The baby has now entered the sixth month of his life. They are in the halfway of their one year. Now he will be more active and responsive to his surroundings. He has appropriately developed his senses. Here are some developments and changes that begin in the sixth month of his life.
Here we are talking about 6-MONTH-OLD baby’s development:
At this stage, you are going to introduce solid foods to your baby. It is the right time for your baby to taste solid food. Be patient; start with a small quantity of food. Prepare a small amount of whatever you want to make for your baby. And be sure food must be fresh every time. Formula or breast milk should be continued at this stage, which is more important than the solid food. Start with cereals, grains, rice, barley, or oats. In fruits, you can choose apple, banana, avocado, mango, peach, pears, pumpkin, etc. In vegetables, you can give him carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, or peas. You can give your baby whole milk plain yogurt also.
Do not forget that formula and breastfeed is still the prime source for your baby’s nutrients. Solid food works like a supplement at this age. Baby still needs plenty of milk at this age. Your priority must be breastfeeding or formula and then solid food. Some babies do not like cereals at the first attempt. So, you can skip the cereal stage. But we suggest you to try to develop cereal taste to your baby. Cereals have iron, which baby needs a lot at this stage of his life.
Don’t keep cereal in the bottle. Mix it well with formula or water and give it to your little baby with the help of a spoon. Do not try to mix cereal with breast milk in the first few attempts, as the baby may not like the solid food at first, and your breast milk is so valuable. So, in first attempts, use water for mixing purposes, or you can use formula milk also. When your baby starts taking an interest in solid food, then you can use breast milk too. You should avoid giving your baby raw honey at this stage because it can cause botulism in babies. Wait for 12 months to give your honey to your baby.
Do not give cow’s milk at this stage to your baby. He may not be capable to digest it properly. So, it can cause bleeding in the baby’s stool also. Do not give any choking food to your baby. You can give him a boiled piece of carrot but do not give him a big chunk of carrot. Also, do not provide any fish to your baby. First, talk to your baby doctor, consult him, then you can give your baby fish according to doctor’s recommendations. Do not give your baby juice at this stage, because fresh juices also have a great quantity of sugar in it. Excessive intake of sugar can cause serious problems for the baby in the coming future life. It can create the risk of obesity in your baby and can be risky.
At this stage, the baby’s sleep is more scheduled. They sleep on time throughout the night. They sleep 14 to 15 hours a day. If your infant sleeps for 8 hours at night throughout, congratulations, you are bringing up a good sleeper. And if your babies do not sleep for 8 hours at night do not worry you are not alone. Many babies could not develop this schedule by the 6th month. Babies wake up at night if they feel hungry. As an adult, we also wake up at night and then go back to sleep instantly. If your baby wakes up at night and won’t go back to sleep again and start crying, it means he is hungry. Now your baby is ready for the sleep training. It is a process in which the baby learns how to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
Many babies are very good at developing sleeping habits, but some babies create serious problems while sleeping. So, this training helps him to sort out their sleeping issues. But remember one thing that babies are unique in their way, so do not force them at all. If they are comfortable, then you can do sleep training. And you must choose which training method you want to opt for your baby, as you know your baby very well and you also know that in which method, they will feel comfortable.
During sleep training, you should also consider that some babies are good sleepers by birth, or you can call naturally. But some babies are very fussy. It’s very hard to make them fall asleep. You should also keep in mind that every baby is different even within the same family. So, if you have used some technique for your first baby, and the same technique is not working on your second baby, you should change the method. And use another method for your baby.
Don’t be so strict when you are using any method, and it is not working, go with another method. Listen to your baby. She will tell you what she wants or what you want to know.
Development of Motor Skills
By this month, you will see tremendous changes in your baby. He is now more responsive to the world. Your baby now can support some of his weight on his legs. He would love to bounce. At this stage, walking could strengthen his muscles. Do practice with your little angel at home. Hold her from underarms and give her support. Try to make her walk on the floor or on your lap. Her fine motor skills and gross motor skills are both now on the way to developing. She can now easily hold things and can transfer things from one hand to another hand. Fine motor skills contain hand thumbs and finger movements. It’s about picking up the objects. Gross motor skills involve crawling in which large muscles are involved, like legs, arms, and feet muscles.
To enhance your baby’s skills, keep a toy out of reach of your baby, and let her reach the toy on her own. If she cannot reach the toy and starts crying, give her a favor and encourage her. But now do not put the toy close to her. If you do not make things easy for her, she will become more physically healthy and confident. After a few failures, she will be able to reach the toy. At this stage, your baby becomes friends with her toys.
She picks her favorite one and keeps it along even when you go outside with your baby. She wants her favorite toy every time. Be choosy while purchasing toys for your baby. The toys must be soft and hygienic. This month, the baby now uses all his senses to know the world a little more. Reading books with your baby will improve his communication skills, language skills, and he will love reading books in the future also. It would be best if you read such books that have bright, broad, and colorful animated pictures. Your baby’s muscles are very strong now that he can easily roll over now. At this stage, the baby becomes so active. And he would love to roll over. But it is hectic for you maybe, because you have to stay alert all the time.
Don’t leave your baby alone on the surface or bed. At this stage, the baby is learning who (s)he is. (S)he also can differentiate now between her parents, caregiver, her siblings, strangers, adults, and children of her age. Now babies also developing relationships with other family members, not only with her parents. She likes spending time with them now. Stranger’s anxiety is still part of the baby.
For learning, the feeling of being safe is significant, and your baby feels safe only with you or around you. Give her time; she will learn soon. For overcoming her stranger’s anxiety, you should take your baby to the supermarkets, mall, at park, beach, or some local zoo. This month, babies express themselves with emotions. If she is happy, she will pass a smile, laugh, etc. but if she is angry, she may frown, or behave fussily and start crying. Your baby can communicate with you with the voice of “baba,” “gaga,” etc. She can babble too.
She can tell you by her gestures that what she wants, for example, she lifts her hands; it means she wants you to pick her up in your arms. Now your baby can move her head on her own. Her hand movement becomes so fine. She can use her hand for reaching for objects. She picks up things and tries to put them in her mouth, so you have to be more alert that she does not put some hazardous objects in her mouth.
Your baby now bangs or shakes the toy to know how they work, or it makes some sound or makes some movement by shaking. Or she also stops doing a thing when she hears a no from you. Now baby is enjoying a variety of movements. (S)he can now listen and give you a response when you spoke up to him. Now they are using babbling to get your attention. They can now notice the toys that make sounds or make some movements.
(S)he can use different sounds to express her feelings also. Baby is now showing you interest in her food. (S)he opens her mouth when you put a spoon close to her.
Game of the Month
The game is touch and feel. Gather some objects of various fabric like a silky shawl, some sandpaper, a velvet fabric, some soft toy, and a hard-wooden piece or block, and let the baby touch all the objects and feel different textures. They also love those games which include sounds and movements.
When to Worry
If your baby is not making eye contact with you or she is not following the moving objects, it’s time to worry. If she is not still babbling, or if she is not giving any responses to the sound or not turning her head towards the source. If your baby shows no emotion, either happiness or fussiness, or if she shows no affection towards you or she even doesn’t cuddle with you, it’s time to worry and consult your baby doctor.
If she is not rolling over or her body is very stiff or if she uses her one hand most of the time instead of other or she cannot sit and stand with your help, it’s time to worry. If she sits with a rounded neck or she has poor head control or she has unable to lift her head. These are symptoms to get concerned. If she does not grasp the toys or not bring her hand together, or she does not respond to the sounds or not making any vowel voices or babble, consult with your baby’s doctor soon.
Mother’s Role in Development
Mother plays a vital role in the development of the baby. Mother should daily talk with her baby. And also listen to him what he wants to say. This will enhance his language and communication skills, for sure. Make different faces in front of your baby. Teach him about expressions also. Mother should start introducing solid food to his baby. So, the need for iron in the baby’s body will be fulfilled. It will also strengthen baby’s teeth and bones. Play with your baby. Read together, play with him. Babie’s would love these activities. Playing together will help you to know about each other and will also enhance the love between the mother and her child. Make your home safe for the baby.
Be assured that anything that can harm your baby should not be in the home. If your baby doesn’t want to do mentioned things or she may be hungry, then it’s ok. Try some other day. Don’t impose ideas on her. Give her instant response when she cries; for example, when she cries, you change her nappy or give him feed so she feels safe. This will also enhance love and affection between mother and baby.
Sometimes you don’t know why your baby is crying, but you have to soothe her even when you don’t know the reason for her crying. Your baby is now becoming more active so he would like to wear comfortable and soft clothes. Avoid the clothes which are so tight and have buttons or bows on it. Dress him in loose and soft clothes in which the baby can easily crawl, play, sleep, and can do other activities. Never shake your baby so hard. It will cause damage to their brain.
During bath drop some toys in the bathtub of baby, she would love it. Playing during the bath will enhance its movement coordination. Some babies like baths and water but some dislike to go in the water. Babies that do not like to take a bath; for them, you can drop some colorful toys in the tub so that their interest will be developed in the bathing. Babies are an attention seeker, so give them a lot of attention and love. Cuddle with them, love them, and kiss them. Give them your touch through massage. Spend some quality time with your baby.
Lefty or Righty
At this stage, you cannot judge either your baby is lefty or righty. You cannot tell until he is two or three years. At this stage, mostly babies pick an object in their one hand, and after a while, shift it to another hand. So, it’s too early to tell about your baby either he is lefty or righty. Don’t try to force your baby on hand preference. Maybe she is a lefty, and you force her to use her right hand, and it can intervene in eye and hand coordination. Never impose things on your baby. Give him his free time. He will learn all things at his own pace.
Do not worry if your baby’s stool changes color or odor. As now, the baby starts taking solid food, so it is quite okay, so do not worry about it. If her stool looks so firm, you can change her diet means switch to vegetables and fruits.
What Can Babie’s Do Now?
At this stage, the baby can do different things, which assure his/her mother that he/she is developing normally. At this stage, Babies can raise her chest while lying on her stomach with the help of her arms. They can lift their head in a sitting position. Babie’s can now roll over from belly to back or from back to stomach. They can also sometimes sit without any support. They can lift small things using her fingers and hands.
Babie’s can now differentiate between smaller and bigger objects. (s)he now pats his/her view or image in the mirror. Put a mirror in front of your baby and watch her what they do. They are now curious and look for the half-hidden objects. Now they want to know the surrounding. (S)he is more interested now. Babie’s would love to listen music that is soft. (S)he also likes loud music but not so much loud as the baby’s eardrum is so delicate yet. Now babies know the familiar faces like other siblings and other family members. S(he) would like to play, especially with his/her parents. She is now able to make sounds to show her joy and anger.
Give your baby fabric with a different texture to touch, such as velvet, wool, etc. Lift your baby up and down to develop their sense of balance and movement. Take balls of different colors, and teach them how to bounce them, drop them, and roll them.
You can enhance the baby’s communication skills by trying these games with your little one. Try to play peek-a-boo with your baby. While talking to your baby use a variety of expressions. Reading with your baby is a good activity; it will boost up her communication skills. Books with broad images and bright colors attract the baby so much. Encourage your baby when she speaks. Give her response. Even she says coos boos reply her back. It will encourage her. Sing poems or rhymes with your baby also. Play with your baby and her toys; it will also encourage them. Toys that make sounds mostly attract babies.
Vaccination is essential for babies. As the baby’s immune system is not so well, so vaccination helps them to fight against the disease. Consult your baby’s doctor before giving your baby any vaccination.
Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, DTaP,
Hib, Pneumococcal, and polio are the vaccinations that are given to the baby when they are six months old.
Height and Weight
By the sixth month, the baby’s girl weight should be 5.8 to 9.2 kg and her height should be 61.5 to 70.0 cm, and her head circumference should be 39.7 to 44.6. And in the case of a baby boy, the weight should be 6.4 to 9.7 kg. His height should be 63.6 to 71. 6, and his head circumference should be 41.0 to 45.6. Do not worry if your baby is not according to it, as every baby is unique in his/her way. Give them pace they will grow on their own. Always remember every baby is different from other babies. Do not apply the same techniques to your second baby, which you had applied to your first baby. Every baby meets its milestones in their own way.
If he/she is not doing all these things, be patient, they will surely do that according to their potential. And if your baby was premature then remember he will take time to approach his milestone. As premature babies take more time than healthy babies. You can encourage them but cannot force them to do and meet their milestones.