6 months old
Development and Milestones
While we want to stress that every baby is different and follows his or he own milestone schedule, you can expect your baby to be more alert, active and even mobile this month. Just because your baby might not be crawling or walking doesn’t mean he or she can’t figure out a way to wiggle from one end of the room to the other. This means you have to be even more careful than ever not to leave your baby unattended in a room or on a changing table. And because of this new desire to wiggle, move and roll, those cutesy photo-op worthy newborn outfits – you know, the ones with the bows, tulle and stiff fabric – should be replaced with more comfortable, movement-friendly clothing.
Some other things you might notice include your baby:
- Fully sitting without any support from mom or dad
- Rolling over, even if it’s just one way
- More babbling with new vowel-consonant combinations
- Pulling to stand
- Being able to stand while holding onto you or onto furniture
- Passing toys from one hand to another (Yes, this is a milestone!)
- Creeping backwards or even crawling (Don’t panic if your baby isn’t doing this yet – it’s still early.)
- Pulling up to stand from a sitting position
Although playtime can finally start to be more interactive and entertaining for the two of you now, it’s also an opportunity to reinforce motor skills and cognitive development.
- Give your baby plenty of space on the floor to practice skills like rolling, creeping and pulling up to stand. We love jumpers and exersaucers for short bursts, but the best place for your baby is still on the ground.
- Practice reaching and grabbing by placing a toy within your baby’s reach and seeing if he or she will grab and move it.
- Continue to imitate the sounds your baby makes to create a sort of mimicking game, hopefully encouraging him or her to start repeating the sounds that mommy makes.
- Now more than ever, really engage your baby in conversation. Even if you have no idea what he or she is trying to say, pretend like you’re understanding and responding.
- Make sure your baby has different sensory toys to touch and play with. Touch-and-feel books are a good way to explore different textures, as are household objects like carpet, rubber balls, wooden rattles and soft blankets. You can even line up a group of objects with different textures and watch your baby explore his or her senses.
- It’s also more important than ever to continue reading to your baby. Allow your baby to get involved by helping turn the pages (if it’s a board book) and pointing out familiar objects. Even if he or she can’t sit through a full book yet, it’s always good to instill a love for reading.
- If your baby is starting to bear some weight on his or her legs, you’ll find that your baby loves to bounce. Stand your baby up on your lap and gently lift your baby up and down until he or she gets the hint to start bouncing. Not only will it provide some smiles and giggles from your little one, but it will also strengthen the muscles needed for walking.
- Continue to encourage your baby to explore his or her surroundings – banging, stroking, pulling and shaking.