Children's Age-by-Age Guide: 6 to 9 Months
At this stage, your little one will be able to balance in a sitting position and may even begin to crawl. You can expect her to gain just 2 to 3 ounces a week now. Around 8 months, she'll generally weigh between 14 and 18 pounds (boys will be about 1/2 lb. heavier), but her rate of growth will slow down as she becomes more interested in playing with her food than eating it. She loves to experiment with finger foods and it will get messy, but it's important to encourage self-feeding.
Mix cereal with less liquid now so it's thicker, and switch from beginner baby foods to soft, smooth mashed foods. This way your baby can practice picking up food with her fingers. Even though she may not have enough teeth to grind food, lumpier items will help her learn the up-and-down and side-to-side motions of chewing and start manipulating her tongue to guide the food. Good nibbles include ripe fruits, soft-cooked vegetables, pieces of soft-cooked pasta, and whole-grain cereals.Developmental Milestones
Six to nine months is prime time for a baby's fine motor skills development. Your baby is learning to reach for toys, pick them up, finger them, and move them from one hand to the other. He's also developing the pincer grasp -- using his thumb and forefinger to grab an object. He'll amuse himself by pushing a toy just out of reach, then trying to retrieve it.
To help him develop manual skills, give your child plenty of interesting objects to play with. Activity boards, balls, and blocks of varying sizes are fun to handle, as are objects of different textures. He'll enjoy playing with household objects too: offer him a spoon to play with while you are feeding him, a washcloth at bath time, measuring cups while you're making dinner, or a play telephone while you're making a call.
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