Your baby’s health 9-12 months

Potential health issues you should be looking out for when your baby is aged 9-12 months

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At nine months

  • A snuffly nose and lots of sneezing are very common at this stage. If you don’t think your baby has a cold, the irritation is probably due to dry air, smoke or dust. A humidifier might help, or you could ask a chemist for salt water drops if your baby’s nose seems to be really blocked.
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  • Your baby is probably cutting lots of teeth right now, and her little face may be red and raw from drooling. Extra saliva seems to soothe sore gums, which is probably why she’s producing so much of it at the moment. Buy her a teething ring to chew on, and use moisturising cream if her cheeks and face are dry.
  • Daytime sleep has probably reduced to around two hours now, either in one nap around the middle of the day or in two shorter naps morning and evening. Remember that less daytime sleep means your baby will need more sleep at night: the average amount of sleep at this age is 14-15 hours in 24.

At ten months

  • Your tot may be standing and pulling himself onto his feet more now, but podiatrists suggest you don’t rush out to buy shoes just yet. Bare feet help build a baby’s arches and strengthen ankles, so there’s no need for shoes until he’s walking properly outside. If his feet are cold and you feel he needs something thicker than socks, stick to baby shoes that stay on, and are made of flexible material and have non-slip soles (soft leather ones are best).
  • A 2003 survey found 25% of UK parents were giving cow’s milk to babies under a year old: but official advice is to give only breast, formula or follow-on milk as a drink between six months and a year. It’s fine to mix cow’s milk with food, but giving it as a drink too early means your baby may go short of iron, as cow’s milk is low in iron.
  • Breastfed babies may benefit from extra vitamins and iron, so if you’re breastfeeding talk to your health visitor or GP about possibly giving your tot a supplement. It’s not uncommon for babies this age to be ‘borderline anaemic’ without showing any symptoms. However, signs to look for include your child being pale, tired, listless or prone to infection.

At eleven months

  • Now she’s on the move, her weight gain may start to slow down. Don’t worry – she’s just burning calories faster and building up muscle rather than fat, which is good. Try not to worry about how much she is eating, especially if she’s occasionally feeding herself. Provide healthy food with plenty of choice.
  • Just because she can sit up confidently, never be tempted to leave the room when she’s in the bath. She isn’t old enough to get herself up if she falls, and babies and young children can drown in as little as two inches of water.
  • Research shows it’s very important to shield your baby from tobacco smoke. Passive smoking is responsible for 17,000 child admissions to hospital every year in the UK, and can cause middle-ear infections and lower-tract respiratory infections.

At twelve months

  • He’ll be offered his MMR jab at between 12 and 18 months. Click here for more information about injections
  • If he’s had two or more ear infections, talk to your GP about whether your child has a tendency to get these, what you can do about it and whether his hearing might be affected. Ear infections are more common among boys, and research suggests that the younger a baby is when he has his first ear infection, the more likely he is to get them again.
  • You may find him becoming fussy in his eating habits. Try to encourage healthy habits by sitting at the table together. Avoid giving shop-bought snacks and only give diluted juice during mealtimes – offer water or milk at other times.

For more information, visit www.netdoctor.co.uk/

Click here for info on baby’s health checks 4-5 months

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Click here for info on baby’s health checks6-9 months 

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