Six Months Old

DEVELOPMENT

-Your baby is now able to sit with support and will develop over the next one to two months the ability to sit by him/herself.

-Your baby is now able to reach with one hand and will transfer objects between hands. He/she will begin to use his hand to rake objects.

- Your baby may roll over at this point, although this is largely dependent on his/her desire. Your baby will grab at his/her feet, maybe putting them in their mouth. Your baby will like to support his/her whole weight on their legs.

-As physical coordination improves,  your baby will discover parts of the body that your baby never knew existed. Your baby will poke and pull various body parts as they discover new sensations.

- Your baby will begin to reach for books, often putting them in his/her mouth.  Your baby will prefer books with pictures especially books of faces. Your baby will want to sit comfortably in your lap, holding his/her head steadily, even  beginning to turn the pages of the book with your help.

-Your baby is increasingly vocal,  expressing a greater variety of sounds, including squealing and razzing. Over the next few months, your baby will begin to babble with consonant sounds.

- Your baby will begin to actively imitate sounds of speech, using his voice to express joy and pleasure.

Your baby is much more aware of sounds and will respond to his/her own name.  Your baby can tell emotions by tone of voice and will begin to respond to "no".

- Your baby is beginning to look for toys that he/she has dropped and will attempt to recover them. This is called object permanence; when your baby will look for objects that are now out of sight. Your baby may begin to develop special relationships, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Your baby may begin to show similar relationships with his parents and close family members.

-You may find that the development of object permanence will affect sleeping patterns. Your baby may begin to resist being put to bed by him/herself as your baby is more cognizant of the important people in his life and does not wish to be separated. Regular bedtimes and routines, and the introduction of a favorite blanket (preferably cotton) or stuffed animal (a smaller one, not one too large, so as not to smother him/her) may help your baby return to his previous sleeping routine.

- Your baby may develop anxiety to strangers, including those he sees on an infrequent basis, such as grandparents. If you must leave your baby with another caretaker, you should not sneak away from your baby to prevent your baby from crying. Your baby is beginning to develop the sense that you are permanent and will return.

-Play becomes an increasingly important part of your baby's life. Your baby enjoys social play, responding to other people's expressions of emotions and often is very happy.

-A mirror is another source of endless fascination for babies at this age. The reflected image is constantly changing and, even more important, it responds directly to your baby's own movements. This is his clue that the person in the mirror is actually him/herself.

-Your baby will develop cause and effect, banging objects on tables or dropping objects on the floor. This will start a chain of reaction from the audience, including funny faces, groans and other reactions.

Before long, your baby will drop things intentionally to see you pick them up. This is an important way for your baby to learn about cause and effect and his own ability to influence his environment.

- Your baby is beginning to explore objects with hands and feet, as your baby struggles to get objects that are out of reach.

-Your baby will become more assertive and attentive to the world outside. Your baby will be eager to reach and touch everything he/she sees. If your baby can not manage on his/her own, the baby will demand your help by yelling or banging.

- Full color vision comes and you may notice that your baby may prefer red or blue to other colors. Only now can your baby distinguish subtle shades of reds, blues or yellows.

- Your baby can track moving objects more efficiently, watching a ball or toy roll across the floor rapidly.

-Your baby may begin teething. If your baby is  cranky, you may massage the gums, rub the gums with Oragel, give your baby a cool compress on which to munch, or use  Infant Tylenol.


DIET

- Your baby should be progressing through a variety of food groups. Food is a wonderful way to explore new tastes and textures, in addition to providing nutrition. Table foods such as rice, pasta, yogurt, cottage cheese and soups offer your baby new sensations and ways to explore his/her environment. Read all food labels carefully, some brands and food contain unnecessary fillers with no nutritional value. 

- Soups and stews are excellent ways to introduce vegetables, meats, beans and potatoes. Initially, you should puree the soup or stew, until your baby is able to handle more texture to his foods. Simple spices, such as cinnamon, garlic, basil and oregano, are fun and interesting ways to offer your baby new tastes.

-Children at this age are often orally fixated. If your baby is reluctant to try new tastes and textures, you may offer these new foods with familiar ones to coax him/her into trying something different.

-Some children like to have something to put into their mouths. If you want to offer your baby something on which he/she can chew, make sure that he/she cannot bite a piece off and choke. An adult should always be present when your baby is eating. Infants should not be placed in a crib with bottles. This is because of the potential for tooth decay and ear infections.

-Do not offer your baby honey or corn syrup until after 12 months of age.

-You may offer your baby a broad variety of different spices and textures as he/she tolerates, initially, beginning with pureed foods and gradually increasing textures. It is a great way for your baby to explore and broaden the palate.


SAFETY

-Your baby may use sunscreen. You should use only sunscreen that is approved for infants, six months of age and older. It should have UV-A and UV- B protection of SPF-30 or higher. Sunscreen must be applied 15 to 30 minutes prior to going outside in order to be effective. When trying a new sunscreen, place a small portion on his leg to check for a reaction to the sunscreen.

-Sunburns can occur even in the shade and on cloudy days. Burns on infants and children lead to a greater risk of skin cancer and should be diligently prevented.