The special time that you had been waiting for has arrived, as your beautiful little one surprises you with the 6 month milestones.
It's already been half a year since you gave birth to your baby, who by now is a lot more aware of the world around him. He's becoming a little bit more autonomous and, at the same time, he's bringing his communication skills to the next level, especially with you! Moving his head to look for you and raising his arms in the air, to be held, are some of the 6 month old baby milestones that will strengthen the relationship between the two of you.
To find out what you can expect from this great time, take a look at the following information and tips about 6 month old baby development.
6 month milestones: Taking a break
By the 6th month, your baby should be weighing an average of 8 kg, twice as much as he did when he was born. Also, his height is expected to be around 66-67 cm. As he makes it halfway through his first year or life, the newborn's growth rhythm slows down considerably; up to this point, he's been putting on a kilogram per month, but from now on this rate will drop to about half a kilo (except for a possible growth spurt that typically takes place at 6 months). In addition, he'll stop growing as quickly in terms of height, and you can now expect him to gain an extra 1.2 cm per month. Despite this, don't worry if your baby doesn't fit into these brackets. The statistics don't always apply to everybody, since every human being is different.
6 month milestones: Rolling around
The 6 month milestones include many steps ahead in terms of motor skills and more 'freedom' for your baby, who's going to turn the floor into his favourite playground.
These are some of the most characteristic 6 month old milestones. Take note of them!
- Rolling around, propelling himself, on the floor
- Gurgling in response to your affections
- An increase in drooling as he starts teething
- Putting everything in his mouth
- Ability to start sitting up without help
- Looking for fallen objects. He's now aware of things existing, even if they leave his range of vision
- Stronger hands that allow him to hold stuff, such as a bottle.
6 month milestones: New 'menu' items
Another of the 6 month milestones is related to food. Finally, you can start weaning, that is, introducing solids as part of your baby's mealtimes, yet milk remains the primary option. A good way to start adding new items to the 'menu' would be by giving him cereal mixed with milk, either breast or formula.
As the baby becomes more familiar with the new textures and flavours, you can also feed him strained fruits and vegetables. Do it with one type at a time, so you can monitor the way he reacts towards every kind (look for diarrhoea, vomiting and possible allergies). Don't expect your baby to like every new thing he tries, because at this age his taste is very fickle (today he may enjoy what he refused yesterday, and the other way around).
6 month milestones: Sleeping like a log
Good news for you and Dad! Among the 6 month old baby milestones, here's one that will make your life a lot better: At this point, your baby could perfectly sleep all night or, at least, cover periods of 6 hours in a row, like from 00.00 to 6.00. What a relief! He knows how to fall asleep already, though that won't prevent him from waking up in the middle of the night looking for you or asking for food. If your baby sleeps like a log through the night, then maybe you could try to put him to sleep on his own room – if you had first decided to have him sleep in yours. The sooner he starts getting used to it, the better.
6 month milestones: A visit to the doctor
In the 6th month, your baby will receive another check up by the doctor. He will make sure your baby is growing and developing healthily for his age, performing a physical exam that will involve the baby's heart and lungs, eyes, ears, mouth, head, body, belly, genitals, hips and legs. He may also ask you some questions related to how the baby sleeps, eats (if he's already on solids or not), teething, bowel movements and, finally, some specific aspects of the little one's motor skills, like his ability to roll over or sit up).
In addition, the doctor will administer the following vaccines to the baby:
- A combination of two or three injections that will protect the munchkin from hepatitis B, DtaP, pneumococcal and Hib.
- An oral dose against the Rotavirus
- The first flu shot, if it happens to be the season
This is a good time to ask the doctor for some advice about how to face crawling, which will happen very soon (some babies start doing it before their 8th month of life). The doctor may give you some clues on what to expect, especially when it comes to keeping the house ready for the 'mobile baby' (you may have to do some childproofing around every corner of the house, trying to make it as safe as possible).
As you can see, the 6 month milestones are as wonderful as they are challenging for you. Step by step, your baby is getting less dependent, but at the same time, his new reality becomes more complex, and so will his needs. Get ready for a new stage where you'll have to expand every 'mum' skill you've got!