Learn everything you need to know about your 6 month old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Halfway to the first birthday! Six months marks a turning point: Your little one is transitioning from an infant to an older baby. And nowhere is that more evident than in his burgeoning physical abilities. Your baby is a master sitter now, perfecting his once-precarious balance so he can hang out hands-free without relying on his arms for extra stability. He's even figured out how to twist and turn from a seated position, grabbing for things he spies that are just out of reach. Picking things up is easier now than ever. He's wonderful at grabbing and holding onto large objects, but he's also developing the fine motor skills that enable him to pick up tiny things, too -- such as that Cheerio that got lost amid the dust bunnies under the couch.
Wanting to grab onto everything he sees -- a byproduct of his acute vision and his growing curiosity about his surroundings -- might be just the thing that propels him into crawling in the next month or two. But crawling is relative. For some babies it's more of a creep, a belly-down army crawl, or a shuffle. And while the average start date for crawling is between 6 and 7 months of age, it can vary a lot. Some babies skip crawling altogether and move straight into pulling up, cruising, and walking. So if your little one's still content to check things out from his seated position, simply watch and wait. Chances are, he'll be mobile before you know it. (Note to self: Finish babyproofing the house, including the stairs.)
Expanding his solid food skills is top priority for your baby now. By starting his repertoire of purees with mild-tasting veggies, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, you'll up the chances of introducing him to foods he'll enjoy and pave the way for more bitter veggies, such as peas and green beans. Babies are programmed to love sweet flavors -- not unlike their parents -- so don't be surprised if he turns up his nose at certain foods the first few times. According to some research, it can take up to 20 exposures before babies and children accept new foods, so keep trying, introducing more exotic foods as you go. It's also prime time to let your baby practice his pincer grasp with a few finger foods. Focus on avoiding choking hazards by giving either baby-friendly finger foods specially designed for 6-month-olds, or soft, easy-to-dissolve grown-up foods. Some winners: bite-size pieces of bread, soft crackers, slices of cooked carrot, or bits of banana. Since babies are better at grabbing handfuls than selecting a single bite-size piece, you might want to dole out the Cheerios one at a time.
Now that your baby is on the move, he might also be more prone to injuries. Keep supplies on hand for treating them, including tough-to-remove adhesive bandages and baby-friendly ice packs. Falls, bumps, and bruises are normal for a 6-month-old, but if you're worried about a serious injury, call your pediatrician.
Your baby's major emotional hurdle these days is separation anxiety -- a normal developmental stage that nevertheless makes going about your business a little more difficult these days. You leave the house; Baby cries. You go to the bathroom; Baby cries. As tough as it can be to feel like your 6-month-old is inconsolable when he lets you out of his sight for even a minute, comfort yourself that this is merely a sign that he's well-bonded to you. So well-bonded, in fact, that he might even decide that he prefers you over Dad -- to the point that he won't let Dad tuck him in at night or read him his favorite story.
With a clingy baby who refuses help from anyone but you, the thought of "me time" can seem a little far-fetched right now. But just as your baby starts to demand more of your time, it's vital that you take a break now and then. Hopefully your baby is sleeping a little more soundly at night and naptime these days, leaving you with at least one or two chunks of time to do your own thing. Read a book, call up a gal pal, surf Facebook -- and reconnect with your prebaby self. You'll come back to your little one feeling re-energized and ready to keep up with your demanding little one.
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