Your nine-month-old is on the precipice of toddler-hood! As soon as she is on the move, she walks herself right out of being an infant and into the next stage. If she’s not walking yet, hold that baby a little tighter and get ready for her world to open up wide.
It’s been three months since the last well-visit and the changes just don’t stop. The appointment itself will not be much different from the six month visit, but the doctor will want to know about all the changes you are seeing at home and give you tips on what’s coming next.
Your Baby’s 9 Month Check-up
What to Expect at Baby’s 9 Month Doctor Visit
You are familiar by now with the head, weight and height measurements that are taken, and you will likely continue to be interested in which percentile your little one lands. The same physical exam is given to monitor physical growth and assess anything that might be out of the ordinary.
Nine month milestones typically include:
- A growing awareness of strangers and corresponding signs of separation anxiety
- An understanding of the word “no”
- Recognition of her name
- Recognition of commonly used words, objects and familiar people
- Mimicking facial expression and gestures
- Pointing at things with fingers
- Using more sounds in babbling
- Looking for things when she sees you hide them
- Playing peek-a-boo
- Exploring items with hands and mouth
- Moving things easily from one hand to the other
- Picking up small items, like cereal, between thumb and index finger
- Waving “bye-bye”
- Moving from one place to another by crawling, creeping or scooting
- Sitting without support
- Leaning towards and reaching for toys
- Beginning to pull self up to stand
- Standing while holding on and moving around furniture
- Standing unassisted
- Walking or taking halting steps
There are no scheduled immunizations for the nine month check-up if you have been keeping to a regular immunization schedule. But your child may need to catch up on any missed vaccinations. Additionally, your doctor may suggest the flu shot during flu season.
Questions to Ask the Doctor
- When should I introduce finger foods?
- As I am introducing new foods, what do I do with a picky eater?
- With Baby on the move, how much do I baby-proof the house?
- What are common side effects to any vaccinations given?
- How do I solve sleep problems?
What’s Next for Your Baby’s Well-visit Schedule
You may well have a walker on your hands when you visit the doctor for the twelve month appointment. But don’t worry if it doesn’t happen in that time frame. Baby’s typically walk between nine and twelve months, but it is not unusual for them to wait until 16 or 17 months.
Your child will receive the Hib, pneumococcal, varicella (chicken pox), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and hepatitis A vaccines at the twelve month appointment. If she hasn’t had the third doses of hepatitis B and polio, those will be given as well.
Schedule the next well-visit appointment before you leave the doctor’s office. Your growing peanut will be a one-year-old before you know it!
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Annie Wiesman is the co-author of “Education Begins at Birth: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers for Kindergarten.” She is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom who enjoys traveling, hiking in the mountains, and creating memories together with her husband and little girl.