Caring For Your 6 Month Old Baby
It wasn’t so long ago that your child was a newborn, sleeping 16 to 18 hours a day and barely opening their eyes when they were awake. Now, your 6 month old baby is alert, familiar with loved ones, attempting to speak, and learning how to crawl.
While you’ve certainly become a seasoned veteran of parenting over the last half-year, you may still have some questions about your 6 month old baby. Carrying your baby, changing diapers, and cleaning your baby’s bottom are a breeze at this point. But you might be wondering about your little one’s feeding schedule or sleeping habits.
In this post, the baby experts at Mustela will explain everything you need to know about your 6 month old baby’s development, senses, motor skills, feeding schedule, sleeping habits, and immunizations. We’ll also provide some additional childcare tips, so let’s get started!
Caring For Your 6 Month Old Baby
As your little one continues to grow, so will their body and behavior. Here’s everything you need to know about caring for your 6 month old baby.
Your 6 Month Old Baby’s Development
There is quite a bit of variation in the height and weight of six-month-old babies. Fifty percent of female six-month-olds weigh between 14.9 pounds and 17.4 pounds and are between 24.6 inches and 25.8 inches in height.
Six-month-old males tend to be a bit larger. Fifty percent of males are 16.2 to 18.7 pounds in weight and 26 inches to 27 inches in height at six months.
Keep in mind that these are just averages. If your 6 month old baby is bigger or smaller than the figures we’ve mentioned, don’t be worried. Each child follows their own unique developmental path.
Your 6 Month Old Baby’s Senses
At this point, your 6 month old baby’s senses are becoming sharper. Let’s take a look at each of the five senses.
By the six-month mark, your baby will begin to identify familiar sounds and voices. When they hear a loud noise or a new sound, they will turn their head to see what’s going on. Reading to your baby at this stage is very important, as it helps their language development a great deal.
Your 6 month old baby will also start responding to you with their own voice. While they aren’t able to say complete words yet, their baby babble is getting more sophisticated. Vowel sounds like “ahh” and “ooh” probably started sometime around three months, and now you’ll begin hearing consonant sounds, like M, D, S, and B.
Your little one’s sight is becoming sharper and clearer every day. They’ll start seeing things farther away and will begin noticing details. Keep a variety of toys and colorful objects in your baby’s nursery to make sure their senses are constantly stimulated.
Your 6 month old baby will also recognize your face and begin smiling when you walk into a room. They might stare at you closely, inspecting your features and maintaining eye contact for longer periods of time. This is a great time to play peekaboo!
Your little bundle of joy has always loved to feel your skin and your partner’s skin. But now, they’re also interested in feeling new objects and surfaces. Allow them to feel different textures and touch them with their tiny hands. They’ll be curious to experience new sensations.
You can introduce solid foods to your baby’s diet between four and six months of age. You may discover that they love to eat some foods and are not so keen on others. That’s perfectly normal! Their sense of taste is just now beginning to develop.
Your baby has been able to recognize familiar scents—like the smell of your breast milk or an article of clothing that you’ve worn—for some time. Now, your 6 month old baby’s sense of smell is developing rapidly and they’ll begin to learn other smells too.
Your 6 Month Old Baby’s Motor Skills
After six months of growth and development, your baby’s muscles are far stronger than they were at birth. Here’s a list of motor skills you’re likely to see in your 6 month old baby:
- Staying in a sitting position without support
- Holding up their head and being able to look around
- Rolling over from tummy to back and vice versa
- Lifting up their body with their arms when on their tummy
- Grasping objects firmly with all five fingers
- Kicking and pushing their body around with their legs
- Standing up while leaning or holding onto something firm
As we mentioned earlier, each baby follows their own developmental path. So if your baby hasn’t reached all of the milestones above by the six-month mark, don’t worry. These are just a few motor skills that you may begin to see around six months of age.
Your 6 Month Old Baby’s Feeding Schedule
By the time your baby is six months old, they’re finally ready to begin eating solid foods. While breast milk and baby formula should still be a major part of their diet, you can start also feeding your little one cereals, fruits, and veggies.
Softer foods like bananas and avocados are an easy way to make the transition. Introduce one food at a time, and keep an eye out for rashes or other signs of a food allergy. Just be patient and try to learn what your little one enjoys eating!
Your 6 Month Old Baby’s Sleeping Habits
Every 6 month old baby’s sleeping habits are different. On average, six month olds sleep around 14 hours per day. And while your baby might have slept six or seven hours in a row at three or four months of age, your little one might be waking up every few hours at the six-month mark.
While this makes it difficult for you to get a good night’s rest, it’s perfectly normal for your 6 month old baby to begin waking up several times throughout the night. There are several possible explanations for your baby’s restless sleep.
For one, babies begin teething around six months of age. This is a painful process for your little one and may cause them to wake up in the middle of the night. Growth spurts are another possible cause of your baby’s frequent waking, as they can cause growing pains or make your baby feel hungry more often.
At the same time, it’s also perfectly normal for your 6 month old baby to sleep soundly through the night for seven or eight hours in a row. Consider yourself lucky if this is the case!
Your 6 Month Old Baby’s Immunizations
There are a few immunizations your baby will need at six months of age. Assuming your little one has received all of their vaccinations at one month, two months, and four months, then at six months, they’ll be ready for the third round of:
- Rotavirus vaccine (RV)
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HIB)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
If your 6 month old baby isn’t current on immunizations, talk to your doctor about getting them caught up ASAP.
General Childcare Tips
At this point in your child’s life, their brain is developing rapidly. It’s important to speak to your baby often, even if it’s just dictating your actions as you complete simple tasks. Around the six month mark is when your baby will begin to learn their own name, so say it every time you make eye contact with them.
It’s also very important to take extra special care of your 6 month old baby’s delicate skin. At six months of age, your baby may begin to show signs of a skin condition, like eczema, baby acne, cradle cap, or peeling skin. That’s why skin care is such a crucial part of childcare!
Always use baby-friendly products made with natural ingredients, like Mustela’s. We offer a variety of bathtime products, including shampoo, body wash, and bath oil, as well as baby wipes and soothing creams and lotions. These safe, gentle products will do wonders for your 6 month old baby’s delicate skin!
When To Be Concerned
Here are some signs that your baby has a developmental delay. Head to the doctor’s office now if your 6 month old baby:
- Doesn’t respond to the sound of your voice or loud noises
- Hasn’t smiled or laughed yet
- Isn’t able to make basic vowel sounds
- Doesn’t seem to recognize you and your partner
- Can’t support the weight of their own head
Apart from these warning signs, there is no reason to be overly concerned with your baby’s development. Every child hits milestones on their own time. Just keep the tips in mind that we’ve mentioned here, and your little one will be right as rain!