Congratulations! Your little person is 6 months old. Impressive, isn’t it? That newborn that was completely dependent on you and kept you always on your toes has transformed into a big, bouncing kiddie in just a few months!
He sits up all by himself now, strings vowels together when he babbles, and responds to his name. He even eats solids! And you are just getting started mama; this month is going to be quite an adventure for you and baby.
We thought we could explore the most notable 6 month old milestones, so you can know what else to look forward to this month. Ready?
What You Should Know
- Take your baby to his 6 month old checkup
- Ask your pediatrician if the baby can get a flu shot; he is now old enough
- Baby proof your furniture and living room, if you haven’t already. Baby will be starting to crawl very soon!
- Keep baby play area free of tiny objects that may chock your little one
- Place toys at different spots on the baby’s play mat to encourage your infant to start crawling
The Most Adorable 6 Month Old Milestones
6 months is a huge accomplishment, so there would be nothing wrong with having a half birthday cake. Of course, the cake will be more for you than it will be for the little guy, but hey, you are the one who has been doing all the heavy lifting here, so you deserve it too.
By the sixth month, most mothers will have stopped breastfeeding their children, perhaps because they have gone back to work, are experiencing medical conditions, or just lack support. While this could be acceptable in some cases, health experts recommend breastfeeding until the baby is at least six months.
If you are still breastfeeding, pat yourself on the back because you have your baby set up with all the nutrients he needs to start a healthy life. And don’t beat yourself up if breastfeeding hasn’t worked for you or baby for one reason or the other. Count and celebrate the little successes you have had since you held your little bundle of joy in your hands.
And there will be even more to celebrate in your 6 month old baby activities. Here are some of the milestones you don’t want to miss this month.
Weight And Length
Babies grow rapidly during the first few months of their life. They can grow at a rate of up to 2 pounds per month. But somehow, growth seems to slow down to about a pound a month when the baby reaches 6 months. Height gain also slows down to about ½ an inch a month.
So, how much should your baby weight at 6 months, you may ask?
On average, a 6 month old baby should weigh around 17.4 pounds for boys and 16.2 pounds for girls. The average length should be about 26.5 inches for boys and 25.8 inches for girls.
But babies, like adults, grow differently. Just because yours doesn’t weigh or measure exactly as stated here or doesn’t seem to grow fast like other 6 month olds in the neighborhood doesn’t mean he is not healthy. As long as the baby’s growth chat has been showing an upward swing, then things should be okay, growth-wise.
Baby’s depth perception has improved greatly. He can look at objects across the room and his toys on the floor. He also loves to examine stuff more closely, with the examination continuing to his mouth too!
You may also notice that the baby’s eyes have changed a lot since birth. Infant’s eye color goes through a series of changes before finally settling on a specific shade, and this is mostly achieved in the sixth month. If your little one has hazel eyes now, chances are he will remain that way for the rest of his life.
Baby is starting to recognize things and people around him too. He will feel more comfortable with mommy and daddy and probably cry when held by a stranger. He will even have a favorite toy.
Baby responds faster to noises now, turning his head quickly when he hears something. He is now starting to differentiate male and female sounds. He can tell when you speak and when daddy speaks just by listening to your voices.
What sounds do 6 month olds make, you may ask? At 6 months, your baby’s communication has improved immensely. He squeals, growls, yells, and babbles away (“buh-buh” “gah-gah”) when he is happy (but still cries when upset).
So, if you have been asking yourself, “Can babies speak at 6 months?” then the answer is no. But they string vowels together and babble consonants so well that they sometimes sound like real words.
To help baby learn and understand your language and improve his communication skills, read stories together at bedtime, count the stairs as you go up the staircase, and name everything around you together.
No matter how silly some of these tasks may feel, talking to your baby is essential for his growth and language development. He stores everything in his little brain. He will start using it and talking back to you before you know it.
The baby touches everything he lays his eyes on. Different shapes, objects, textures, and even his own body just to know how it feels. Make sure to keep all hazardous objects out of baby’s reach because everything he touches somehow finds its way into his mouth.
What Should 6 Month Old Babies Be Doing?
Your 6 month old baby activities will include the following:
- Rolling from back to front as well as front to back
- Sitting without support; he is ready for a high chair
- Bouncing when held in a standing position
- Starting to pick toys from one hand and passing them to the other
- Bearing more weight on his legs
- Trying to crawl
- Responding to other people’s emotions; laughs when you laugh and frowns when you frown
6 Month Old Food
In the sixth month, the baby is officially ready to try solids. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your little one should start right away. Babies can be introduced to solid foods as early as 4 months or as late as 8 months. What time you decide to get yours started will depend on his growth rate. Some babies will start earlier than others.
Instead of using your baby’s age to determine the best time to start solid foods, follow his cues. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the following can guide you into knowing when the baby is ready for solids:
- Baby holds up his head
- When you bring food near his mouth or start to eat, baby opens his mouth or looks at you attentively
- Baby removes food from your spoon or plate and puts into his mouth
- Your baby has doubled his birth weight or is at least 14 pounds heavy
Where Can You Get Baby Food?
You can obtain your baby food in two ways – making your own or buying prepared food. Your pediatrician will probably recommend the first one because it is one of the most indubitable ways of ascertaining that your little one is getting healthy and fresh food. Steamed soft veggies like sweet peas and squash or a puree of fresh vegetables like avocado can make for a great meal for baby.
If you don’t have the resources or time to make your baby food, you can go the off-the-shelf way. There are plenty of options available on the market today that are healthy for the baby. Aim for those that are minimally processed, contain low sugar content, and have no preservatives.
Apart from the foods, you will be feeding your baby, there are a few more items you will need too to make feeding your baby on solids a success. For starters, a baby food maker will be a must if you will be preparing your feed. You will also need a set of baby spoons and bowls, a high chair for baby to sit on, and a bib to catch any dribbles.
But many parents wonder, “How much should I feed my 6 months old?”
Start with 2 to 3 tablespoons of baby food per day and slowly progress to 3 to 4 tablespoons per feeding as your child grows. Sure, eating solids is one of the most exciting 6 month old baby activities, but when the baby is just starting, you need to go slow. Don’t introduce everything all at once. Start with one type of food at a time. That way, you will be able to monitor your baby and identify any potential food allergies or reactions.
It is worth remembering that before babies accept a new type of food, you will usually have to offer it to them several times. So, if you don’t succeed at feeding your little person the first time, it doesn’t mean he hates that food. Baby is still getting used to the new taste; it won’t be long before he shows interest in the meal!
Also, when you first get your baby started on solids, you will notice a change in his bowel movements. Depending on what you are feeding him, he may poop more or less compared to the first few months when his main source of food was breast milk or baby formula.
Another important thing to remember at this stage is that you should let the baby eat only the amount his little tummy can accommodate. Don’t force him to finish a serving if he doesn’t seem to want to. If he closes his mouth or turns his head away when you bring a spoon closer, don’t force it.
Some parents cut out breastfeeding sessions or decrease formula when their babies start solid foods, but it is not recommended. Baby still needs to continue nursing or bottle-feeding to obtain nutrients. As you continue feeding baby on solids, you will notice that soon he will stop showing interest in breast milk or formula.
However, at this particular time when the baby is just starting, you need to give him enough time to adjust, typically feeding him 4 to 7 ounces of formula per feeding or nursing every 3 to 4 hours. Also, as baby gets used to solids, you may start introducing small sips of water, to keep him hydrated. His main source of hydration right now is breast milk and/or formula.
6 Month Old Sleep
If you are a first-time parent and your baby just turned 6 months, you may begin to wonder, “Exactly how much sleep does a 6 month old need?”
A 6 month old needs at least 14 to 15 hours of sleep every day; 9 or 10 hours at nighttime and the rest (5 or 6 hours) split into 2 to 3 naps at daytime. Don’t worry if your baby is not sleeping through the night yet; perhaps he is just taking a little more time to get there.
Sometimes things like an infection, teething, or growth spurt could be the reason why your baby can’t sleep through the night. Some babies will start sleeping better when they start eating solids. So, unless your little one is sleeping less than 4 hours a day (24 hours) sleep interruptions at night should not be a cause for concern.
There are few things you can do, however, to make sure your baby has long stretched of sleep during the night. First, you can make sure that he finishes his last evening feed before taking him to bed and that he is eating enough during the day too. You can also try waking him up to feed before you go to bed. The idea is to ensure that he is taking in enough calories while you are still awake so he doesn’t need to wake you up for more food.
But sometimes a baby will continue waking even after feeding. If this happens, chances are he just needs some tender love and care. So instead of offering a feeding bottle or breast right away, just try cuddling.
Also, make your little one understand that nighttime is meant for sleeping. Don’t entertain bedtime playing. If possible, dim the lights, or even better, turn them off completely and keep singing and bubbly conversations to a minimum.
Additionally, at 6 months old, most babies will begin to roll from back to front, and many parents may be worried about their little ones when it comes to sleep. Good thing, one of the greatest 6 month old milestones is the reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome, so even if baby flips to his tummy, he will still be safe.
A Day In A 6 Month Old Life
A 6 month old baby is an active baby. By 7 a.m., he will be awake for the day. If the baby has started solids, you may offer him a serving for breakfast. However, experts recommend feeding baby breast milk or formula before solids. Here are some of the most common questions asked by parents as their kids achieve the 6 month old milestones.
What Toys Should My 6 Month Old Play With?
There are many great toys for 6 month olds that can help your child develop motor skills, object permanence, and cognitive skills. Good examples would be touch and swipe baby phones, activity cubes, musical beads, and shake and grab rattles.
Apart from toys, the baby will also enjoy turn-taking games, especially those that involve singing, babbling, and making sounds. Let baby lead sometimes and imitate his noises and babbles. When it is your turn to be the leader, make animal sounds and mention the name of the animal you are mimicking. This is an effective way to help your baby learn animal sounds and keep him entertained at the same time.
Why Is My 6 Month Old So Fussy?
The main reason 6 month olds get fussy is growth spurts. Your baby will be extra fussy when going through any major development in his body. They will feel pain when tendons, bones, and muscles grow and stretch. They will also be extra hungry because they will require more energy to support the growth spurt.
Should My Baby Be Sitting Up By 6 Months?
Yes, by 6 months, your baby should be able to sit up but will need some help to get into position. Babies begin to sit up independently between the age of 7 and 9 months.
How Long Should Tummy Time Be At 6 Months?
At 6 months, tummy time should be about 60 minutes long, as long as the baby is not fussy. You can split this into multiple sessions of about 7 to 10 minutes.
When Should You Be Concerned?
Babies grow at different rates and will hit their 6 month old milestones differently. If your baby was born prematurely, he may take an extra month or two to experience these developments, and this should not be a cause for alarm. However, if your baby is showing any of the following symptoms, you may want to seek advice from your pediatrician:
- Doesn’t feed properly
- Has trouble sleeping
- Doesn’t seem interested in you
- Doesn’t attempt to reach for toys or other objects around him
- Doesn’t respond when you speak or to any sound
- Can’t rollover
- Has gained less than 50% of his birth weight
- Doesn’t bring objects to his mouth
- Head seems stiff
- Doesn’t make sounds or smile when you play with him
My Babies Planet Overview
You have made it halfway through your baby’s first birthday. How mind-blowing is it that in just 6 months, your infant has begun to learn how to eat solids and to communicate!
Keep tracking your 6 month old baby activities to ensure your tot is growing as he should. Make sure you are not missing any important checkups scheduled for this month. And be ready for even more exciting milestones in the seventh month!