Movin’ and Shakin’! If your baby has not already mastered crawling, then he is probably making a very good attempt. She should be sitting on her own, and even attempting to stand while holding on. Please put the finishing touches on any childproofing that needs to be done. In fact, take a moment to crawl around the floor and see what might be interesting to your baby at her height. Make sure all the gates are secure at the stairwells (they should be bolted to the wall in stairways rather than pressure gates): don’t forget the bottom of the stairs!
If you aren’t sure if you have been hearing “mama” and “dada”, that should become more clear at this age. There is lots of babbling, and you may notice your baby trying to imitate some of the sounds you make. Stay engaged and continue to read and sing.
Even the most social of babies may start to show a little anxiety when faced with unfamiliar individuals or situations. This is a normal reaction from well loved and secure babies. Some extra cuddling and reassurance will go a long way.
Everything goes into your baby’s mouth at this age. Now, more than ever, it is important to watch for small pieces that may be on the floor. This is especially important for parents with older children who are playing with games and other small items. Other potential hazards for baby are household chemicals. Please move or lock away any dangerous substances. For any ingestions, questions, or concerns, please call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
Your baby’s palate is expanding, and he may demand to hold the spoon himself (rather than being fed). Although it is a messy affair, go with it! Meal times should be fun and adventurous. As long as food is cut up in small squares or triangles, your baby can try a multitude of different foods. For more specific questions about allergies and food introduction, ask your doctor.
Continue to set limits at this age. It is appropriate to use the word “no” or “gentle”, as well as distraction, and removal of objects from your baby’s hand. It is NEVER appropriate to spank or hit. If your own “limits” are being tested by your little one, please put them in her crib for a minute or two while you collect yourself. Everyone needs a time out, even parents.