Health and Safety 6-12 Months


Starting New Foods

  • At about 6 months you may begin to feed your baby solid foods. Atart with iron fortified cereal.
  • Introduce fruits and vegetables after your baby eats iron-fortified cereal well.
  • Introduce new foods one at a time.
  • To prevent choking only give your baby very soft, small bites of finger foods after 9 months.
  • Avoid foods that cause allergy – peanut butter, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish until 9 months. Avoid honey; babies under 1 year are at risk for botulism from spores from honey.
  • The high acid content in citrus foods and juices can cause rashes. Juices are not recommended unless prune juice is needed for constipation.
  • Foods to be avoided throughout infancy and toddlerhood since they are easily choked on include: nuts, pop-corn, hot dog rounds (okay if cut lengthwise), hard candy, whole grapes (okay if cut lengthwise).
  • At around 9 months start giving more finger foods and start offering a sippy cup.
  • Give only healthful foods.  Do not give your baby soft drinks, tea, coffee or sugar sweetened drinks.
  • Continue to breastfeed or bottle-feed until 1 year; do not change to cow’s milk.

Bed Safety

  • Lower the crib mattress all the way when your baby begins to stand.
  •  When your baby is in the crib, make sure the drop side is up.

Car Safety

  •  Have your child’s car safety seat rear-facing until your baby is at least 2 years old and weighs at least 20 pounds.

 Water Safety

  • Empty buckets, pools, and tubs right after you use them.
  • Never leave your baby alone near water or in bathwater, even in a bath seat or ring.  Always be close enough to touch your baby.

Healthy Teeth

  • Use a soft cloth or toothbrush to clean each tooth with water only as it comes in.
  • Do not give a bottle in bed.

Prevent Poisoning

  •  Do not store toxic fluids in soda cans, juice or milk bottles.
  • Lock up poisons, medicines and cleaning supplies; call Poison Help if your baby eats them at 1-800-222-1222.

Prevent Burns

  • Do not leave hot irons or hair care products plugged in.
  • Turn pot handles inward on the stove.
  • Move coffee cups away from the edges.
  • Turn your hot water heater to 110 F to avoid a scald or burn in the bath tub


  •  Avoid the use of TV, videos, and computers.

Other Ways to Keep Your Baby Safe

  • All toys should be washable, too large to swallow and non-toxic as babies tend to put everything in their mouths.
  • Watch for small beads and small parts of toys that can be swallowed.
  • Children under 4 years of age should not be given a toy with parts smaller than a ping-pong ball.
  • Close doors to rooms where your baby could be hurt, like the bathroom.
  •  Place gates on stairs.
  • Don’t leave your baby alone in the tub or high places such as the changing table, beds or sofas.
  •  Do not leave heavy or hot things on tablecloths that your baby could pull over.
  • Put barriers around space heaters, and keep electrical cords out of your baby’s reach.
  • Install openable window guards on second-story and higher and keep furniture away from windows.
  • Never have a gun in the home.  If you must have a gun, store it unloaded and locked with the ammunition locked separately from the gun.

Many of these suggestions come from the American Academy of Pediatrics 
Bright Futures Recommendations.

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