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You can already
tell a lot about your baby's temperament—shy, bold, cautious, talkative and so
on. Of course, her experience—how she's nurtured, if she's encouraged, made to
feel safe, given lots of room to master new skills—has a lot to do with how her
personality unfolds. But her general orientation to the world is probably
pretty clear by now. That's so neat, because as a parent you get to know this
human being and help her grow into the unique little person she is.
little kids are naturally cautious of new things, so try not to take your
baby's rumpled nose or the rejection of food as a sign of anything other than
this simple fact. Parents are too quick to declare a baby doesn't like a
certain food, but with repetition this usually turns around. Don't stop
exposing your baby to squash, peas or any other food because she doesn't
initially eat it. Wait a few days and try again—without a big emotional
reaction one way or the other. If it still doesn't work, shelve that food and
try again in a few weeks. Acquiring food tastes is an evolution and your job is
to keep exposing your baby to a wide variety of flavors and textures. It's his
job to decide how much of it to partake of at any given feeding.
Last month we
listed a host of foods your baby might be nibbling. Here are more to try:
Your baby is
probably down to 2 naps a day, each about 1–2 hours, while he gets between 11–12
hours of nightly sleep. Good sleep is an important part of overall health and
development. When babies sleep, the information they learned in waking hours is
processed, memories are strengthened and emotions are balanced, says sleep book
author and consultant Heather Turgeon. If your baby can't self-soothe to sleep
at bedtime, is waking many times a night, his sleep has regressed, or you're
still feeling as though the family is exhausted, it's a good time to get a
sleep consultation or find a sleep book whose methods sound right to you.
A sample sleep schedule
for a 9-month-old:
Wake time: 6:30 a.m.
Nap 1: 9:00 a.m.
Nap 2: 2:00 p.m.
Bedtime: 7:00 p.m.
If your baby
seems shy with new people or in groups, think of it as a good thing. It's
natural (and advantageous) to be cautious around new people, sudden sounds, or
different stimuli in the environment. Seeing these responses in your baby means
she has a healthy awareness of what she knows and what's unfamiliar. Respect
her slow-to-warm process and think of your job as simply being to expand her
comfort zone a bit at a time. That means if she's uncomfortable at a play group
or music class, sit on the ground yourself and let her sit in your lap as long
as she'd like. Help her find an interesting toy. One day you might notice she
crawls away on her own once she's comfortable.
Your mover might
know how toget into and out of a crawl
position, and evenreturn to a
sitting positionfrom here.
Your baby maypull to a standand cruise on the
Fine motor skillsare improving, so your baby can pick up
a small object and manipulate it.
Babblinglanguage is getting more complex, and
you could soon hear "mama" or "dada."