Frequently Asked Questions: 9 Months
When can my baby face forward in his car seat?
Your baby should ride rear-facing and in the back seat until he is 2 years old or reaches the height and weight maximum for the seat. If he outgrows his infant car seat before he turns 2-years old, you should buy a convertible car seat that can be used rear-facing with heavier and taller infants.
All children should ride in the back seat. It is the safest place in the car because it is farthest away from a head-on collision (the most common type of car crash). Rear-facing car seats should never be used in a seat with an air bag. Severe injury and death can occur if the air bag inflates, even in a low-speed crash.
Can I give my baby cow's milk, cheese or yogurt?
Regular cow's milk that comes in a jug or carton is not recommended before a baby's first birthday. Before 12 months of age, a baby should drink breast milk or iron-fortified formula because cow's milk doesn't contain the right nutrients and can cause hidden intestinal bleeding that leads to anemia (low red blood cell count). Most of the commonly available formulas are made from cow's milk protein that has been specially processed, so that infants can more easily digest it.
Your pediatrician may have specific recommendations regarding other dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt. For most babies, yogurt, cottage cheese and soft cheeses can be introduced after 6 months of age. However, some experts advise delaying the introduction of any dairy product until after 1 year if there is a strong family history of allergies.
My 9-month-old doesn't crawl. Is this normal?
Although it may seem that every other child but yours is crawling by age 9 months, many children do not crawl until much later. In fact, some children learn to walk without ever crawling.
Each child is unique and developmental milestones like crawling, walking or talking are reached within a normal range of ages. Some children start crawling as early as 6 months, while others crawl as late as 12 months. There is no difference between "early" and "late" crawlers when the rest of their overall development has been normal.
A child's development usually proceeds through a predictable series of events, each one building on earlier accomplishments. For example, before being able to walk, a child will typically sit without support, then stand while holding on to something, and then pull up from a sitting to a standing position. Next he will take steps while holding on to something (cruise), then stand on his own, and finally take steps and walk without any assistance. Many children crawl while they are learning to walk, but some do not.
Most children follow this pattern but always at different speeds, depending on their personalities and physical make up. If you have concerns about your child's development, meet with his doctor to discuss them. Watch his behavior carefully for several days before the visit so that you can tell the doctor about all the things she is doing. The doctor will probably ask you additional questions and may do some testing of her abilities. Mild delays in an area or two rarely indicate a problem; children with significant developmental difficulties usually are behind in several areas.
What kind of shoes should I buy for my baby?
Your baby doesn't need any shoes when he is crawling, standing or walking inside the house. Experts say that walking barefoot helps to raise the arches of the feet and to strengthen the foot, ankle and leg muscles. Babies who are learning to walk often have an easier time without shoes because their bare feet grip the ground more securely.
Your baby will need shoes to protect her feet when she walks outdoors in cold weather or on hazardous surfaces. Choose soft, flexible-soled shoes rather than more rigid styles and make sure the shoe fits your infant's foot properly.