6 Months to 9 Months


  • Please re-read our guide to introducing solid foods.
  • Continue to feed your baby on demand, rather than a schedule.
  • Encourage lots of textures and tastes.
  • If they seem to hate a food you try, continue to offer it daily. They don’t hate it, they just don’t know it yet.
  • There is no science on how or when to advance from pureed foods to thicker textures. Follow your baby’s cues, and advance when your baby shows interest.
  • Always watch closely during feeding to prevent choking, especially when transitioning away from purees.


  • Provide a well-rounded diet with all the food groups.
  • Encourage high iron-containing pureed foods in the diet to prevent iron deficiency.
  • If your baby is taking less than 32 ounces of formula per day, continue the vitamin D supplement every day.
  • If your baby is taking more than 32 ounces of formula per day, you should not give vitamin D on that day.


  • Free water should not be given before 6 months of life because the kidneys are not fully developed. This is also why ibuprofen is not safe before 6 months.
  • Starting at 6 months of life, offer 4-6 ounces per day of fluoride-containing water. This helps develop strong teeth, which are growing under the gums even if you can’t see them yet.
  • The tap water in Austin is safe and a good source of fluoride.
  • If you use a water filter, check with the manufacturer to make sure it does not remove fluoride.
  • Give the water in a sippy cup.
  • The sippy cup should not have a soft plastic/rubber spout. Rather, choose sippy cups with a straw, 360-degree spouts, or hard plastic spouts.
    • Soft plastic/rubber spouts cause the same problem as continuing bottles after 12 months of life (dental caries).

Childproofing the Home

  • 6 months of life is the best time to childproof your home.
  • Please read our childproofing guide to learn how to prevent serious injuries in the home.
  • Safety around water in


  • You will know your baby is teething when you run your finger across the upper or lower gums and feel sharp teeth poking through.
  • This happens between 6-15 months of life.
  • Please read our guide on teething for all the details.

Dental Care

  • Once your child’s first tooth appears, start brushing!
    • Dental decay in baby teeth can negatively affect permanent teeth and lead to future dental problems.
  • Apply a grain-of-rice-sized amount of fluoride-based toothpaste to a soft toothbrush.
    • Press the toothpaste into the bristles to prevent your child from sucking the toothpaste right off of the brush.
  • Most toothpaste specifically labeled for “babies” does not contain fluoride. 
    • Please make sure you buy toothpaste that does contain fluoride, even if labeled for “children.”
  • Brush teeth once in the morning and once before bed. 
  • It is normal for your child to resist having their teeth brushed. The following strategies may be helpful:
    • Allow your child to brush their teeth first then follow up by brushing their teeth for them. 
    • Make up a silly song about brushing teeth. 
    • Some children resist brushing less if brushing teeth while their siblings or parents are doing so as well.
    • If these methods fail, don’t be afraid to bring in another caregiver to restrain your child while you brush their teeth.
      • Sometimes it needs to be a two-person operation!
  • The best thing you can do to keep your child’s teeth healthy at 12 months is to remove bottles (see discussion above).
  • Thumb-sucking and pacifier use are fine.
    • These may cause the teeth to jut forward, requiring braces when your child gets their adult teeth.
      • If you're ok with that, so are we!
  • Plan your child’s first visit to the dentist at 2 years of age. 


Gross Motor Skills

  • If your baby is not sitting without support at 6 months, focus on tummy time, all the time. Tummy time muscles are the same muscles used to sit independently, crawl, and pull-to-stand.
  • Once your baby is sitting independently, allow him to explore in a safe environment, and the other gross motor skills will follow.
  • Find a safe way for your baby to pull up to a standing position, and encourage him to do so.
  • Avoid equipment such as bumbo chairs, bouncers, swings, rockers etc. These do not teach your baby developmental skills, and may actually inhibit them.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Give cheerios to help develop your pincer grasp and oral motor skills.
  • To avoid choking, give them one-by-one, not a big pile at once.
  • They are dissolvable and will not cause choking.

Language Skills

  • Talk to your baby all the time. She should hear as many words as possible from the people she cares about.
  • If you use a lot of nicknames for your baby, focus on calling her by name, or at least sticking to one nickname. By 9 months of life, we like to know your baby is responding to her name.

Infant Sleep Patterns

  • If your baby is sleeping well, don't change a thing!
  • If your baby stops sleeping well, please see our guide to sleep in the first year of life for detailed recommendations.