At six months, your child is the definition of personality. You are most likely starting to see quite a little person emerging and you are able to get a more clear picture of his likes, dislikes and everything in between. Babies at six months love to coo, laugh, squeal and follow every detail that goes on around them. In terms of growth, the weight gain your baby experiences will slow to about a pound per month.
Your Baby’s Feeding: You are probably already into the solid foods at this point. If not, go ahead and start with the cereals (rice, oatmeal). If he has been trying solid foods, you can begin Stage 2 foods. Introduce only one at a time and feed it to him for several days before moving to a new food. Keep your eyes open for any allergic reactions… vomiting, rashes, diarrhea. You can also start giving him soft foods such as banana, Cheerios and grated cheese. Steer clear of citrus fruits until around eight months. And no peanut butter or honey until 12 months. Offer your child a cup with 100% juice inside and get him used to drinking from it. If your child has never had a bottle, do not be alarmed if he resists at first. Keep trying.
Your Baby’s Sleep: Sound sleep continues at this age. Usually your child will sleep six to eight hours on average a night. He also will take two to three naps during the day. If your child wakes, don’t rush to comfort him. Let him learn how to do it on his own. If you are having problems with sleep, talk to your doctor to develop sleep strategies.
Your Baby’s Motor Skills: Batten down the hatches because baby is starting to become much more mobile. He should be able to roll from tummy to back. He will be able to sit up for long periods of time. He may even be able to bear weight on his legs when you hold him upright. Some will start creeping and some may even begin to crawl.
Your Baby’s Communication: Squealing, cooing and laughing are still the main ways of communicating. Some babies will start to verbalize with syllables such as “da, ba and ma.” They also will react to everything around them…happy, mad and sad sounds will affect them. They may be developing a stranger anxiety so be cautious when introducing new people.
Your Baby’s Safety:
- Get yourself baby gates. Once he begins to crawl, he will be everywhere.
- Make sure small objects are out of reach. He will put anything he can into his mouth. That can include anything from dog food to poop!
- Keep the number for poison control handy…1-800-222-1222. More information is available at the Carolinas Poison Center: http://www.ncpoisoncenter.org/
- Baby proof electrical outlets and make sure cords of any kind are out of reach. Secure cabinets and put cleaning supplies and medicines safely out of reach.
- It may be time to move your baby to the big tub for baths. If so, make sure you never leave him unattended at any time.
Your baby is a complete joy at this age. Talk to him, read to him and sing. Push toys and pull toys are great for your baby. Allow him fun in the tub. Peek a Boo is a big hit now too! He is stimulated by everything around him. Enjoy and we will see you at your nine-month visit.