Your baby's curiosity will pique during his sixth month as he learns he can grasp onto what interests him. Here's what you need to know about 6 month baby milestones.
6 Month Baby Milestone
Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong
| Credit: Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong

Ready, set, explore! Six-month-old babies are motivated to move, even if they can't get very far yet. "They're now trying to venture a little more into the environment and into the world, and there's an increased intensity," says Thomas M. Seman, M.D., a pediatrician and president of North Shore Pediatrics in the Boston area. "There's also a lot more interacting, so your baby is grabbing objects and moving them from hand to hand."

What to Expect in the Sixth Month

"The most remarkable change is that during the sixth month, babies are moving out into the world around them," says Thomas Odinak, M.D., a pediatrician at Pediatric Healthcare Associates in Fairfield, Connecticut. Babies often roll from one place to another, and they’re probably able to sit unsupported for brief moments.

Don't worry if your baby doesn’t crawl yet, though. "Crawling is a complex skill. Some babies belly-crawl; others are content to roll or pivot. Eventually, they will be able to crawl, even if they walk first," Dr. Odinak says.

Before now, your baby tended to put everything in her mouth—in part because of the density of nerves there—but she'll now start to use her hands to explore objects by touch. "He uses a raking grasp to pull objects closer and can hold toys and move them from one hand to another,” says Dr. Odinak. “He will delight in gazing at mirrors, babbling, and examining objects. But most important, he'll begin to observe how his actions cause reactions."

How to Help Baby Development

Take advantage of your baby's increasingly busy hands and boost her fine motor development with soft balls and toys that have hand-holds. Let her explore a basket full of baby-friendly toys with different textures, including ones that squeak or make other noises, to help her sensory development. Try placing an interesting object tantalizingly out of reach to motivate your baby to scoot or belly-crawl toward it.

Tell your doctor if your baby is still struggling to roll over or push up. "By this age, you want to see kids actively looking at and engaging in their environment," Dr. Odinak says. "They should have the trunk and shoulder strength to move around by rolling and pushing up. Your baby should also show interest in going after an interesting object.”