Nothing surprises parents more than seeing their six-month-old baby grow and imitate those around him. But both parents have many questions about the nature of their baby’s growth and whether he is healthy or less than other babies of his age. All of these and other questions will be addressed in the following article.
Dear Mother, you will notice that your six-month-old baby has already started to babble, imitating speech and facial expressions, and uttering his first words with complete innocence and spontaneity. He smiles, laughs, and interacts enthusiastically with you, his father, and the rest of the family.
A six-month-old baby’s growth rate increases, and he makes significant efforts to adapt to life and the environment around him. This includes the ability to roll over, sit up without assistance, crawl, and stand against a wall or chair. All babies develop at different rates, and these variations are normal. However, monitoring your baby’s developmental milestones month after month can help ensure that the development rate is normal and that your baby does not have any problems or disabilities.
As adults’ bodies differ, so does the structure of babies’ bodies, and, of course, the male body differs from that of females. A baby’s average weight at this age ranges from 6.2 to 9.8 kg. While the average length is between 63 and 71 cm. Sometimes a baby’s growth is slowed due to genetic factors inherited from both parents, or the baby has to be sick or has a defect in his body structure.
six-month-old baby senses development
- Vision and Perception: six-month-old baby follows you with his eyes when you move and looks at himself as if comparing your big size to his small size, he becomes more aware and observant. Also, he is fascinated by toys and colorful shapes, which he examines with his small hands, and the matter may develop to ensure that he puts them in his mouth.
- Hear: The baby in the sixth month responds quickly to noise and loud sounds, such as music, cartoon films, and other auditory effects, and quickly turns towards them. While he is not particularly drawn to the voices of the adults around him. He also enjoys hearing his own name.
- Touch: He enjoys touching various objects such as toys, blankets, and walls, and he enjoys playing with water, especially when taking a shower. He also enjoys touching his parents and himself from various places to get to know his body.
- Smell: During the sixth month, babies’ sense of smell grows significantly, allowing them to distinguish between foods and flavors, and allowing them to desire some foods while rejecting others. It is also preferable for the mother to rub a mint or basil leaf on her hand and let her baby smell it. Also, the baby may be in the kitchen with you and be drawn to the smell of spices.
- Taste: When a baby is in his mother’s womb, he begins to taste. However, when your six-month-old baby begins eating meals, his sense of taste improves as he uses his taste buds, sense of smell, and sense of touch to identify the various flavors, textures, and temperatures of food.
It is worth noting that breastfed babies can taste food because breast milk contains a variety of flavors. Numerous studies show that breastfed babies are less picky about food by the sixth month and beyond. This is because they were exposed to a variety of flavors while feeding.
Six-month-old baby food
As the baby grows, so do his needs. The mother is also bewildered by the issue of feeding the baby. In this section, we will discuss the most important aspects of feeding your six-month-old baby.
How many breastfeeds does a baby at this age receive?
Breastfeeding and formula feeding remain important and necessary parts of a baby’s nutrition. At this age, the baby requires 4 to 5 feedings per day, or once every 3 to 4 hours. Of course, these are just averages, and the situation varies from child to child.
How many meals for a baby at this age?
A six-month-old baby does not require a lot of food. At this point, you can begin offering 29-gram snacks once a day at the beginning of the month, gradually increasing the amount to around 90-gram snacks three times a day. It should also be noted that there are differences between babies, with some wanting to eat more and others wanting to eat less.
What kinds of foods do you offer your baby?
Your baby is only beginning to delve into the world of food. Begin with pureed fruits, mashed boiled vegetables, or boiled whole grains like porridge, rice, and oats. Offer him one new food every three to four days, and keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction to any food.
Nutrition experts recommend the following types of baby food during the sixth month: Bananas, one banana per day, avocados, one pill per day, sweet potatoes, oats, and mashed boiled vegetables like potatoes, zucchini, and carrots.
What foods should you avoid giving your six-month-old baby?
Some foods are harmful to the baby’s digestive system and should be avoided for your baby at this age, such as the following:
- Honey: Do not give honey to your baby until he is a year old because it causes food poisoning.
- Cow’s milk: For the time being, stick to breastfeeding or formula. When your baby is a year old, you can start giving him cow’s milk. However, you can give him pasteurized milk.
- Unpasteurized dairy products, raw meat, fish, and eggs
- Keep in mind that foods should be low in salt, sugar, and spices, if at all.
The six-month-old baby’s teething stage
Around this age, the first baby teeth appear. What are the signs of tooth emergence in your child?
You’ll notice that your six-month-old baby is crying more than usual, having trouble sleeping during the day and night, or drooling with sore and swollen gums. His refusal to breastfeed and the formula are also a sign of teething. Here are some great tips for you to help your baby with his first teeth:
- Massage a baby’s gums: Many babies find relief from gentle pressure on their gums, so the baby will nibble on anything they find when they feel pain. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the safe way to relieve gum pain is light pressure on the gums, i.e. massaging the gums using the mother’s clean hands (fingers) and the mother returning the ball as needed.
- Using a teether: Giving your baby a teether or a rubber pacifier is one of the best and most successful ways, provided that it is sterilized and not exposed to sources of pollution.
- Ice: Some mothers resort to using the trick of ice, where they use ice water to massage their baby’s gums, or also massage them using a cloth dampened with ice water.
- Pain relievers: Dear mother if you have followed the previous methods and your baby is still in pain, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) as a last resort, also ibuprofen is another option, but it should be noted that it is given to babies over the age of 6 months only.
Six-month-old baby sleep
A baby generally sleeps at this age for about 14-16 hours during the whole day, of which about 10 hours are at night and the rest are during the day. His sleep is also regulated, and the mother knows her baby’s sleep schedule.
On the other hand, you may find your child resisting sleep at night or during the day because he found fun in playing and a love for exploring the surroundings, so you should try to distract him from playing and put him on your lap and sing to him to sleep. Otherwise, your baby may wake up in the night hungry or have a diaper upset and need a change.
Your six-month-old baby’s health
- It is very important to take your baby to the medical examination this month. Babies of this age are given a third dose of PCV13, DTaP, Hib, polio, and rotavirus. In some countries, some pediatricians give other vaccinations, such as the Hepatitis B vaccine.
- Your baby needs to drink water several times a day using his cup.
- Make sure your home is safe and sharp objects are out of your baby’s reach because he’s already beginning to somersault on his tummy and back as he’s trying to crawl.
- The tummy time is still very important because it strengthens the muscles of the neck, hands, and legs and has a positive effect during the crawling stage.
- Your baby doesn’t say whole words, but he does babble and some letters. He also has simple sign language that helps him communicate and interact.
- Find teeth! Your baby’s teeth may be starting to appear at this stage, if not, then the white pearl will appear at any moment.
- He can now sit upright on his own and you can put him in a walker.
- Train your six-month-old baby in a standing position when you lift him, which helps him strengthen his leg muscles.
The six-month-old baby becomes more social and involved with the family. He also tries to make eye contact with you and sometimes tries to imitate the sounds you make. You will notice during his bathing or changing his diaper that his movement has increased and his body has grown and gained weight. Dear mother, make sure to enjoy the time with your baby, as this month he becomes more laughing, playing, and chattering, as time passes quickly and soon he will be able to crawl and walk and the responsibility will increase.