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.
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.
- 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.
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 dissolvable puffs or 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.
- 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 my guide to sleep in the first year of life for detailed recommendations.