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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Six Month Milestones

Your 6-Month-Old Baby: Six Month Milestones

With one milestone coming after another, the sixth month is chock-full of new adventures for your baby.
1. 6 Month Old Baby: Six Month MilestonesIt's halftime through your baby's first year (Wow, already?), and your little one may be sitting on her own, eating solid foods, and possibly even sporting her first tiny tooth. She'll be working harder than ever at communicating with you — and she'll be commanding your attention (so put down your cell phone and start giving baby her due).

Physically, your 6-month-old baby is moving closer to moving around (if she isn't already). She can probably roll over from both front to back and back to front, and she may surprise you by wriggling all over the room this way. Soon, your baby may begin to crawl, or to prepare for all-fours forays by hoisting herself up on hands and knees and rocking backward and forward (or oftentimes, just hilariously back — diaper first into the nearest corner). She probably enjoys being held in a standing position so she can bounce up and down (this mini-workout is strengthening her leg muscles to prepare them for the real thing: walking). If you place her in a sitting position, she may be able to hold herself upright. From here, she'll love grabbing anything she can get her paws on — and stuffing it directly into her mouth. Make sure she has plenty of safe toys to chew on, because mouthing objects is one of the wacky yet wonderful ways she learns about the world around her.

Your baby's language skills are soaring, too. She isn't ready to form words, but she'll happily practice making lots of sounds, imitating what she hears. And she'll use her growing repertoire of sounds and movements to let you know what's on her mind (whether you can understand what she's getting at is another story). With her burgeoning communication skills ripe for the learning, now's a good time to begin teaching her some simple sign language. She'll soon connect your hand movements with the wants and needs she's trying to express ("more," "eat," "milk," "all done"), and it won't be long before she can make the signals herself. She also loves games and finger-plays like itsy bitsy spider and patty-cake — or any silly song or sound you care to repeat (and repeat and repeat). Don't be surprised if she tries to chime in on the chorus. When it comes to dining, make room for baby because she'll probably want to belly up to the table now when you're sitting down to a meal, and she can safely begin eating solid (well, mushy and goopy) food. She'll continue to get the vast majority of her nutrients from breast milk or formula, so don't pay too much attention to whether the tidbits on her plate actually make it into her tummy. Her meals now are more for learning (small-motor skills, swallowing, table manners!) than for calories and nutrition, although you should, of course, offer her nutritious foods. (You might want to stock up on paper towels as she digs in — and flings every other bite!)

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