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What to Expect from your 6 Month Old Baby: Developmental Milestones

We probably took the most pictures of Madi as an infant when she was 6 months old. Madi was able to sit upright without support at 6 months, so Graeme and I could not stop taking photos of her looking adorable sitting independently. Here is what to expect for baby development from your 6 month old baby:

Baby movements for a 6 months old baby:

At 6 months your baby will start to sit up on their own, with their hands on the ground to support them.  They might be able to pivot on their belly, bang and shake toys, and transfer items between their hands.  At this stage in baby development they can begin to feed themselves small foods like crackers.

Baby social interactions at 6 months old:

Around 6 months old is when stranger anxiety usually develops  which is a normal stage in baby development.  They will begin to recognize familiar and unfamiliar people and prefer their regular caregivers.  They will start to show emotions around people (happy, sad, angry).  Their memory lasts for about 24 hours at this age. For me it was an exciting developmental milestone that Madi reached when she started to become smiley and ecstatic to see Graeme and I when she woke up in the morning.

Baby bowel habits for a 6 months old baby:

Now that your infant is 6 months old and starting to eat solids, their bowel movements are going to change too! A breastfed infant’s bowel movements tend to thicken and formula fed infant’s bowel movements tend to soften.

Baby eating at 6 months old:

Solids should start to be introduced around this time since an infant’s natural supply of iron is usually diminished at this point.  Around this time your infant may start to show signs of readiness for solid foods such as: good head control, sitting up and leaning forward, can turn their head away to let their caregiver know they are full and trying to pick up food and put it in their mouth. Early introduction and regular exposure of allergenic foods such as peanut butter, eggs and seafood are encouraged.  Honey and milk are still not advisable for this young of an infant.

Baby talking at 6 months old:

At 6 months old, your baby will stop to the word “no”!  They may start to babble.

Baby growth at 6 months old:

At 6 months, the growth of your baby will slow down slightly to 0.3-0.8 kg per month. This is a normal and expected part of baby development and does not necessarily mean that your infant is not feeding enough.

Health care and immunizations for a 6 month old baby:

In Alberta, Canada it is time for the third and final dose of the DTaP-IPV-Hib-HB vaccine (the other two doses should have been at 2 and 4 months) and the second dose of the rotavirus vaccine! DTaP-IPV-Hib-HB provides around a 95-100% immunity for hepatitis B, and after an addition booster almost 100% protection for diphtheria, tetanus and polio, and 90% for whooping cough. It also has 95% protection from a bacterium called Haemophilus influenza B that can cause meningitis. The rotavirus vaccine is 74-84% effective in preventing diarrhea specifically caused by rotavirus.

There are some important “red-flag” milestones to be aware of when it comes to baby development. Red flag milestones are developmental milestones that if your child does not reach, they may be at risk of delay.  Child has does not reach any “red-flag” milestones, it is appropriate check this out with your doctor.   

This post was co-authored by Suzanne Black, MD, BSc and Stephanie Liu, MD, MSc, CCFP, BHSc.


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