Advanced Pediatrics

100 East Street SE, Suite 301

Vienna, VA 22180
(P) 703.938.5555

(F) 703.319.8580


6 Months Old

You may find it hard to believe, but you’ve made it halfway through your infant’s first year! In just six short months, your baby has started to learn how to communicate and to eat solid foods.


During the first few months of life, your baby was growing at a rate of about 1 ½ to 2 pounds a month. By now, she should have at least doubled her birth weight. At six months, a baby’s growth will slow to about 1 pound a month. Height gain will also slow, to about a half-inch each month.





Vaccinations for this visit

We recommend the following vaccines:


  • Pentacel (contains):  DtaP, IPV, & Hib
  • Prevnar
  • Rotavirus

What to Expect

Sleep


  • Sleep routine:  Most infants can stay awake much of the day and sleep most of the night.
  • Self-soothing:  Infants at this age are learning to self-sooth through behaviors such as sucking fingers.
  • Quantity of sleep:  She should be getting 14-15 hours of sleep daily, including naps throughout the day. If she’s getting less than this, speak to your doctor to help her develop habits of sleeping throughout the night.


Feeding


  • When to introduce solids:  When your baby has good control of her head and neck and can sit up with support, she is ready to try solid foods. This happens around 4–6 months.
  • Normal exploration:  You will find your infant likes to explore the breast or bottle during feeding and enjoys touching, tasting, and playing with different foods.  Let your infant try to hold the feeding spoon.
  • Feeding and Sleep:  Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar in these drinks stays in her mouth and can lead to tooth decay.
  • Cups:  At about 6 months, begin encouraging your baby to drink from a cup rather than a bottle.


Crying and Soothing

 

  • Self-soothing:  Infants at this age begin to soothe by sucking their own fingers or holding a comfort object (small soft toy or blanket).
  • Allow some crying:  Allow your baby a few minutes to calm down on his own when he is tired or fussy
  • Teething:  Teething begins anytime from birth to over 1 year of age, but on average between 6 and 7 months. During teething, babies drool a lot and want to chew on things. Sometimes they fuss or cry if it hurts. They may even have a fever.  Tylenol or acetaminophen can be helpful when the pain is at its worse.


Development


  • Responds to her name, smiles at her image in mirror
  • Plays games like peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake
  • “Talks” by babbling and trying to imitate sounds
  • Reaches for familiar persons (6 months)
  • May become fearful with strangers (7-9 months)
  • Can raise up on his arms when you place him on his tummy
  • Might turn in the direction of your voice and complain when a toy is taken away


Safety


  • Put a safety gate at the top of stairs. Close the latches on all windows.
  • Keep sharp objects like scissors, letter openers, pens, and knitting needles in a safe place.
  • Keep medications, household cleaners, and poisons locked up.
  • Make sure your baby can’t get at electrical wires, outlets, or appliances.
  • Practice water safety. Put a fence around any pools. Empty buckets, baby pools, and bathtubs right after use.
  • Sunscreens may be used now


Activities


  • Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, you can clean his gums. Gently wipe them after each feeding with a clean, damp washcloth.  Do not use toothpaste.
  • Give your baby a spoon to grasp and chew on.  It is easy to hold and feels good in the mouth.  It is also great for banging, swiping, and dropping
  • Play voice games.  Talk with a high or low voice.  Click your tongue.  Whisper.  Take turns with your baby.  Repeat any sounds made by him or her.  Place your baby so you are face to face – your baby will watch as you make sounds
  • Let your baby see, hear, and touch common objects.  You can give your infant attention while getting things done, even the mundane daily chores.  Talk to your baby and explain what you are doing.
  • Your baby will like to throw toys to the floor.  Take a little time to play this “go and fetch” game.  It helps your infant to learn to release objects.
  • Gently rub your baby with a soft cloth, a paper towel, or nylon.  Talk about how things feel (soft, rough, and slippery).
  • Once your infant starts rolling or crawling on his or her tummy, play “come and get me.”  Let your baby move, then chase after her and hug her when you catch her.
  • Place your baby facing you.  Your baby can watch you change facial expressions (big smile, poking out tongue, widening eyes, raising eyebrows, puffing or blowing).  Give your baby a turn and imitate what your baby does.