Remember that the ages we talk about are general and extremely flexible. Intelligence is not dependent on your baby’s ability to follow the crowd with physical or mental milestones. As long as he/she is progressing and moving toward these milestones – there’s no need to worry.
A six month old baby will sit up with some type of support. He should be trying to roll over. He may begin his/her attempt to crawl. However, there is new evidence that since more moms don’t allow their babies to sleep on their tummy – more babies skip over the crawling stage and move right into walking. It’s my opinion that skipping any stage of life isn’t the best – so I would encourage moms to work with babies to help them learn to crawl.
At six months your child should reach for objects to hold, swipe at or kick objects and randomly let go of or drop objects. It’s at this stage that your child will be the most inquisitive about the objects placed within his/her reach. Make sure those objects are baby proof and can’t hurt him in any way.
Your child may begin to coo, smile and laugh. She may babble when alone or with someone. She will turn her eyes and head toward sound. He will try to repeat sounds he hears. He should be able to hold an object in either or both hands. He/she will self soothe with any object they can put in their mouth. I recommend pacifiers because it’s possible to take those away later. A thumb can’t be removed when it becomes a problem.
Your child should show emotions and should respond to facial interactions. This is when the fun begins. Talk to your child, make faces and see if you can get him to mimic your actions. Play peek-a-boo and finger games. Animate his/her toys. All of this personal interaction will help your child bond with you and discover all the wonderful things his own body can do.
You should be concerned if your child does not turn his/her head to sounds. This could signify a hearing problem. Discuss it with your doctor at your six month check-up. You should also discuss the following with your doctor.
- If your child won’t look at you and can’t focus on your face.
- If your child doesn’t seem to notice toys placed near him/her
- If your child won’t hold on to a rattle or small toy.
- If your child stares with a blank expression and doesn’t seem to be interested in his environment.
Never leave your baby alone! This is the age when children begin to investigate their environment and when they want to move around. Leaving them alone on table tops or on beds can be dangerous. They can easily roll off flat surfaces or wiggle enough to cause other problems.
It’s also time to begin specialized training. It’s time to introduce the wonderful safety word “no”. Never yell at your baby, be soft but firm. Try statements like, “Oh no darling. We don’t do that.” Gently hold his/her hand and softy repeat – “I’m sorry darling but mommy can’t let you scratch her face. No no…that’s not acceptable.”