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Formerly the Welcome Baby Newsletter
Have you noticed your baby gearing up to bust out some game-changing moves? This featured article takes a look at how you can help your baby make the transition from crawling to walking.
Month 9 Milestones
Between nine and 10 months, your baby:
can look for a dropped object
may move from stomach into a sitting position
may stand holding onto someone or something
Getting Ready to Walk
Whatever your baby is doing this month – whether it’s pulling up and trying to stand with support, standing alone, or cruising along with support from chairs and her parents’ legs – she’s following the developmental steps that come before walking.
All children learn at their own pace. Some babies don’t pull themselves up to a standing position until after their first birthday, while others begin at 5 months. Most children fall somewhere in between. Heavier babies may have more trouble with pulling up and standing since they have more weight to support.
It’s important that you give your baby the freedom to develop according to his own timetable. Pushing a baby to walk before he’s ready won’t speed his progress and may slow it, especially if he develops a fear of falling. Of course, a baby who is cooped up in a stroller or a swing for much of the day won’t get the practice needed to develop her leg muscles. Letting her pull up to stand in your lap will help her develop the muscles she needs to stand independently.
You can also give your baby opportunities to practice cruising in bare feet (which will help him balance) by setting up chairs for him to hold on to as he tries to reach for a toy in that last chair.
For some parents, their baby’s mobility brings feelings of loss. The tiny infant who depended on them for every need may now seem entirely too independent. Yet, as you’ll soon find out, toddlers require constant attention from parents and caregivers. Within seconds, a baby can move from safety to danger.
If your baby shows no signs of interest in cruising or standing, she’s probably focusing on other skills, such as language. However, if you feel there may be a problem with your child’s development, it’s a good idea to talk over your concerns with your baby’s health care provider.
Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of the Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension.
Isn't it exciting to watch your baby learning to walk and engage the world in new ways? That increased mobility and curiosity, however, can also mean increased vulnerability - sometimes to everyday things that didn't seem worrisome just a month or two ago. This featured article offers some tips for keeping your baby safe while still encouraging independence and exploration.
Keeping Baby Safe: Wet Floors, Poisons and Gasoline
Around nine months, most babies enter a new and challenging stage of motor development. As T. Berry Brazelton puts in in his book Touchpoints, “With a baby so driven to move around, everything – feeding, sleeping and diapering – will be different. New issues of safety, discipline and anxiety pop up daily….”
For instance, with a baby who spends so much time on the floor, you may be worried that your floors aren’t “clean enough to eat off.”
According to the authors of What to Expect The First Year (Workman, 1989), there’s no reason to obsess. Although there are germs on the floor, your baby’s probably already been exposed to them, and as long as the floor is dry, bacteria won’t multiply.
Wet floors, however, are another story. Moisture greatly speeds the growth of bacteria, making damp floors, as well as any foods your baby may have mouthed then dropped, dangerous.
To be on the safe side:
Don’t let your baby eat food that’s been dropped in the bathroom, in puddles, or on other damp surfaces.
Throw away a cracker or bagel that she’s gnawed on but not finished.
Outdoors, replace or rinse any food, bottle, pacifier, or toy that’s fallen into the street. Keep a water bottle in your diaper bag for these unexpected clean ups, and keep extra pacifiers or bottles just in case.
Muddy puddles can be a source of harmful bacteria so keep your baby and his toys away from them.
While a mouthful of dirt or sand probably won’t hurt your baby, even a lick of some cleaning products can. To help you remember how dangerous cleaning products are, put “poison” stickers on all potentially dangerous containers (or mark them with an X of black tape). Keep these items in a locked cabinet, even though your baby is just beginning to move around.
Poisons include alcoholic beverages, chlorine bleach, furniture polish, kerosene, weed killers, lye, nail polish and remover, mothballs, over-the- counter medicines and vitamins, all prescription drugs, cosmetics, dishwashing liquids, powders and other detergents, boric acid, and drain cleaners. Never put poisonous substances in an empty food or beverage container.
Keep the 24-hour, toll-free number of Poison Control, near your telephone and another copy with you at all time: (800) 876-4766. They will instruct you of what to do in an emergency.
Never keep gasoline, even in an approved container, in your house or attached garage or storage room. Toddlers have suffered fatal burns when gas fumes were ignited by the pilot light on a nearby gas dryer, furnace or hot water heater.
Community Resource: Poison Control Hotline
Hair color, window spray, vitamins – dangerous? Could be. Small children are especially vulnerable to poisoning by common household products if accidentally swallowed, overused, splashed in eyes, or spilled on bare skin.
The Help Line’s medical staff can give treatment advice or answer questions on any poisoning topic, from food poisoning and allergic reactions to bug bites, household chemicals, toxic plants, and more. Available 24/7, 365 days a year. Language interpreters are always available.