Isn’t it a wonderful and relieving feeling that you have successfully crossed the six-month mark with your little bundle of joy? The initial hurdles of learning to breastfeed, setting up a sleep routine and getting a thousand vaccinations done are all over.
You are no longer a novice at parenting and will be eager to witness the next six months, as they will be jam-packed with many important milestones; often, you will feel your only job is to run after the baby pointing a camera to make sure you capture every new activity so that no one else misses it! Well, we hope you don’t forget to enjoy all these firsts yourself.
Weaning To Solid Food:
Weaning means switching an infant’s diet from breast milk and formula milk to solid foods and fluids. Solid food doesn’t mean that the baby can have rice, lentils and vegetables like you do, and he has to be given semi solid food that he can eat easily. When the baby is six months old, he learns to lift his head without any support. He often sticks his tongue out, this sign shows that the baby is ready for solid foods other than mother’s milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that the baby should be fed on breast milk till he reaches 6 months, after six months AAP recommends a combination of breast milk and solid foods till the baby becomes one year old. Children under one year shouldn’t be given cow’s milk. Also avoid honey, since it may contain spores that may cause botulism. Infant botulism is a serious illness that is caused when bacteria in the food releases toxins inside the body. This leads to muscle weakness and respiration problems in the baby. So always ask the pediatrician before introducing a new food to the baby.
The Physical Developments of the Baby at 6 Months:
At six months your baby will only gain one pound a month and his height gain will be only half inch each month. Your baby will also learn to sit up alone at 6 months. At the beginning, the baby uses his hand as a support to stand or sit up, but he gradually learns to stand or sit without any support.
The baby learns to roll on his back. He also creeps forward and backward sliding on his tummy or the pushes against the floor for support. The baby often sits on his knee and rocks forward and backward.
Your baby will be smiling, laughing and babbling or calling names. They will be able to recognize people around them and will be afraid of strangers. You can play peek a boo games with your baby and read them stories. You can also scatter toys on the floor so that they learn how to crawl.However, keep small toys away from them since they develop the habit of putting everything into their mouth. It is an ideal time to give your baby teething toys.
The Physical and Motor Skills Taking Place at 6 Months:
- The baby can hold the entire weight of the body while standing.
- Can transfer objects from one hand to another.
- Able to lift chest and head while sleeping on the stomach.
- Able to roll from back to stomach.
- Can pick up an object if dropped.
- Can sit on a high chair with the back straight.
- Can sit on the floor with lower back support.
- Teeth start to appear.
- Babies can sleep for 6 to 8 hours at a stretch.
- The weight of the baby at 6 months should be double the birth weight.
Sensory and Cognitive Development Taking Place in 6 Months:
- The baby is afraid of strangers.
- The baby can imitate actions and sounds.
- Learns to realize that an object needs to be picked up if dropped on the floor.
- The baby can hear voices coming from a distance clearly.
- The baby loves to hear his own voice and often makes babbling noises.
- The sounds resemble one syllable words like ma-ma, ba-ba, and da-da.
- The baby’s vision is between 20/40 to 20/60.
- The baby can recognize his parents.
If the baby doesn’t show these developments at six months, report to the pediatrician immediately.
Why Weaning is Important?
Weaning is often a personal choice. Some babies and their mothers have mixed reactions when it comes to weaning. It is up to you whether you want to wean your baby at six months or stick to breast milk. It is advisable to ask the pediatrician’s advice. At the beginning your child might refuse to eat anything, this can be frustrating for the parents. This is because the child’s digestive system needs time to develop.However, mothers have to keep trying because weaning is essential for the baby.
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