6 to 9 months old

Baby Tracker 5

FEEDING YOUR BABY

  • Breastfeeding the baby even now is a good idea, as it supplies all the necessary nutrients to the baby.
  • For mothers who may need to be separated from their infants - pumping and storing of breast milk is a good idea. Consult a pediatrician for advice on expressed breast milk and type of formula/milk feed for baby.
  • Avoid bottle feeding. If not cleaned properly the feeding bottle may gather many bacteria in them and could make the baby ill. If using bottle to feed, it is very important to sterilize the feeding equipments before each feed. After every feed wash the bottle, the teat and the ring with hot and soapy water.
  • Before every feed place the bottle in a container of boiling water and leave it there for about 15 minutes.
  • For preparing a Formula feed also, you must take water which is boiled for some time and then cooled to a comfortable temperature.
  • Always try to make fresh feed each time, and do not use beyond 30 minutes of preparation
  • After 6 months of age, milk alone is not adequate for growth and development of baby. We need to supplement milk with semi solid food and introduce cereals and mashed fruits gradually. Avoid packaged food, salt, juices, junk food items.
  • Refer to the Nutrition Guide for more information.
  • Semi Solid food are to be introduced in the baby only when : 
    -  The baby attains a good control of head and neck and is able to swallow: The baby should be able to move the food to the back of the mouth and swallow it. As baby learns to swallow the food efficiently, the food dribbles less from mouth.
    -  Baby is able to sit up with support.
    -  New food should be introduced to baby one at a time.
    -  Gradually introduce a new food item once in 5-6 days.
    -  Peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, fish and shellfish should be avoided as these can cause allergies in the baby.
    -  Small objects and small food items like peas, chana, anar seeds, whole grains etc should not be given till 4 years of age as baby can choke on this.

DEVELOPMENT OF BABY

  • The baby now is able to turn head to sound of bell/rattle and transfers objects hand to hand
  • The baby responds to own name and recognizes words like daddy, mama, etc.
  • You must start calling the child by his name and give him mirror to help the baby develop a sense of identity.
  • Banging toys such as drums, pans or pots can be given at this age.
  • Place your baby in such a way, so that he/she can sit and look around.
  • Talk to your baby by making different types of sounds and also copy the sounds baby makes.
  • Read story books and also introduce the baby to music and songs.
  • Offer colorful and musical toys to hold on and play. Toys should not have sharp edges.
  • Let your baby sleep in your room but in a crib or cradle and not on the bed.
  • Buy a baby crib which does not have a drop-side rail and its slats should be less than 2.5 inches apart. Carefully follow the instructions given by the manufacturer before using the crib. Replace the crib immediately if is unstable, has any cracks/damages/ missing parts.
  • Keep only those objects in the crib which do not cause any injury to the baby like comforters & pillows. Bumper pads and toys should be kept out of the crib as they can hurt the baby.
  • Make sure he/she gets a good nap at regular intervals.
  • Baby can be put on a clean floor, on a soft mattress covered with a sheet. This will give baby freedom to move around and also help in Development.

BONDING WITH FAMILY

  • Encourage your partner and siblings to help in taking care for your baby.
  • Outings can now be planned with your friends and family.
  • Before hiring a baby sitter interview them properly and have 1-2 trial sessions where they handle the baby in your presence. A caregiver should be professionally trained, hygienic, clean, safe, loving and mature.
  • Eating with family is very important for the baby. Make meal time a bonding time. Encourage self feeding with a spoon, do not get upset if baby is messy or spills food.
  • Taking care of baby’s teeth:
    This is the right time for eruption of milk teeth. Special care has to taken during this time so that baby has healthy teeth. 
    Use soft muslin cloth to clean the gums of the baby after every meal. 
    Do not give baby bottle when you are putting him to sleep that can lead to eruption of unhealthy teeth.
    If the teeth have already erupted than clean them using soft cloth or baby toothbrush with water only.

SAFETY MEASURES

  • Your baby must be seated in a car safety seat while travelling.( the car safety seat should be preferably installed at the centre of a rear seat, facing backwards)
  • Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat of a vehicle that has an active air bag. If the air bag inflates, it can push against the car seat and cause a head injury to the baby.
  • Always keep your home, car and surroundings smoke free as it may cause suffocation to the baby.
  • Never drink and drive (neither with the baby nor without the baby) and always wear a seat belt while driving.
  • Baby should always be kept away from sharp and small objects and also from the toys of other grown up children.
  • Never eat/drink hot food / liquids near your baby or while holding your baby.
  • Your baby is too young for a baby walker, do not use it.
  • Plastic bags should be kept away from the baby as they can suffocate the baby.
  • In order to avoid accidents like burns/ scalding / drowning while bathing :
    -  Always set your water heater at a temperature lower than 120 deg F i.e. 49 deg C approximately. 
    -  Always open cold water tap first for filling the bath tub and once the required level is reached close the hot water tap first followed by the cold one.
    -  Before giving bath to the baby check the temperature of the water by inserting your own elbow / wrist first. Ideal bath water temperature for infants is approximately 90-100 degree F i.e. 32-38 degree C.
    -  Fill the baby bath tub / basin with not more than 5 inches of water and gently place your baby in a propped up position, supporting the baby's head. The water level should not rise above the baby's waist.( a child can drown in as little as one inch of water and it takes only 3 minutes or less for a baby to drown

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