Getting Around: Baby's Sixth Month Guide
By Michelle Higgins
Baby is now in her sixth month, takes an active part in life at home, and has become an established part of the family. Can you even imagine a time when she wasn't there?
No more night calls?
Baby has a more regular sleeping pattern - maybe two naps during the day and up to 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. If your baby is still not sleeping through the night, you might want to learn strategies that will prolong her sleep.
Baby's first meal
Up until the sixth month, rice cereal is the best bet. Other foods to consider are pureed vegetables and fruits. Some parents introduce vegetables before fruits so that baby does not get used to the sweet tasting fruits. Wheat and cow's milk must wait till baby is a year old.
Time I took a tour"
By baby's sixth month she can sit without support and may try to crawl. Baby lifts her chest and bottom supporting weight on her arms and legs. Her progress may resemble a lopsided shuffle, but it is a big step towards independent movement. Placing a colorful toy just out of reach or calling to her are ways of encouraging her to move. Some babies prefer to skip the step of crawling and proceed straight to walking.
Your six month-old baby may make single-syllable sounds such as ma, da, etc. She shows preference for certain toys. She responds to your calls and expressions with enchanting laughter, funny faces, gurgling, yelling for attention. Remember that babies reach developmental milestones at different paces and no two babies will be the same.
Those pearly whites"
The first teeth to appear, by the end of baby's sixth month (or earlier), will be the two bottom incisors though they might even take up to one year to appear. Sweetened juices and going to bed with a bottle are best avoided to keep away tooth decay. It might seem funny, but you can start brushing baby's first teeth with a tiny brush.
Teething might causes some pain and drooling accompanied by irritability.
What you can do:
Making home a safe place"
With your six-month-old baby at home, childproofing becomes essential. Do install and maintain smoke detectors. Check that baby's bassinet has smooth surfaces and a snug, well-fitting, non-fluffy mattress. Ensure that furniture has no sharp protrusions. You could have all emergency numbers pasted near the telephone and with your doctor's advice, assemble a small first-aid kit for baby.
With all that moving around, baby finds things which vacuum cleaners miss and puts them into her little mouth! Never leave baby unattended except when asleep in her crib or in her playpen.
At the doctor's"
At the regular well-baby exam you will find that baby has doubled her birthweight. Always keep baby's immunization up-to-date.
Each child is special in his or her own way, and your baby will always be a source of amazement for her parents.