By six to nine months your baby is very active and very social, with a wide range of skills and an engaging personality.
From six months, most babies will be having 4 milk feeds and may be ready to start solids. Solids provide your baby with the extra nutrition they need, as well as the practice in chewing.
Start with one meal a day at six months and increase to 3 meals a day by 9 months.
- Progress to 1/2 – 1 cup per meal.
- Offer before or after milk feed.
- Give 2 courses at each meal by nine months.
- Offer some finger food as well.
- By nine months food should no longer be blended, but mashed with a fork or finely chopped, so it’s coarse or lumpy. This helps develop jaw muscles in preparation for speaking
Try giving baby a two handled cup with a spout, with cooled boiled water or half water/half juice.
- From six months, most babies sleep about 10 hours at night — but they still need two day sleeps of 11/2 – 2 hours (13 – 15 hours sleep in 24 hours).
- Make sure you have a bedtime settling routine firmly established, e.g. quiet playtime, cuddle and song.
- If baby starts waking during the night for feeds, try giving him more solids at each meal during the day.
A typical day – around eight-nine months
- 6am Breast/bottle feed (180-240 ml)
- 6.30am Short sleep or play
- 8am Breakfast e.g. mixed cereal, fruit and yoghurt, toast fingers
- 8.30am Breast/bottle feed
- 9 – 11am Settle and sleep
- 11am Water/diluted juice and a play
- 12 noon Lunch: e.g. pasta/rice and vegetables or cottage cheese and fruit pieces of soft raw fruit or cheese sticks
- 12.30pm Breast/bottle feed
- 1 – 1.30pm Play
- 1.30 – 3.30pm Settle and sleep
- 3.30pm Water or diluted juice and a play
- 5pm Dinner: e.g. chopped chicken/ fish/casserole/meat or fish patties with mashed vegetables, followed by custard and fruit
- 6pm Bath
- 7pm Breast/bottle feed
- 7.30pm Bedtime (settling routine)
- 8pm – 6am Sleep (10 hours)
Between six to nine months, baby is eager to get moving, and develops many physical skills:
- Rolling from their tummy to their back (and possibly back again).
- Discovering their feet.
- Pushing up on their hands to a lion pose, and pivoting to reach out for toys.
- Rocking on all fours, then progressing to crawling.
- Transferring objects from one hand to another.
Choose toys with different textures, shapes and colours:
- Hard plastic musical balls that roll along the floor.
- Large soft balls (which baby can squeeze) with bells inside.
- Coloured wooden blocks.
- Ideas for play at home
- Give baby some unbreakable items from the kitchen cupboard to play with: e.g. wooden spoons, saucepans, plastic containers, mashers.
- Scrunched up cellophane in a net bag (from the fruit shop).
- A mirror on the floor (make sure it’s secure).
- Fill a plastic container with rice or pasta for baby to shake.
- Play “Peek-a-Boo”, where you hide your face and then surprise baby.
- Sing nursery rhymes.
- Rotate baby’s toys — put some away for a few weeks then bring them out for a change.
- Baby walkers (which you sit baby in) are not recommended for safety reasons.
- Safety is very important as your child becomes more mobile.