Education Center > 9th
9th Month Guide
ninth month is often a landmark month. This is because, by now,
your baby has likely achieved some defining moments. This includes
growing teeth, crawling, sitting up, pulling up, and possibly standing
or walking on his own.
At this age, even if your baby is behind many
other children in learning to do new things, he can probably do
at least some of the above. He also probably has at least one tooth,
and some babies can have several by the time they reach this age.
This makes the ninth month very enjoyable: either
your baby is finally learning some of the things you thought he
never would, or he is steadily learning more.
Physical Development and Appearance
The average baby in the ninth month weighs approximately
19 pounds. Although this varies for a variety of reasons, this is
the average for most babies. At this age, the rule of thumb is still
the same however: as long as your baby is gaining weight at a consistent
rate, they are most likely in a healthy range.
Whatever your baby weighs, as long as he has gained
a couple of pounds over the last couple of months, then he is probably
gaining weight in a healthy manner. If he is not gaining weight,
you should consult with your physician to make sure that there isn’t
The ninth month, as mentioned above, can bring
with it a whole slew of new experiences. Either your baby will develop
many new abilities, or he will perfect the ones he has developed
over the last few months. His vocabulary will get bigger, he will
grow teeth, he will learn to get around in some way or another,
and it will be a very active month.
Care for Baby
- Skin care—the ninth month is really no
different from the eighth month when it comes to skin care for
your baby. You will want to still take care to not expose your
baby to harsh environments and you may still want to apply lotion
to your baby’s skin (many parents do this just to be able
to keep that sweet baby smell). Another skin issue you’re
your baby may have developed is a skin condition called eczema.
If your baby has developed this rash, you will need to consult
with his doctor to find out what to put on it and how to prevent
Once babies get this age, many parents may take them outdoors
a little more often than before, and this means that you should
protect your baby’s skin from sunburns. To do this, you
should simply apply a baby-safe form of sunblock (the highest
SPF you can find) about 30 minutes before going out. You should
also reapply it every hour or so to continue to receive the most
coverage. Even if the sky is overcast, you will likely want to
apply sunblock to your baby if you will be outside for more than
30 minutes, because light and sensitive skin such as a baby’s
can burn very easily.
- Teething—as mentioned above, even if
your baby seems to be behind the average age for cutting teeth,
you will probably have to deal with it this month. And, if your
baby already has a tooth or two, you may be due for another round
of sleepless teething nights.
To make teething a more bearable experience, and to be able to
determine if your baby really is cutting teeth at the moment,
follow the guidelines below:
You will usually know that your baby is teething because he will
begin to drool more than usual, he will chew on things even more
than usual (even though you may not have thought this was possible),
he will be very cranky, he will possibly be running a low-grade
fever, and he might have diarrhea. If your baby displays all of
the symptoms above, you should check his gums. If they are red,
swollen, and he cries more than usual when you touch them, or
if you can see or feel a tooth coming in, then you will know that
he is teething. If, however, this isn’t the case, you need
to call his doctor just to be sure that he doesn’t have
some kind of illness.
If you can tell that your baby is definitely cutting teeth, there
are a few ways to you’re your little one with the pain:
give him cold or frozen teethers, apply a topical numbing cream
or lotion (or you can use teething tablets—some parents
say these are better than traditional ointments). In the place
of a teether, you can use a frozen waffle (take care to make sure
that your baby doesn’t bite any of the pieces off and take
it away before it gets soggy) or a frozen popsicle that is unwrapped
(this, of course, only applies to those kind in the plastic wrappers).
If your baby is going through the painful experience of teething,
it can seem like the crying and sleeplessness will go on forever,
but have hope. Usually, although every baby is different, the
severe pain will only last two or three days. Then, once the tooth
has broken the skin, while your baby may still be feeling some
discomfort, he will likely feel a lot better than before.
If your baby has already grown a tooth or two, there may be a
new problem that you have not yet experienced: biting. Babies
will bite their own tongue and lips, may hurt their gums with
their new tooth or teeth, and may bite you. If you stick your
finger in your baby’s mouth to feel around for the tooth,
to clean your baby’s gums, or for any other reason, you
might want to be prepared to be bitten. Since babies are very
experienced in sucking, this means they may have extremely strong
jaws, which can lead to quite a bit of surprising pain if your
baby does bite you.
Another problem with biting is one that only breastfeeding mothers
have to deal with: your baby may begin to bite your nipples while
drinking. If this happens to you, parents tend to report that
the best way to deal with it is to lightly take the breast away.
At this age, most babies have already learned what the word “no”
means. Tell him “no” and take the breast away for
a few minutes. It won’t take too many times before your
baby will connect biting with the breast being taken away, and
he will likely stop. If this doesn’t work, you can lightly
thump your baby on the nose when he bites you. This isn’t
painful for the baby (you should only do it hard enough to get
his attention), but is just irritating enough that it makes the
baby want to stop biting.
- Bathing—just as with the eighth month,
bath time can be a lot of fun for babies. Parents can also begin
to enjoy it, as well. Babies in the ninth month are stronger and
better able to control their limbs, though, so this means you
may get a lot wetter at bath time than you ever have before. Babies
at nine months old love to take baths (most of them anyway) and
they love to splash and play with toys in the tub. A fun thing
to begin doing at this age is to allow your baby to enjoy a bubble
bath. You should use one that is safe for babies since babies
at nine months old love to put everything in their mouth. It is
still very important, whether you use a bath ring, a small tub
or the grown-up bath tub, to be sure and supervise your baby at
all times during the bath. You do not want to walk away or even
turn your back for any length of time, no matter how small.
This month is the time that many parents will begin bathing their
babies a little more often than before, as well. This is because
now your baby may be mobile and can possibly get into more messes
than before. Also, when you go outside now or to a public place,
your baby may insist on being put down to roam around on his own.
This can result in your baby getting dirty way more often than
before, and bath time will likely begin to happen more often.
- Diapers—the size of diapers at this
point may only change once more, or not at all. Babies tend to
begin to thin out around the middle at about one year of age,
so your baby can stay in the same size diapers from about this
time almost until potty training time. This, of course, isn’t
true of all babies, but it is true for many.
At this point, your baby probably has developed a new pattern
involving diaper changes. Since his eating pattern has probably
changed, and you may have broken him from the breast at this point,
he will likely have a different number of dirty diapers per week
than before. A variety of changes can occur due to the different
foods he is possibly able to eat at this point, as well. Depending
on how many teeth your baby has now, he may be able to eat many
different foods that he couldn’t eat before, and this may
mean a drastic change in your baby’s daily diaper changes.
Many babies will experience constipation or diarrhea at some point,
and you should follow the guidelines below for immediate treatment:
If your baby seems to be constipated, you should add apple juice
into his diet and you can give him baby medication to relieve
the pain. For diarrhea it is best to give him a nourishing drink
such as Pedialite and some medication as well. If your baby goes
through constipation or diarrhea for more than a few days, you
may need to call his doctor for more advice or possibly a visit.
If your baby has any other symptoms, such as a fever, you should
call his doctor without waiting a few days.
- Tooth care—at this point, your baby
probably has anywhere from one to four teeth, and you should brush
these after every meal, or at least twice a day. Doing this can
prevent cavities and tooth decay (something that may not seem
like it should be a concern, but can happen to even the smallest
of toddlers). Up until this point, you probably cleaned your baby’s
gums using a gum cleaner or a washrag, but this may not be a good
idea anymore, since your baby can probably bite now. Most babies
do not like to have their gums messed with, particularly if they
are cutting any teeth, so when you put your fingers in your baby’s
mouth, it is possible that he will bite. The best way to avoid
this is to simply clean your baby’s gums the same way you
do his teeth.
Use a baby toothbrush and toothpaste and brush his tooth or teeth,
as well as his gums. This can clean the teeth that are already
there, and protect the ones that have yet to grow in. To provide
your baby with the healthiest teeth, you should not allow him
to go to sleep with a bottle, particularly if there is juice in
- Sleep—most babies will sleep all night
at this point. If your baby doesn’t do this yet, your only
options are to either wait it out until your baby starts doing
it on his own, or to make some changes in his nap schedule that
can make him sleepier when it comes bedtime. You can cut out a
nap, depending on how many naps your baby takes during the day
or you can cut them short by waking him up early.
Another way to help your baby sleep all night is to make sure
he is full. Feeding him enough food at night (as opposed to the
breast or formula) before bed can help your baby sleep completely
through the night.
For some babies, whatever it is they wake up for is what prevents
them from sleeping, be it the bottle or the breast. Some babies
do it more out of habit than anything, and for these babies, parents
may have to deal with the middle-of-the-night feedings until the
baby is broken from that particular method of eating.
- Eating—this month is usually a fun month
for eating. Babies usually can sit up on their own at this point
and can eat with their fingers. Some parents will even allow their
baby to try to feed himself at this age using a baby spoon. Whether
or not you allow him to, it is very likely that he will want to
try to at this point.
The ninth month can allow many new types of foods, and you may
even be able to begin giving your baby bites of your food that
are soft and small enough for him to chew using his few teeth.
This is the point where the shift will slowly begin from your
baby’s main nutrition source being formula or breast milk
to baby food. This won’t actually happen until about a year,
but now is the time to start that transition. This means that
by now you should be feeding your baby three regular meals a day,
and possibly a snack or two in between.
- Toys for this age—some babies are beginning
to stand at nine months (some quick walkers are even walking at
this time). With standing and pulling up comes the wonderful world
of climbing. This means that your baby will likely love any toy
that is meant to climb on, pull, or push.
Babies at this age also usually love toys that are set up where
they have to pull up to get to them. There are many types of toys
like this for babies of this age, such as the type that look like
a little miniature table and have lots of toys on top that are
meant to be hit and pushed. These toys can light up and play music,
and this is another thing that babies of this age tend to enjoy.
Many babies in the ninth month still like jumpers and bouncers,
while others would rather not have the restraint. Balls (large
enough that your baby cannot put them in his mouth) tend to be
a favorite among babies this age, as well.
Just like last month, your baby probably enjoys those things that
aren’t really toys. The top two things that babies tend
to love that weren’t meant to really be played with are
remote controls and car keys.
- Parents—most babies are crawling and
even pulling up during the ninth month. This means that you need
to be sure that your house has been baby-proofed, and you may
need to raise the level in which you baby-proofed it. Since you
may have first focused on things your baby can reach while crawling,
you will probably need to check those things that he can now reach
You may want to fill kitchen cabinets with toys or pots and pans
that your baby is allowed to play with, and keep anything dangerous
up high. This includes cleaning supplies, as well as medications.
You should continue the regimen of reading and talking to your
baby on a regular basis, because this is still very important.
Now that your baby is mobile, you may have a whole new set of
worries, such as being afraid that your baby will get hurt. Unfortunately,
this is one of those things that all parents have to accept and
deal with once their baby begins to get around on his own. He
will now try things out (remember, though, babies learn through
exploration), and he may get hurt a time or two. The important
thing is to supervise your baby to the best of your ability and
to keep his environment as safe as possible for him to learn in.
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