As a parent, you cherish your interactions with your social Six Month Old Baby, who smiles and babbles back at you but has not yet mastered the ability to move from one place to another. The feelings of attachment between you and your baby create a secure emotional bond that will help provide stability to the changing family.
The major developmental markers of a 6-month-old are social and emotional. A 6-month-old baby likes to interact with people. He or she increasingly engages in reciprocal and face-to-face play and often initiates these games. From these reciprocal interactions, your baby develops a sense of trust and self-efficacy. His or her distress is less frequent. Your baby is also starting to distinguish between strangers and those with whom he or she wants to be sociable. He or she usually prefers interacting with familiar adults. At 7 or 8 months, your baby may appear to be afraid of new people.
Your 6-month-old can sit with support and smiles or babbles with a loving adult. He or she may have a block or toy in hand. As your baby watches his or her hands, he or she can reach for objects such as cubes and grasp them with his or her fingers and thumbs. Your baby also can transfer objects between his or her hands and obtain small objects by raking with all fingers. He or she may also mouth, shake, bang, and drop toys or other objects.
Your baby’s language has moved beyond making razzing noises to single-consonant babbling. The 6-month-old often produces long strings of vocalizations in play, usually during interactions with adults. Your baby can recognize his or her own name. He or she can also stand with help and enjoys bouncing up and down in the standing position. He or she likes rocking back and forth on his or her hands and knees, in preparation for crawling forward or backward. An infant who tends to lie on his or her back, show little interest in social interaction, avoid eye contact, and smile and vocalize infrequently is indicating either developmental problems or a lack of attention from his or her parents and other caregivers. He or she may need more nurturance, increased health supervision, formal developmental assessment, or other interventions.
Over the next few months, as your baby develops an increasing repertoire of motor skills such as rolling over and crawling, parents must be vigilant for falls. The expanding world of the infant must be looked at through his or her eyes to make exploration as safe as possible. Your baby will do more sooner than you anticipate. Toys must be sturdy and have no small parts that could be swallowed or inhaled. Baby walkers should never be used at any age. To avoid possible injury, it is never too early to secure safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and install window locks and guards.
Developmental Milestones for 6 Month Old
- Vocalizes single consonants (“dada,” “baba”)
- Babbles reciprocally
- Rolls over
- Has no head lag when pulled to sit
- Sits with support
- Stands when placed and bears weight
- Grasps and mouths objects
- Shows differential recognition of parents
- Starts to self-feed
- Transfers cubes or other small objects from hand to hand
- Rakes in small objects
- Is interested in toys
- Smiles, laughs, squeals, imitates razzing noise
- Turns to sounds
- May begin to show signs of stranger anxiety
- Usually has first tooth erupt around 6 months of age
Continue to breastfeed or to use iron-fortified formula for the first year of your baby’s life. This milk will continue to be a major source of nutrition. Give an iron supplement to your baby if you are breastfeeding exclusively. Begin to introduce a cup for water or juice. Limit juice to 2 to 4 ounces per day.
When your baby is developmentally ready, introduce one new solid food at a time. Wait 1 week or more before offering each new food to see if there are any adverse reactions. Start with an iron fortified, single-grain cereal such as rice. Gradually increase the variety of foods offered, starting with puréed vegetables and fruits and then meats.
Serve solid food two or three times per day. Let your baby indicate when and how much she wants to eat. Avoid giving your baby foods that may be inhaled or cause choking (e.g., no peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs or sausages, carrot sticks, celery sticks, whole grapes, raisins, corn, whole beans, hard candy, large pieces of raw vegetables or fruit, tough meat). Always supervise your baby while she is eating.
Learn emergency procedures for choking. Talk with the health professional about giving your breastfed baby a daily supplement of vitamin D if you are vitamin D–deficient or if your baby does not receive adequate exposure to (indirect) sunlight.
Do not give your baby honey during the first year. It is a source of spores that can cause botulism in infancy.
Expect a difference in the consistency and frequency of your baby’s bowel movements when changing from breast milk to formula or introducing new foods.
Be sure that your caregiver is feeding your baby appropriately.
Promote Your Baby’s Development
- Encourage your baby’s vocalizations. Talk to her during dressing, bathing, feeding, playing, and walking.
- Read to your baby. Play music and sing to her.
- Play games such as pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, so-big.
- Provide opportunities for safe exploration.
- Continue to provide regular structure and routines for your baby to increase her sense of security.
- Establish a bedtime routine and other habits to discourage night waking.
- Encourage your baby to learn to console herself by putting her to bed awake.
- Consistently provide your baby with the same transitional object—such as a stuffed animal, blanket, or favorite toy—so that she can console herself at bedtime or in new situations.
- Encourage play with age-appropriate toys.
- Talk with the health professional about any problems your baby is having with separation anxiety.
Your Six Month Old Baby will be no longer content to be held, cuddled, and coddled, he or she will now wiggle, want to be put down, and may even crawl away. Your baby is growing on his or her own pace.