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Well Child Visit at 9 Months
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A well child visit is when your child sees a healthcare provider to prevent health problems. It is a different type of visit than when your child sees a healthcare provider because he is sick. Well child visits are used to track your child's growth and development. It is also a time for you to ask questions and to get information on how to keep your child safe. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them. Your child should have regular well child visits from birth to 17 years.
Where to take your child for well child visits:
It is best to find a medical home for your child. A medical home is a doctor's office or clinic where your child sees the same healthcare providers every time. A medical home will also keep your child's health records. The healthcare providers will get to know your child and your family so they can give him the best care. They will also make sure he receives vaccines on the recommended immunization schedule to protect him from diseases.
What happens during a well child visit at 9 months:
Your baby's healthcare provider may do the following:
- Chart your baby's head growth, and check his head shape and fontanelles (soft spots)
- Check your baby's vision and hearing
- Ask how often your baby breastfeeds or drinks formula
- Chart your baby's weight and height
- Ask how well your baby sleeps, and review safe ways to lay him on his back to sleep
- Check your baby's teeth or tell you to take him to a dentist, and teach you how to clean your baby's teeth or gums
- Talk to you about how to handle teething and pacifier use
- Tell you never to put your baby in a walker because they are not safe for babies, and tell you to limit bouncer chair or swing time
- Help you decide what kind of solid food you can give your baby, and talk to you about letting your child feed himself
- Ask how often your baby urinates and has bowel movements
- Ask about your baby's behavior and who takes care of him
- Ask how long your baby cries, and help you find safe ways to handle the crying or comfort him
- Remind you never to shake a baby if he will not stop crying
- Review home safety and childproofing, and water safety, such as not leaving your child alone in the tub
- Make sure you are using a rear-facing child safety seat in every car, and that it is installed properly in the back seat
- Talk to you about putting sunscreen on your baby to prevent skin cancer
- Ask how often you read to your baby, and remind you to read to your baby regularly
- Give your baby any vaccines he needs (hepatitis B and polio), and any catch-up doses of previous vaccines
Milestones of development your baby may reach by 9 months:
Each baby develops at his own pace. Your baby might have already reached the following milestones, or he may reach them later:
- Say mama and dada
- Pull himself up by holding onto furniture or people
- Walk along furniture
- Understand the word no, and respond when someone says his name
- Sit without support
- Use his thumb and pointer finger to grasp an object, and then throw the object
- Wave goodbye
- Play peek-a-boo
What you need to know about your baby's next well child visit:
Your baby's healthcare provider will tell you when to bring him in again. The next well child visit is usually at 12 months. Contact your baby's healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about his health or care before the next visit. Your baby may get the following vaccines at his next visit: hepatitis B, hepatitis A, HiB, pneumococcal, polio, flu, MMR, and chickenpox. He may get a catch-up dose of DTaP. Remember to take your child in for a yearly flu shot.
Changes that may happen before the next well child visit:
- Your baby's healthcare provider may review the importance of breastfeeding for the first year of your baby's life. Talk to him about any problems with or concerns about breastfeeding. Also talk to him before you give your baby formula. He can help you choose a formula that contains iron. He may recommend that you breastfeed for a certain period of time before you offer your child a bottle or pacifier.
- Your baby may start walking with one of his hands held, or take a few steps on his own. He may be able to stand for short periods without help.
- Your baby may start repeating words he hears or telling you the name of objects he knows.
- Play time may start including playing with others.
- Your baby may start to pick up objects with his fingers, including pieces of food he feeds himself. Ask your healthcare provider about new foods you can offer to your child. Do not give your child foods that can cause choking. Examples include hotdogs, raw vegetables, nuts, and whole grapes. Children younger than 4 years should not eat these foods.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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