7 to 9 Months
Create wonderful memories with your children by spending time with them. Take the time to enjoy their company and share in their experiences.
Separation anxiety becomes stronger between 7 and 9 months of age. Here are a few strategies to help ease the anxiety:
- Get your baby familiar with caregivers before he develops anxiety.
- Schedule separations after naps or feedings.
- Have a regular primary caregiver.
- Practise separation for brief periods.
- Keep your baby in familiar surroundings when possible.
- Develop a “goodbye” ritual, such as a wave at the window or a special kiss.
- Have a calm, positive attitude.
- Tell your child that you’re leaving and that you’ll return. Then leave, using your “goodbye” ritual.
Understanding Your Baby
Your baby may now:
- Sit without support
- Play with his feet, pull your hair, or reach for your eyes
- Transfer a toy from one hand to another
- Push himself up from lying to sitting with one hand while you hold his other hand
- Throw toys on purpose
- Support weight on his feet while standing and making stepping movements
- Push away things he doesn’t want
- Control both hands to pick up a small object
- Drink from a sipping cup and feed himself
- Crawl or roll around the room
- Imitate your facial expressions
- Understand questions and short instructions, such as “Wave bye-bye”
- Babble a variety of sounds such as “ba”, “ma”, “da”
- Start to “make strange” when a stranger comes near him
- Click his tongue, smack his lips, and blow bubbles with his tongue and lips
Helping Your Baby Grow and Discover
Offer toys that appeal to your baby’s senses, including:
- Books made of cloth, plastic or board
- Toy mallets, plastic hammers or spoons
- Xylophone (show your baby how to hit the instrument and make noise)
- Loud ticking wind-up clock
- Talk to your baby to help him understand that words have meaning.
- Name the items of clothing while dressing your baby (e.g. “Here is a sock. It goes on your foot.”).
- Add some interest by playing peek-a-boo while dressing your baby.
Although your baby doesn’t completely understand what you’re saying, he understands your tone of voice. A loud and angry voice will frighten your child. Talk and sing calmly to your baby while cuddling him.
Feeding Your Baby
Graduating to table food
- Continue breastfeeding on demand, along with giving your baby a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU.
- Introduce a variety of nutritious foods from your family meals, in a variety of textures. Make sure that lumpier textures are introduced no later than 9 months.
- Depending on your child’s appetite, provide up to 3 larger feedings (meals) and 1 to 2 smaller feedings (snacks) per day. Children’s appetites vary from day to day and from meal to meal. Let your child decide how much to eat. Never pressure your baby to eat more than he wants or restrict the amount you give him to eat when he seems hungry.
- Continue offering iron-rich foods at least twice per day.
- Expect a mess; making a mess is part of learning how to eat!
- You can begin to introduce homogenized (3.25% M.F.) cow’s milk between 9 to 12 months if your child is eating a variety of iron-rich foods. Don’t give your child more than 750 mL (3 cups) of cow’s milk per day.
- Mash some of your supper into a lumpy texture and offer him small pieces.
- Offer some of the following foods: pasta, diced cooked vegetables, low-salt crackers, grated cheese, tuna, cottage cheese, toast or soft fruit.
- Do not add butter, salt or sugar to your baby’s food.
- Stay with your baby when he’s eating, in case he chokes.
- Encourage your baby to drink water or milk from a cup.
- Avoid distractions like TV or toys when eating at the table.
- Eat together as a family often.
For more information about how to feed your child, please visit www.UnlockFood.ca, or call 1-866-797-0000 to speak to a Registered Dietitian. You can also visit one of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s Watch Me Grow drop-in centres and ask for a free copy of Feeding Your Baby From Six Months to One Year.
Some EarlyON Child and Family Centres also offer workshops led by Registered Dietitians on how to feed your infant. Contact or visit your local EarlyON Child and Family Centre to learn more.
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