Your Nine to Twelve Month Old
Your baby is quite the talker at this age. She has learned to imitate words and the actions of others. Now is a good time to teach her the names of objects and the people in her life.
Feeding Your Baby
Over the next few months, the amount of breast milk or formula your baby drinks will decrease. Gradually decrease the number of times you breastfeed or bottle feed each day. Offer more table foods and less baby foods. Supervise your baby during mealtimes to avoid choking.
Breast-fed babies need to nurse every four or five hours. Formula-fed babies need 32 ounces a day at nine months of age. But they only need 24 ounces of formula a day by one year of age.
Caring for Your Baby
- Put a safety mat in the bottom of your tub to prevent slips and falls
- Don’t leave your baby alone in the tub or the bathroom. The toilet, cabinets and faucets can be dangerous
- Sometimes new foods can cause rashes. Call your healthcare provider with questions
- Protect your baby from the sun
- Dress your baby in loose fitting clothes
Mouth and Dental Care
- Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. If your baby must have a bottle at night, give her only water
- Start to teach your baby to brush her teeth on her own
Sometimes babies this age wake up during the night. She may:
- Be frustrated
- Be cold, hot or in the wrong position
- Want to play
- Want to know that you are close by
Check on your baby if she cries for more than a few minutes. She may just need to know you are near.
Your baby will visit the doctor at this age for a checkup and shots (immunizations). Be sure to describe all of the new things your baby is doing. Ask any questions you may have. If your child does not have health insurance, visit the Child Health Insurance portion of this website for more information on North Carolina’s publicly-funded health insurance programs.
Your Baby’s Development
There are lots of activities you can do with your baby to help your baby grow and develop. See How We Grow – Baby’s First Year can give you specific ways you can help your baby learn to trust, feel comfortable, communicate and become aware of how his or her body moves. (If the link above downloads too slowly, try the plain text version.)
Your Baby’s Safety
- Your baby should be in a rear-facing approved infant or convertible car safety seat for at least one year. Your baby should be in a rear-facing infant or convertible car safety seat for at least one year.
- He/she should continue to ride rear facing as long as possible, up to two years old or more depending on your child’s size. Always check the height and weight restrictions on your seat to make sure your child is riding safely. Click here for more information.
- Check your smoke detector batteries every month
- Put all chemicals, cleaning supplies and toiletries out of the baby’s reach
- Cover all electrical outlets with safety covers if you haven’t done this already
- Use gates at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent dangerous falls
- Keep your baby away from secondhand smoke. (For tips on how to deal with secondhand smoke, download Oh Baby! We want to keep you safe from secondhand smoke. If the piece downloads too slowly, try the plain text version)
Visit the Safety tips page for more valuable information on keeping your baby safe.
As your baby begins to eat table foods, be sure that the food is soft and cut into small, bite-sized pieces. Encourage your baby to feed himself using his fingers.
- Chunks of meat or cheese
- Hard vegetables
- Hard or sticky candy
- Chunks of peanut butter
- Whole grapes
How to Prevent Choking
The most important thing any parent or caregiver can do to prevent a child
from choking is to supervise meals and snacks.
- Avoid giving babies foods that could block their airway (throat) if swallowed whole
- Children should be sitting down while eating. Running around and playing when they have food in their mouth can be dangerous
- Keep an eye on older brothers and sisters who might try to feed a younger child large pieces of food or hand them tiny objects that can be swallowed
If your baby is choking, call 911 and follow their instructions
For training on how to deal with choking or if breathing stops, contact your local hospital or Red Cross agency for class dates and costs.