What Should 6-Month-Old Babies Be Doing?

Reviewed on 6/16/2021
6 Months Old Babies
The sixth month offers a big stride in development because the baby will have started babbling by now and is ready to taste semisolid foods other than just milk.

Your baby’s half birthday is always special because it signifies a lot of important milestones. By this time, your child will be double their birth weight. The 6-month mark offers a big stride in development because the baby will have started babbling by now and is ready to taste semisolid foods other than just milk.

Most babies reach certain milestones at similar ages, but some take their own sweet time to reach those milestones. Especially premature babies will need time to catch up with the milestones and it is totally fine. Infant development is not a science. However, there are some general infant development milestones for a 6-month-old baby.

Moving: Physical or motor development

  • Starts to sit without support
  • Rocks back and forth
  • Rolls over in both direction
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are placed on a firm surface
  • Passes an object from one hand to other
  • Stands with your support
  • Reaches for and grabs object using fingers except for thumb (raking grasp)

Interacting: Social and emotional development

  • Recognizes familiar faces and identifies if someone is a stranger
  • Enjoy playing with people they recognize
  • Makes sounds to express happiness, pleasure, sadness, and displeasure
  • Startles at loud noises and might cry in fear
  • Is usually happy and responds to the emotions of others
  • Likes to look at self in a mirror
  • Smiles to attract your attention and responds when you interact

Talking: Communication and language development

  • Recognizes and respond to their name
  • Puts vowel sounds together to babble
  • Begins to pronounce consonants like "ba," "da," and "ga"
  • Responds to noises by making sounds
  • Makes sounds to show positive and negative emotions
  • Understands few words, such as "pee" and "bath"
  • Makes sounds to get attention

Thinking: Cognitive development

  • Brings objects to mouth
  • Shows curiosity in exploring things around them
  • Looks around at things nearby
  • Reaches for anything in view
  • Moves in the direction they want to go
  • Looks at the floor after dropping things

Food and nutrition

  • Shows an interest in food and opens mouth when spoon-fed
  • Moves food from front to back of their mouth while chewing
  • Can eat single-ingredient pureed foods, such as carrots, sweet potato, and pears
  • Avoid giving honey or cow's milk until the child turns 1 year old.

Sleep

  • Sleeps for 5-6 hours at a stretch
  • Gets up less frequently at night

Senses

  • Eye color may change from the birth color
  • Nerves in the mouth are better developed than their fingertips, so they tend to put things in their mouths
  • May suck their thumb, fingers, and toes to soothe themselves

How can I encourage my baby to achieve milestones?

As a parent, you can support and nurture the healthy development of the child during this time in the following ways:

  • Talk to your baby about what is going around them in a sweet tone.
  • Play games like peekaboo with your child.
  • Include a child-friendly or plastic mirror with their toys.
  • Engage in playful conversation.
  • Familiarize the baby with their names by using them frequently.
  • Provide your baby with toys that are easy to pick up with one hand.
  • Describe to your baby things they are putting into their mouth.
  • Place your child's toy near for them to roll and grab it.
  • Read to the baby.

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References
KidsHealth.org. "Your Child's Development: 6 Months." <https://kidshealth.org/en/Parents/development-6mos.html>.

UNICEF Parenting. "Your Baby's Developmental Milestones at 6 Months." <https://www.unicef.org/parenting/child-development/your-babys-developmental-milestones-6-months#social-and-emotional>.

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