Your Baby Today

5-8 months

Your Social 6-Month-Old

Your Social 6-Month-Old

These days, your baby revels in her social-butterfly status. So take advantage of it. Expose baby to a variety of people during social outings; teach her to say "hi" and wave good-bye. While you're out and about, your baby will recognize her own name if it's called, and she'll turn to whoever calls it. When she wants to be picked up, baby will use not only her voice, but gestures like raised arms–and from a proud sitting position, no less. When you do pick baby up, be prepared for squeals of delight.

Milestones this month | Sit up and take notice | High energy | Chitchat is good!


Milestones this month*
  • Your baby now can sit on her own.

  • She rocks and pivots while lying on her stomach.

  • Baby can roll from her back onto her stomach–and back again.

  • She digs her fingers and toes into the floor to push herself toward a favorite toy.

  • Baby can eat a cracker.

  • She can pick up a cereal ring or other small object.

  • Baby has more than doubled her birth weight.

  • She can say vowel-consonant combinations.

  • Baby expresses unhappiness when an object or toy is taken away.

  • She can pass objects from one hand to another.

  • Baby looks for dropped toys.

  • She has discovered herself in the mirror, and loves having conversations with this new little friend.
*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your 6-month-old hasn't yet reached these milestones, rest assured that she will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development, discuss them with her doctor.

Sit up and take notice
This is the month most likely to see your baby sit on her own and gain a whole new perspective on the world around her. Once the teetering ends, baby will be able to reach for toys and play with them with perfect balance.

If you're concerned that your baby isn't sitting up yet, keep in mind that some babies are closer to 9 months old before they master this skill. "Practice sessions" for sitting are helpful: Sitting on the floor, prop your baby up in the v-shape of your extended legs to help her get accustomed to this new position. And if your baby is still a bit on the chubby side, remember that it may be more difficult for her to keep her balance right now.

High energy
Aside from the temporary annoyances of teething, this phase of your baby's life is filled with boundless energy. Baby becomes a virtual wiggle worm when you attempt to feed or diaper her. Squirming and arching her back as you hold her are baby's ways of saying, "Put me down–I've got work to do!"

Baby's also honing her fine motor skills, and water play can provide great training. If you include toy pitchers, buckets, and watering cans in her bath, you're sure to elicit both giggles and improved coordination.

Any of the various commercially available activity boards also will help baby master several small motor skills. Many of these boards can be safely attached to the side of a crib, letting your baby entertain herself–and learn–before and after sleep time.

Chitchat is good!

As your baby's happy talk becomes more precise, there are many ways you can help her develop her language skills:

  • Always speak slowly and clearly when you talk to baby.

  • Use short sentences and continue to identify objects, showing baby the objects as you say their names.

  • Repeat the sounds your baby makes. After a time, slightly alter the sounds and wait for her to repeat them to you.

  • Focus on repetition. Singing the same songs or reciting the same nursery rhymes not only entertains your baby, but the repetition will help her learn.

  • Read, read, and read some more. Ask your baby simple questions about the pictures in the books you read.

  • Don't talk at your baby. Give her time to respond–even if it's just in her own way.

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The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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