Sweet Sylvia is Six Months! What to Expect at Six Months?
Most people love newborn babies, oohing and aahing over their tiny little fingers and toes and smelling the tops of their heads to soak up that new baby magic aroma. I thought my children and grandchildren were precious from Day One, but I’m not a person who adores the brand-new baby stage. I don’t know what to do with them after a few minutes of staring at those little bundles of love. Six months is when babies get fun, and I am thrilled that my granddaughter, sweet Sylvia, is turning six months old this week! It’s been three years since her brother was this age, so I had to do a little refreshing of my knowledge of what to expect from a six-month-old.
Most six-month-old babies can roll from back to front and front to back, so don’t be surprised if they are on their tummies even though you put them to sleep on their back. Remember, it’s still important to keep everything out of the crib when they sleep. Some babies are starting to get up on their hands and knees and are beginning to crawl. Sylvia isn’t doing that yet, but her brother has gone all over my house putting plugs in the electrical outlets and picking up any coins he sees on the floor in preparation for his little sister being mobile.
If you haven’t already done so, follow my grandson’s example and babyproof your house. Babies usually sit up independently between the five- and seven-month mark, but it’s ok if they are still a little wobbly. Tip: A little more tummy time will help strengthen their muscles and improve motor skills. I know most babies hate it, but it is good for them.
Callister is very protective of his little sister. He also makes tummy time more fun for her.
The six-month mark is also when the transition to solid food generally begins. Some methods of introducing solids involve going to cereal-type foods, some to homemade baby foods, and baby-led weaning, in my grandchildren’s case. It’s an odd title for what is simply eating foods they can manage on their own. The pre-requisite for baby-led weaning is for the child to be able to sit independently to lessen the odds of choking. I was a skeptic when my first grandchild began this process, but I came to believe in the advantages. Remember, babies under one year old should not eat honey or any foods that present a choking hazard, such as grapes, popcorn, or hot dogs. Sippy cups can also be introduced at six months.
At this stage, the word talking is an exaggeration, but they are beginning to babble, which is a critical step in language development. What can you do to help? Talk to your baby, talk about everything and anything. I remember being at the zoo when my oldest daughter was about six months old, and I was holding her up and telling her all about the monkeys we were watching. An older man came along and said in a disparaging voice, “You know that baby doesn’t understand you.” I replied, “We don’t know that’s true. I’m going to assume she does!” Reading to your baby every day also encourages language development. Read, talk, sing, and play every day!
By the age of six months, most babies sleep through the night and take two naps during the day. Or at least that’s what the books say. Don’t feel too bad if your baby isn’t there yet, but you can increase your odds of an uninterrupted night of sleep if you give the baby one last feeding before bedtime. If they do wake up hungry, make the middle of the night feeding boring. Keep the lights low, and don’t make it into a middle of the night party. My youngest struggled with sleep well past six months. I finally had to resort to the Ferber method, which worked but was not fun for anyone involved. Discuss it with your pediatrician if your baby (and therefore you) is having sleepless nights.
All of these are rough estimates of when a child should hit developmental milestones. There is a wide range of what is considered “normal.” Check with your pediatrician if you have questions. It’s not a competition, but it’s advisable to check out your child’s development if you have any doubts.
I am so excited that Sylvia is turning six months old this week! She is interacting so much more now and changing every day. Her face lights up in recognition when she sees me now, and I’m rewarded with a big toothless smile. She’s made it to the halfway point of her first year, and I plan to enjoy all the exciting developments of my sweet Sylvia during this six-month-old stage!
Happy six months sweet Sylvia!