Six Months

Now the fun begins- Many things start coming together which makes your baby very active and playful. To begin with, she is alert for long periods of time now. She has started to separate her body from the rest of the world, which makes toys and objects that much more interesting. There is better control of the body and most six month olds can grab an object that is in reach. Many begin to sit, though they may be wobbly at first. Some begin to move forwards or backwards, as opposed to just going in circles. All of these things combine to increase your baby’s world. She will grab at everything, look at anything with interest and continue to explore object with her mouth whenever possible. It is a very exciting time for baby and for parents because there is so much to do.

MILESTONES (Milestones are averages and, at best, rough guidelines. Half of babies will achieve milestones earlier than noted and half will reach them later. As babies get older, they become more diverse in their development and milestones become less reliable. )

How your six month old moves:
1.       By this time most babies can push themselves around in a circle when they are on their tummy. Many start to move in a straight line, forward or backwards. For many reasons, backwards is often easier at first but the baby will work at going forwards because of an interest in an object or person that is in view.
2.       Can roll from back to tummy and tummy to back and can roll completely over but may not realize that he could get to another place this way.
3.       Needs very little support to sit. You will know that he is solid in sitting when he manipulates a toy with both hands while sitting.
4.       Usually not able to get to sitting from tummy or from back.
5.       Has free voluntary control of head movement when in sitting.
6.       She will take most of her weight when you hold her in standing but does not have balance to stand independently.
How your 6 month old uses hands:
1.       Reach and grasp are very accurate.
2.       Can reach with one hand
3.       Begins to move an object from one hand to the other.
4.       Can rotate the wrist, which means that he can turn and twist objects to look at them from different angles.
Your 6 month old’s senses
1.       Still using the mouth as a primary sensory organ to check  texture and size of objects.
2.       Eye-hand coordination continues to improve and he can reach straight for an object that he sees.
3.       Is now interested in more complex pictures and designs to look at.
4.       By sitting, he is working on balance through his vestibular system and proprioceptive sense. (the vestibular sense is how you know if you are right side up or upside down and responsible for the feeling of dizziness. The proprioceptive sense is how you can feel your own body with your eyes closed. It is how you know if your arm is straight or bent. These senses begin to play a greater role from here on and motor skills become more complex.)
Thinking and learning
1.       Awake and alert for most of the daytime hours. Attentive for long periods. Can play for more than an hour.
2.       Begins to deal with more than one object at a time. He will hold one and look at another.
3.       Looks at objects from all sides, turns things over in her hands.
4.       Seems aware of self as separate from objects and other people.
5.       Becomes interested in containers and in objects in general.
6 month old language skills:
1.       React to changes in volume.
2.       May start to hum or coo with music. Will stop crying when he hears music.
3.       May start to imitate facial expressions.
4.       Starts to add consonant sounds to vowel sounds in vocalizing. You may hear “ga” or ‘da” May begin to combine two together. “gaga” and “dada”
5.       Begin to babble in turn. Babble with excitement.
6.       Uses a variety or sounds to express happiness and unhappiness
7.       Starts playing with intonation and volume and pitch while babbling.
8.       Giggles and laughter.
9.       Reacts to his name, usually by turning towards caller.
Social skills at 6 months
1.       Prefers to play with people
2.       Likes games like peek-a-boo and I gotcha”
3.       Shows more interest in other children than in adults
4.       Begins to imitate facial expressions
5.       Baby may ignore you (your voice) if he is involved in play. This is a first step in the development of independence.
6.       May show interest in your food. A sign that baby may be ready to begin eating food. It is recommended that you wait until at least 6 months. Some babies are not interested until a little later.
7.       Will start to express likes and dislikes.


1.       If you have a “Boppy Pillow” ( a crescent shaped pillow designed to hold baby while early breastfeeding), You can use it to provide support for your baby while she is beginning to sit. Place the pillow around your sitting baby and you can sit face to face with her.  The pillow provides some support to help and, if she falls she will land on the soft pillow. (see picture)
2.       When baby is sitting place objects, such as colored blocks or rattles, in close reach so they can be obtained easily. When baby is on tummy, place objects a short distance away so baby needs to wiggle a little to get them. If they are too far away, they may get discouraged.
3.       Playing with a crumpled piece of paper together is fun because it changes shape and makes noise.
4.       Offer a variety of objects small enough to be held in the hand but large enough that they cannot swallowed for practice at manipulation. Toys that make noise when shaken or turned are a plus.
5.       Going outside for walks or to different places to see a variety of things is interesting for baby. Make sure she is protected from the sun. Use a hat and be liberal with sunscreen when outside.
Sensory, thinking and learning
1.       Time to start looking through different picture books with large pictures. Cloth books or heavy plastic books may be better because these may go in the mouth and paper books will tear.  Baby may want to grab at the pictures. This is how he learns the difference between 2 and 3 dimensional objects.
Square, circle and triangle bean bags
2.       You could make a set of bean bags using different textures and colors of material and filling them with different types of beans or rice. You can even use macaroni and marbles and ball bearings to fill them. At an older age your child will be throwing them so keep that in mind when you make them. You could make a set of 9, 3 round, 3 square and 3 triangular ones. You could have each shape from the same material or 1 each from the same material and another set from a different set. Make sure they are sewn tightly shut so none of the beans can escape. At this stage, exploring the beanbags is challenging and interesting. They will probably go in the mouth so be aware of that in your choice of material. There are many games that can be added to this activity as your baby grows older. If you keep them dry they can last for years. My kids played with the ones I made until the youngest was 12. 
3.       Play “Here it goes;” Take a toy and show it to baby. Say “here it goes” and hide it behind your back . A few seconds later say “here it comes” and bring it out again.
4.       The smell game. Offer a short sniff of different spices or food smells. Watch baby’s reactions. He will begin to show preferences, likes and dislikes.
Language and Social
1.       Now you can start turn taking games like Peek-a-boo.
2.       Use sounds you have heard from your baby and try to get him to imitate them. Instead of imitating him, you start the game and wait for his response.
3.       Make funny faces at the mirror with your baby.
4.       Talk your way through any activity you do with your baby. Use short sentences to describe what you are doing, especially during bath to talk about body parts as you wash them.
5.       Use music. Start singing to your baby. Songs with lots of repetition are good. Also, you can dance around with your baby while playing music.
6.       “Pat-a-cake” can be started while baby is sitting. You will need to hold your hands over your baby’s and clap them while you say the poem. A simple version is “pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, baker man, Bake me a cake as fast as you can (clap during the first two lines), Roll it (make a rolling motion with baby’s hands) and turn it (turn hands up and down) and THROW IT IN THE PAN (fling baby’s arms up in the air.).

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