Your Baby, Month by Month: Month 6

Your child is entering one of my absolute favorite ages of all time! I especially love ages 6 months all the way to about 15 months because babies are generally happy, expressive, sport adorable chunky rolls, start to babble, and sleep through the night (or at least I hope so). :)
Here’s what you can expect by the end of the sixth month.
  • Sleeping:  Most babies are sleeping at least 8 continuous hours at night by 6 months of age and many will be sleeping at least 10 consecutive hours (woo-hoo)! She’ll probably soon drop the evening nap and just a morning and an afternoon nap. If your baby isn’t on this schedule…don’t worry! Every baby is different! Talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned (or go here for some infant sleeping tips).
  • Teeth???  Every baby is different, but some babies start getting teeth beginning at 4 months, while others don’t get any until around 8 months. Big Brother was 5 1/2 months and Little Brother was 6 1/2 months.
  • Big Brother with his first 2 pearly whites at almost 6 months
  • Weight:  Your baby’s weight will slow down substantially from how he has been growing in the past 6 months. You can expect your baby to gain about 1 pound per month for the next several months.
  • Gross Motor Development:  Your baby is probably able to roll both ways…on her tummy and her back. She should be able to hold her head up with ease. She will also be able to sit with some support and might even sit for short periods of time without the support of her hands. She’ll probably kick her legs and act like she’s swimming when lying on her stomach as well and bear weight on both legs when you stand her upright.
Little Brother could sit up with support and alone (for a few seconds at a time) at 6 months
  • Fine Motor Development:  Your baby is now able to pick things up with his hands (using a claw-like grip) and pass toys/rattles from one hand to the other.
  • Language:  Your baby is babbling! Even though it may sounds like gibberish to you, if you listen closely, you’ll likely hear her immitating the variations in pitch and volume level that she has been listening to so intently by you and the other people in her life for the last several months. Perhaps in the next month or two, you’ll hear the infamous and ever-exciting “Da, da!”
  • Solid Foods:  Talk with your pediatrician about whether your child is ready to start solids! The American Academy of Pediatrics states that most babies are ready to start solids around 4-6 months. Single, whole-grain cereals are typically recommended for a baby’s first feeding. Make sure to give your child one new food at a time, waiting at least 3-5 days before giving another. After each new food, watch for any allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. If any of these occur, stop using the new food immediately and contact your child’s doctor.
Activities:
  • Tummy Time:  I know you’re probably tired of me going on and on about the importance of tummy time, but it pays off! Continue with at least 30 minutes of tummy time each day until your child begins to sit up on his own. After that, your tummy time work is done!
  • Read, read, read!  It might sometimes feel monotonous or perhaps like your baby couldn’t care less, but continue to read to her anyway. She’ll probably like books with texture at this point in time. Not only will she enjoy hearing your voice, she’ll begin to recognize pictures and start to correlate pictures of objects with the verbal words.
Moo Baa La La La
One of my boy’s favorites…Moo Baa La La La
  • Go for a walk:  Weather permitting, try taking your little one on a walk each day. He’s hearty enough by now that he can even go out on cooler days and he’ll enjoy getting to see the world around him! Plus, it’s a great time to talk to him and tell him all of the things he sees. Make sure to keep him in the shade or use a sensitive baby sunscreen (now that he is 6 months old).
  • Enjoy an exersaucer or stationary activity center. Once your baby can hold her head up and sit with support, she might be ready to try an exersaucer (or jumperoo). These are great for developing the muscles in the legs, though not for extended periods of time. Put your child in an exersaucer for no more than 20 minutes per sitting! Avoid baby walkers with wheels as they are considered dangerous by the AAP.
Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo
  • Feeding:  Your baby is probably ready to start eating solids (make sure to check with your pediatrician first). We jumped the gun right at 4 months with Big Brother because we were excited about this new stage, but quickly realized how time-consuming feeding a baby is! So with Little Brother, we waited until 6 months. :)
    Munchkin Soft-Tip Infant Spoon - 6 Pack, Colors May Vary
    These are my favorite spoons because they’re soft and a little bit longer, which makes feeding easier.
  • Peek-A-Boo:  Playing “peek-a-boo” helps your baby learn about object permanence…an important development milestone for babies. Find out why “peek-a-boo” is so important here. Don’t be surprised, however, if your baby doesn’t seem interested at first. Just keep trying!


Ask your doctor if your baby:

  • Seems very stiff, with tight muscles
  • Seems very floppy, like a rag doll
  • One or both eyes consistently turn in or out
  • Does not respond to sounds around him
  • Head still flops back when body is pulled up to a sitting position
  • Does not turn her head to locate sounds
  • Reaches with only one hand
  • Seems inconsolable at night
  • Does not babble or attempt to imitate speech
  • Shows no affection for the person caring for him/her
  • Doesn’t roll in either direction
  • Doesn’t smile spontaneously
Other Months:
Your turn:
  • Do you have any questions? Leave a comment!
  • Likewise, veteran parents…feel free to chime in with anything I forgot to cover or with any tips you may have.
References:
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, 5th Edition: Birth to Age 5 (Shelov, Caring for your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5)
*Every family should have this book on hand! 
Reisser, P.C. (2007). Baby & Child Care: From Pre-Birth through the Teen Years (Focus on the Family Complete Guides). Tyndale House Publishers: Carol Stream, IL.
Baby & Child Care: From Pre-Birth through the Teen Years (Focus on the Family Complete Guides)
**The content in this post is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advicediagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

6 Comments

  1. I just came across your website, thanks to Pinterest. As a first time mom, I find it very informative and accurate. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience. God bless.

  2. Why are babies not supposed to be in a jumperoo longer than 20 minutes? My son loves to jump and will be in there for over an hour if I would let him. Does this harm his development?

  3. I love your site – I think I found it through MOPS? The “Gross Motor Development” section makes me want to cry, as my little guy just turned 6 months and is full-on crawling, standing up, and even attempting to take steps with a walking stroller of his sister’s (who also crawled at 6 months, walked at 7 months). Lord, have mercy. :)

  4. As a physical therapist working in pediatrics I enjoy your website for ideas for general development and it is fun to see what other people say about gross motor. I want to elaborate on the exersaucers and jumperoos. I also recommend for children to be limited to 20 minutes per session in an exersaucer and only TWO sessions per day. Reason being is that the seating on that equipment is such that it promotes top of the thigh (quadricep) and calf muscle strengthening. This is similar to an adult jumping while sitting on a swing at the park. It also promotes depence on the equipment to keep them upright instead of their own balance. For most typically developing children this is not an issue, but if a child already has any muscle strength, tone, or balance issues, spending more time in that equipment can do more harm than good.

  5. Thanks for sharing such impressive article it is really helpful of those who has a new born baby. here you will play the gin rummy with your friends and score more points.

  6. Whao! I love this site… Very educative and indeed eye opener as a first time mom. Was worried inititally about the best food to introduce at 6months, but now, so clear about the right meal. Thanks a bunch.

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