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Child's Routine Checkup, 9 to 10 Months: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Most babies at 9 to 10 months of age are exploring the world around them. Your baby is familiar with you and with people who are often around him or her. Babies at this age may show fear of strangers.

At this age, your child may pull himself or herself up to standing. He or she may wave bye-bye or play pat-a-cake or peekaboo. Your child may point with fingers and try to feed himself or herself. It is common for a child at this age to be afraid of strangers.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?


  • Keep breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.
  • If you do not breastfeed, give your child a formula with iron.
  • When your child is 9 to 12 months and eating a variety of iron-rich foods, your child can begin to drink whole cow's milk. Whole milk provides fat calories that your child needs. You can give your child low-fat milk and alternatives when he or she is 2 years old.
  • Offer healthy foods each day, such as fruits, well-cooked vegetables, low-sugar cereal, yogurt, cheese, whole grain breads, crackers, lean meat, fish, and tofu. It is okay if your child does not want to eat all of them.
  • Do not let your child eat while he or she is walking around. Make sure your child sits down to eat. Do not give your child foods that may cause choking, such as nuts, whole grapes, hard or sticky candy, or popcorn.
  • Let your baby decide how much to eat.
  • Offer water when your child is thirsty. Juice is not necessary for a healthy diet. Juice does not have the valuable fibre that whole fruit has. Many fruit drinks are just water, a little juice flavouring, and a lot of added sugar. If you must give your child juice, offer it in a cup, not a bottle. Do not give your child soda, fast food, or sweets.

Healthy habits

  • Do not put your child to bed with a bottle. This can cause tooth decay.
  • Brush your child's teeth every day with water only. Ask your doctor or dentist when it's okay to use toothpaste.
  • Take your child out for walks.
  • Put a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) on your child before he or she goes outside. Use a broad-brimmed hat to shade his or her ears, nose, and lips.
  • Shoes protect your child's feet. Be sure to have shoes that fit well.
  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around your child. Smoking around your child increases the child's risk for ear infections, asthma, colds, and pneumonia. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.


Make sure that your baby gets all the recommended childhood vaccines, which help keep your baby healthy and prevent the spread of disease.


  • For every ride in a car, secure your child into a properly installed car seat or booster seat that meets all current safety standards. Use a car seat or booster seat that is made for their weight and height. For questions about car seats and booster seats, call Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371 or visit, the Government of Canada's Child Safety webpage.
  • Have safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Learn what to do if your child is choking.
  • Keep cords out of your child's reach.
  • Watch your child at all times when he or she is near water, including pools, hot tubs, and bathtubs.
  • Keep the number for your local or provincial poison control centre on or near your phone.
  • Tell your doctor if your child spends a lot of time in a house built before 1976. The paint may have lead in it, which can be harmful.


  • Read stories to your child every day.
  • Play games, talk, and sing to your child every day. Give him or her love and attention.
  • Teach good behaviour by praising your child when he or she is being good. Use your body language, such as looking sad or taking your child out of danger, to let your child know you do not like his or her behaviour. Do not yell or spank.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You are concerned that your child is not growing or developing normally.
  • You are worried about your child's behaviour.
  • You need more information about how to care for your child, or you have questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.