Half a year has already passed since you gave birth to your little bundle of fun. Within just six months, your fragile newborn has been transformed into a happy and chatty baby who is curious about the world around them. Make the most of this cheerful, endearing period, when everything will make your baby want to smile, shout, discover and experiment.
Size and weight
At six months-old, babies generally weigh between 13lb and 19lb. Their growth will slow a little compared with the first months of their life, and most baby’s measure between 24 and 28 inches. If your baby isn’t this big yet, don’t worry: as long as they are growing at a steady pace, and don’t stop growing, or start to lose weight, everything is fine.
Your baby is fascinated by their reflection in the mirror, although they don’t yet understand they are looking at themselves! They spend a lot of time handling their toys, and they are particularly fond of the ones with bright colors, soft textures, or ones that combine music and light. But their favourite game is still hide and seek: when you hide an object (or your face) behind a piece of material and then show it again, your baby won’t fail to respond with glee.
More generally, your baby loves interacting with you. They will try to catch your attention, laugh, mimic things and emit cries of joy. They coo and gurgle, and take great pleasure in repeating syllables ending in “a”, like “dadadada” & “mamamama”. These sounds don’t mean anything particular to your baby: you’re the one+I20 who will gradually attach a meaning to them by replying to them. They love seeing you arrive saying “Mommy’s here” when they repeat “mamamama”. This is how they discover the symbolic aspect of language: words relating to objects.
Your baby is highly active and has better control over their movements. They are able to grip their toys, and will let go of one if you hold out another. They can also grab objects around them and if you take away an object they like, they will protest by crying. When you approach them, they will hold out their arms to you so that you pick them up.
When they lie on their back, they’ll play with their feet and put them in their mouth. When they are lying on their front, they’ll manage to roll over to put themselves on their back again. When you support them in a standing position, they’ll bend their legs - extending them and springing up and down. This is called the “jumper” stage.
One of the biggest challenges facing your baby over the next few months will be to sit upright. For the moment, if you put your baby on their back, they will raise their head and torso to try and sit up by themselves, but won’t manage to do it. However, if you help them get into that position, they will be able to remain sitting without support for a few moments - and they love it! This position will give them a new outlook on the world and open up all sorts of possibilities: they can see everything that’s going on and grab objects scattered around them. To make it easier for them to take advantage of this position, you can support their back with a breastfeeding cushion or bolster. But for no more than a few minutes! His or her spine is still too fragile and should not be strained beyond its capabilities. Within one or two months, they will be able to sit up by themselves with a straight back.
If you see your baby bite hard into their toys, constantly suck their fingers and dribble a lot, their first tooth is probably not far away. This tooth often appears around the six-month stage, and the first tooth will generally be a lower central incisor. However, don’t worry if you can’t see any teeth yet: teething times vary a lot between children. They may get their first tooth at four months, or even at birth - although that’s quite rare. On the other hand, some babies still don’t have any teeth at the age of twelve months, and this shouldn’t be a cause for alarm - unless it’s associated with another abnormality.
After their first disturbed nights, most babies sleep well between the ages of three and nine months. If your baby is still waking up at night, don’t lose patience! They simply need to take a little longer to get into their sleep pattern. If your baby is teething, they might wake up more often at night too. Don’t worry about them developing bad habits: go see them if they wake up and help them fall back to sleep by cuddling, breastfeeding or bottle-feeding them. It makes them feel calm, which plays an important role in helping them sleep well over the long-term. Within a few months, these nightly disruptions will be a distant memory!