If you haven’t started your baby on baby foods, you can start now. You can start with fruits and vegetables now, then introduce meats and eggs. It is okay to make your own baby foods by grinding up the foods that you eat. Be careful to avoid choking. Also, do not add extra salt or sugar to foods that you cook and offer to your baby. You can feed him three meals a day along with your meals. That will provide social interaction as well as nutrition.
Your baby should be started on fluoride drops if they are not already in the water. You may also start your baby on a glass or sipper cup. It would be okay to give him juice or water in the cup. That way he will be ready to wean at around a year of age. We don’t recommend milk in the bottle for the first year of age. If you are bottle-feeding, do not put your baby to bed with the bottle as it will promote tooth decay and poor sleep habits.
At this age, your baby should be rolling over and starting to sit. He should be bearing weight on his legs. He should be grasping things and putting them in his mouth. He should be laughing and babbling and often will do the “raspberry.” You can help his development by placing him on a blanket on the floor and encouraging him to roll, sit up and explore.
Your baby may not want to be put in bed. A favorite blanket or stuffed animal may make it easier for him. Try to develop a nighttime routine of holding him, reading or singing to him, placing him in bed and giving him a goodnight kiss. A bath at bedtime might also relax him and help him calm down. Use the same routine every night. Be calm and consistent.
An infant may start teething as early as four months of age, but generally between six and eight months of age. He may not start teething until after 12 months of age. You may not know when he is teething except that he may be a little extra fussy. He may also be a little congested and have a low-grade fever. A true fever greater than 101 degrees is not due to teething and should not be ignored. Tylenol or ibuprofen will help the discomfort due to teething. A cold teething ring is also helpful to numb the gums where the teeth are coming through.
- Keep the crib sides up to prevent falls.
- Keep small toys and objects off the floor that can lead to choking. This may be even more important when visiting friends or relatives.
- Keep your infant away from stoves, hot drinks, and fireplaces to prevent burns.
- Be extra cautious to prevent curling iron burns by keeping the cord of the curling iron out of reach when it is hot.
- Do not place your infant in a walker that he can push or move.
- Keep him in a car seat in the back seat and facing backwards. Experts now recommended this position until two years of age.
- Be careful to keep poisons, knives, electrical cords or other dangerous items out of reach. Your infant will become very active and can easily get into trouble!
Your baby will need more immunizations. They may be given in combination.
- DTaP – This immunization protects your baby against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis, or Whooping Cough.
- PREVNAR – This is a vaccine that protects against certain diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria. It protects the infant from meningitis, bacteremia (bacteria in the bloodstream) and to a lesser extent, ear infections.
- IPV – This vaccine prevents paralytic poliomyelitis. It is an inactivated vaccine.
- HEPATITIS B – This vaccine may be given at either the 6 or nine month visit.
- HIB – This vaccine protects against Hemophilus Influenza Type B, a common cause of meningitis and other life-threatening diseases.
- RotaTeq – This is an oral vaccine that protects against a serious diarrhea disease caused by rotavirus.
CALL OUR OFFICE IF:
- Your child has a reaction other than a low-grade fever less than 101 or mild irritability.
- Your child gets a fever that lasts longer than 48 hours.