Learn everything you need to know about your 25 week old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
By 6 months, your baby is still racking up an impressive 14 total hours of sleep a day, and if she's like 60 percent of babies her age, the vast majority of that happens at night, thankfully. The rest is broken up between two or three naps during the day. If you're having trouble getting your little one to sleep through the night, try eliminating her third nap, or cutting back on how long she naps (no longer than an hour at a time), small changes that could make her ready for longer stretches of sleep at night.
Sleeping through the night, of course, isn't static. Some babies who were sleeping through the night at 4 months might relapse a bit now. There are a number of possible reasons, but a big one might be separation anxiety, which hits hard right around 6 months. Your baby is starting to understand that you're around even when she can't see you, but she can't comprehend that you'll always come back -- a developmental combo that makes her upset when you leave her alone. Separation anxiety is a totally normal developmental stage that peaks around 10 months, and while you can't prevent it, you can ease it by playing a game during the day where you go into a nearby room and call to her, so she knows you're there, even if she can't see you. If she gets upset at night, it's OK to comfort her with pats, singing, or talking, but try not to take Baby out of the crib to cuddle her. You'll create a hard-to-break habit.
By now your baby probably eats a couple of servings of cereal a day in addition to formula or breast milk. If you haven't already, it's probably time to spice up her diet with a wider variety of veggies and fruit. To get started, first introduce mild-tasting vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and avocados, since your baby's taste buds naturally prefer sweeter flavors. Some moms are fans of first introducing more bitter veggies, such as peas and green beans, so Baby doesn't get too attached to her favorite sweet foods.
Six months is also a great time to offer some finger foods, such as small bits of bread, crackers, or Cheerios. Your biggest concern is probably choking, and actually, chances are good that your baby will have a few gagging episodes her first few times out. That's because she might not know quite what to do with a solid chunk of food, such as a Cheerio, after months sipping liquids and slurping purees. After a few weeks, she'll get the hang of it, but make sure to give her snacks that are designed for babies. Or opt for table foods that quickly turn to mush in her mouth, such as saltine crackers, and that aren't so big that she'll inadvertently rip off chunks that are too big to handle (so nix bagels and whole pieces of bread for now, even if they're soft).
Finger foods might actually help Baby handle fruit and vegetable purees. Not only will she get a chance to exercise her chewing and swallowing, so more food will go in (and stay there), but when she's double-fisting crackers she'll be less inclined to grab the spoon you're using to feed her.
For many months, you've had to do absolutely everything for your baby. So it can be tempting to jump in and take over even as she's figuring out how to do more on her own. But remember this: Your ultimate goal as a mother is to make your child so thoroughly independent that she doesn't need you. She won't really be there till she's 18 or so, but believe it or not, those first shaky steps toward independence occur at 6 months.
That makes now a great time to practice letting go. So when your baby wants to feed herself her own Peach Delight, hand her a child-size spoon and let her go for it, even though she'll make a mess. Or if she's eager to knock blocks off the exer-saucer tray instead of forming them into neat stacks, encourage her -- it's how she learns about cause and effect. Don't worry, your 6-month-old isn't ready to toddle off into the sunset quite yet. It's still important to demonstrate how to do things and offer some assistance when your baby gets frustrated. But exploring the world, repeating experiments, and making mistakes and messes is how your baby learns. Stand back, cheer her on, and remind yourself that you're helping her grow into a self-confident, independent kid.
Boost your baby's physical development by shaking a noisy toy to entice your baby to turn his head to look, then reach for it.Read More