without support), pulling up to standing, clapping her hands and maybe even working on crawling and cruising. She also loves picking up food to feed herself using her index finger and thumb in the "pincer" grasp. With these abilities, life has really become an adventure for baby—and you, as you've been following her as she explores, pointing her toward new things to examine and touch. You’re probably watching one resourceful baby, as she uses furniture and other objects to support herself while moving around a room. As usual, keep your eyes on baby at all times, because she's surprisingly fast and can easily take a tumble, since she’s still mastering her balance skills.

9-Month-Old Development

Baby’s not just developing quickly, she’s growing by leaps and bounds! In fact, baby might just shoot up like crazy this month. It’s common for babies to have a growth spurt around nine months.

9-Month-Old Baby Weight & Length
We know you’re wondering: How much should a 9-month-old weigh? Average weight for a 9-month-old baby is 18.1 pounds for girls and 19.6 pounds for boys. Average length is 27.6 inches for girls and 28.3 inches for boys, according to the World Health Organization.

Of course, height and weight can vary widely between healthy babies, so as long as your baby is growing at a healthy rate—on a steady curve on the chart at the doctor’s office—and the pediatrician doesn’t see any signs of a problem, your baby’s growth is right on track.

Your baby is likely growing nearly half an inch this month and gaining three to five ounces each week.

Five Senses

  • Baby’s vision keeps getting better. Now she can see well across the room.
  • She can easily recognize familiar faces and objects
  • Baby knows there are things she can’t see—that’s called object permanence. She’ll remember a toy and look for it.
  • Baby can recognize familiar sounds too. She may understand words she hears often, such as no, bottle, mama and dada.

9-Month-Old Milestones
What Should a 9-Month-Old Be Doing?
Here are some milestones your nine-month-old baby may have hit or may be working on:

  • Crawling. Nine months is the average age babies start to crawl, which means yours might have been doing it for a while, or you’re still waiting for her to start. A 9-month-old not crawling is not typically a cause for concern. In fact, doctors say some perfectly healthy and well-developed babies never crawl at all—they jump straight to walking!
  • Standing. Your 9-month-old baby may be able to hold on to the couch or coffee table to stand himself up. Next comes cruising, which means walking around with the support of the furniture. You know what comes next after that!
  • Sitting. What’s most fun to a nine-month-old might be sitting for long periods of time, playing with toy and objects. Your baby loves to use his hands to do just about everything!
  • Pincer grasp. Nine-month-olds may begin to pick things up using their pointer finger and thumb—known as the pincer grasp. This really comes in handy when feeding and playing.
  • Babbling. Most nine-month-old babies make sounds like mamamama and dadadada—they may even use them to describe their parents.

If baby’s not doing everything other nine-month-olds are doing, it isn’t reason to worry. But there are certain things that could be signs of developmental delay. Tell the pediatrician if baby:

  • Doesn’t put weight on her legs when you hold her upright above a surface.
  • Doesn’t sit with propping or holding.
  • Doesn’t babble sounds like “mama,” “baba” and “dada".
  • Doesn’t play games that require back-and-forth play.
  • Doesn’t respond to her name.
  • Doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people.
  • Doesn’t look where you point.
  • Doesn’t pass toys from one hand to the other.

Is My 9-Month-Old Healthy?
At nine months old, your baby is due for another checkup with the pediatrician, where she’ll have her weight, height and head circumference measured. She’ll get a physical exam and a blood test to check for low iron and traces of lead. If you have specific concerns or questions about your nine-month-old’s health, now’s the time to ask the doc!

9-Month-Old Baby Food & Diet

Hello, independent baby! If your baby drinks from a bottle, she might hold it herself by now—and baby might even be starting to get the hang of a sippy cup. As for solid foods, she’s probably into the idea of feeding those to herself too.

How much should a 9-month-old eat?

Bottle feeding: How many ounces should a 9-month-old drink? It should total about 24 to 32 ounces in a 24-hour period. In other words, if baby has a bottle or sippy cup six times per day, they should each have about four to six ounces of formula in them.

Breastfeeding: Feedings are still typically about every three or four hours but each breastfed baby may be slightly different. What’s important is that baby seems content, your boobs seem to have been emptied (they’re soft) and baby’s gaining weight healthily.

Pumping: A breastfed baby needs about 25 ounces of breast milk per day. So you’ll need to divide that by how many feedings your baby typically has. So if you feed baby about eight times per day, he should get about 3.1 ounces of breast milk at each feeding.

Solid food: If you’re wondering what to feed a 9-month-old baby, it’s simpler than it may seem. Baby should have three small meals plus two snacks (kind of like you!), and doctors recommend feeding baby whole foods, without much that’s processed or has added sugar or salt. Give baby a variety of foods in different food groups and different colors of the rainbow: yellow bananas, red peppers, green avocado, orange sweet potatoes, white tofu, brown whole grain cereal. Baby should be getting protein, carbohydrates and fats in every meal.

To double-check that baby’s getting enough breast milk or formula, you can check her diapers. How many wet diapers for a nine-month-old is healthy? About four or five very wet ones per day is considered ideal.

What can baby eat this month?

What finger foods can I feed my 9-month-old?
Now that baby’s working on his pincer grasp, finger foods are a go. Offer his favorite soft-cooked veggies cut into small pieces, bits of banana or avocado, or tiny cooked pasta pieces. You can’t go wrong with the ever-popular Cheerios.

Can a 9-month-old eat eggs?
Many parents of nine-month-olds ask about eggs. The advice used to be to avoid giving babies eggs before their first birthday, but that recommendation is changing. Egg is a common allergen, and the old advice said egg yolk was okay around nine months but to wait to introduce the egg white (which is more likely to cause an allergic reaction).

But newer food allergy research suggests that babies should not avoid allergenic foods entirely. And in fact, that it might benefit baby to introduce them earlier.

The short answer is: Yes, you can give baby egg yolk at nine months. As for egg whites, talk to baby’s doctor and decide together. (Baby’s allergy risk may come into play.) And as with introducing any new food, watch your baby for signs of an allergic reaction in the following days.

9-Month-Old Feeding Schedule

Photo: Megan Rubey

9-Month-Old Sleep

The thing that’s constantly on parents’ minds: Sleep! There are some common questions moms and dads have about their 9-month-olds’ snooze time:

How much should a 9-month-old sleep?
A nine-month-old baby typically sleeps about 14 to 15 hours per day. Eleven hours of those are at night. About three hours are divided between two daytime naps.

9-Month-Old Sleep Schedule

Photo: Megan Rubey

My 9-month-old is not sleeping through the night. Is that normal?
Yes, it’s normal! About 70 percent of nine-month-olds sleep eight to 12 hours at night without waking. But don’t let the fact that your baby isn’t part of the majority get you down—babies don’t need to sleep through the night, even if you might want her to!

If you think baby needs a little extra nudging to start sleeping longer stretches, you might consider sleep-training. Sleep-training a 9-month-old baby is totally doable—although there are some babies who resist. Here’s more information to help you decide if sleep-training is right for your family, as well as advice on how to do it.

My 9-month-old won’t sleep. Help!
In a 9-month-old, sleep regression is common. Because baby’s learning new skills, such as crawling, pulling herself up to stand and cruising, she might decide she wants to practice them… in the middle of the night. Some older babies might decide they simply miss mom or dad!

The good news is, babies tend to grow out of regressions like this within a month or two. Until then, use some of these moms’ tricks to try to help baby (and you!) get more restful sleep.

9-Month-Old Schedule

Your nine-month-old is awake for about 10 hours per day and is more active than ever! You’re probably looking for ideas of things to do with a 9-month-old baby. Check out this list of baby activities that will give you an idea of things to do now, as well as things to do with baby as she grows.

9-Month-Old Schedule Example
A 9-month-old’s daily schedule might look something like this.

Photo: Megan Rubey

9-Month-Old Baby Checklist/Tips

  • Take baby to her nine-month checkup. (No vaccines. Yay!)
  • Blood test: The doctor will test baby’s blood for lead and signs of anemia.
  • Schedule baby’s 12-month checkup.
  • Does baby need a new car seat? A car seat for your 9-month-old baby should be rear-facing (until age 2 or 3), so look for a convertible seat that can be used for at least another year or two.
  • You can now use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby’s teeth. (Teaching him to spit it out can be fun!)
  • Create a baby obstacle course with cushions baby can climb, scoot and cruise over and around, to help her experiment with her movement skills.
  • Take baby’s 9-month-old baby photo.