6-Month-Old Baby: Development and Milestones

6-month-old baby

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Can you believe it? Your little one is halfway through their first birthday at six months old already! As a 6-month-old baby, the apple of your eye would be so curious to know about everything that’s happening in the world, the desire so visible in their fascination to explore everything that comes their way! By month 6, your doctor will also most likely advise incorporating solids in their diet and your baby may also begin to show signs of teething!

Your 6-month-old baby's developmental milestones and baby's growth:

1. Sleeping hours and patterns

At 24 weeks or six months old, you can expect your hyperactive toddler to sleep as long as 11 hours in one stretch at night. Some babies may also instead prefer taking 1-2 extra daily naps to add another 3-4 hours to the long stretch 11.

2. Feeding requirements

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing your baby to solid foods when your baby hits the 6 monthsmark. To begin with, you can introduce them to cereal and mashed fruits/veggies in addition to the mandatory 24 to 30 ounces of breast/formula milk. As you introduce your baby to solids, it is important to remember that their main source of nutrition still remains milk.

It is important that you ensure your 6-month-old baby is well-fed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids for a healthy brain and nerve development at this point. Insufficient nutrients can cause a slowed-down development of a baby’s eyes, skin and even disrupt their immunity. Try and feed foods of all colors to your baby to ensure all-around nutrition. Foods like bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes, green veggies, strawberries, cereal, and grains are particularly rich in all sorts of necessary vitamins for the baby.

3. Your 6-month-old baby weight

Girls at 6 months of age weigh anywhere between 15 and 17 pounds and measure between 23 and 25 inches whereas boys weigh between 17 and 18 pounds, and measure about 27 inches long. By 6 months, your baby should have doubled their birth weight.

4. Milestone: Crawling!

Most babies tend to start crawling by 6 months of age as their bodies are now able to bear weight on the legs when held upright. While this is a common trend, it is absolutely OK if your baby is still spending time on their tummies during tummy time or is not showing too many signs of attempting to crawl. Different babies, different paces!

5. Your baby's language skills

As a 24 week old baby, your toddler will already be developing their talking skills and will now begin to create a lot of sounds in an attempt to say what they hear from the adults around. This will be a good time to help your baby develop their communication by completing their sounds in the form of words and perhaps, by starting to talk to them in sign language. Teach them how to say the basic bye in the form of a hand wave, how to shake hands and how to give a flying kiss. You could also expect to have your baby respond to you by nodding and shaking their head. for example, they will shake their heads when they are full and don’t want to be fed anymore!

What to expect from your 6-month-old baby's doctor visit?

There’s a couple of things you can expect when you take your 6-month-old toddler to the doctor where they’d be getting some more shots and as the doctor discusses the overall baby development and health with you.

  • Flu vaccination at 6 months old

Your baby needs to be administered a flu shot before the end of the year each year (preferably around the month of October) starting at 6 months of age. The flu shot is given in two doses and is very important to keep your baby from getting sick.

  • Protecting your baby from colds

Babies at 6 months and upwards are prone to catching a cold. You could take some suggestions from your doctor about how to protect your baby from catching colds and can also perhaps make sure your baby is in full-coverage clothes. An average baby can fall sick for as many as 8-12 times during their first year after birth alone. Hence, make sure your baby is well-protected at all times.

Taking care of your 6-month-old baby: Quick tips and tricks

Now that your baby is at a rapid growth spurt, there are some changes you’ll need to incorporate in their daily life in order to ensure their safety.

  • Sippy cups

The 6-month mark could be a nice time to introduce your baby to sippy cups. As you transition to weaning them from your breast or bottle in the coming few months, introducing sippy cups at this point helps because it lets the baby understand how to hold the cup when they’re finally off your breast or bottle. However, be prepared for a lot of splitter splatter and mess as your baby gets the hang of the mechanics of this new ‘toy.’ It is also recommended that you remove the spill-free valve of the cup (especially if it is a spout cup in question) to avoid an unsolicited mess. You could also first begin with serving water in their sippy cups.

  • Keeping your baby from waking up in the middle of the night

Most babies at this age have a tendency of untimely night waking which not only disrupts their sleep pattern but also of the parents. In order to avoid this, make sure that your baby does not take evening naps and that they are well-fed through the day. You may also want to take them on a stroll right before sleep time and after dinner time in order to induce sleep. Maximize the number of calories given to your baby through the day in order to avoid them from waking up for food at night. 

If your baby continues wailing and waking despite all this, it is highly possible that they want some comfort and you could either co-sleep or pat and cuddle them back and forth to put them back to sleep. Each night as you put them down to sleep, make it boring for your baby. Dim the lights, don’t talk too much with them, and try singing lullabies to put them to sleep.

  • Exercise with baby

As a 6-month-old, your baby will be high on energy, and it’s best to not let all the energy be contained within them. Help them vent out their power by indulging in some exercises like dancing and singing to some tunes. However, make sure the volume is not too high as your child’s ears will still be rather sensitive and prone to being damaged with high decibels. As the baby gets to move around and experience some mobility in muscles, you get your little work out too! Singing and dancing will delight your baby and induce some really contagious giggles like no other!

Final Thoughts

In their first half-year after birth, your baby will amuse you every day, pulling out tricks on their sleeves and also working very hard for their personal growth. As your baby adjusts to new solid food, and a potential case of teething, you, as the parent, need to make sure that you provide them with all your possible attention. Your 6-month-old baby will try to communicate with you harder than ever and this is the time you come in as an active and available parent.

Talk to them as much as you can! Your baby will also perhaps be moving around a lot, most likely crawling or at least rolling over from front to back and back to front on their own! Hence, try to babyproof your house and much as possible and keep an active eye on them as they move around on their own. If your 6-month-old baby is already crawling, you may also want to try and see if they are ready to hoist themselves up on hands and knees, rocking backward and forward for baby-assisted diaper changes!

Babies also love to maintain a standing position at this time as it lets them bounce and strengthen their leg muscles, hence, a baby walker may be a good idea. Most babies at this age are also able to sit up on their own and hey, they will be grabbing everything that comes their way. Make sure you sanitize your house frequently, especially to tackle the threat of COVID affecting your little one.

FAQs on 6-month-old baby

1)At what age can babies sit up on their own?

Typically, a baby begins to sit upright, unsupported, on their own, around the age of 6 to 6½ months old. However, this age range is highly variable and some might even start sitting up unsupported at 4 months while some might take time until they are 9 months old. At the 6 month mark, though, all babies are at least able to sit well in a high chair.

2) What kind of toys should I buy for a 6-month-old baby?

Stacking toys and games are the best kind of toys to buy for a 6-month-old baby as they introduce the baby to so many shapes, textures, and colors which in turn helps with their motor skill development. Stacking toys can also often encourage crawling as your baby tries to get hold of them and putting them on top of one another. Colorful board books and visual toys will also keep a 24-week old baby rather engaged!

3) Should you socialize with a 6-month-old baby?

Babies, until they are 3 years old, get their required amount of social interaction from just their primary caregivers and siblings. Hence, you do not necessarily need to engage them with outsiders. At home, however, ensure maximized communication with the baby. Read them stories, talk to them in sounds and signs, cuddle with them, and provide a lot of skin-to-skin contact for prolonged bonding.

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