These skills tend to be quite variable. But at this age the typical child:
- Rolls over.
- Shows no head lag when pulled to a sitting position.
- Sits with support or leans forward on his hands when placed in the sitting position.
- Bears some weight on the lower extremities.
- Reaches for and grasps objects; by the end of six months may transfer objects from hand to hand.
- May be able to hold his own bottle.
- Looks at and may approach tiny objects with a raking motion.
- Plays with his feet.
- Turns to sounds that originate from out of his immediate sight.
- Shows signs of stranger anxiety.
- Laughs, squeals, takes the initiative in vocalizing and babbling at others; blows bubbles, imitates such things as a cough, a "raspberry;" may play at making sounds while alone or with others.
- Shows displeasure at the loss of a toy.
Injury prevention is proactive. Consider the following:
- Use car safety restraints.
- Check the home for all accident hazards, sharp objects, table edges, medicines and household poisons.
- Protect the infant from hot surfaces and liquids.
- Avoid using appliances with dangling electrical cords.
- Do not leave the child on the bed unattended.
- Do not use a walker.
- Use gates on stairs.
- Insert plastic plugs into outlets.
- Keep plastic bags, balloons, and wrappers out of reach.
- Never leave the baby unattended in the tub.
These activities provide good examples for modeling important skills and encourage your child to grow in a healthy and happy way:
- Encourage play with age-appropriate toys.
- Increase interaction with your child by playing games with one another.
- Stimulate your child's speech by talking to them and by responding to their sounds.
Good nutrition is essential to a growing body. Tips include:
- Do not place your child in the crib with a bottle.
- Try not to use milk or juice as a pacifier.
- Start to offer a cup for juice or water.
- Iron fortified cereal, fruits and vegetables should be added to the diet at this time. Meals may be given two to three times a day.
- Start fluoride supplementation if indicated.
Childhood behavior may go from one extreme to another. This age is no exception:
- Infants may resist going to sleep due to separation anxiety. If this occurs, a favorite toy or possession may prove helpful.
- It is not unusual for the child to have intermittent waking at this age.
- Changing diapers can become more difficult as the baby becomes more active. Use distraction with a toy or by talking to your baby.
- Stranger anxiety may become more pronounced.
Health maintenance is essential to a child's well-being:
- Teething may begin at this age. Discuss this with your provider.
- Shoes are not necessary at this age.
- Discuss fluoride supplementation with your provider.
The following items may be useful:
- Brazelton, T. Berry. Doctor and Child. Dell, 1978.
- Christopherson, Edward R. Little People: Guidelines for Common Sense Child Rearing
- Finston, Peggy M.D. Parenting Plus. Penguin Books, NY, 1990.
- Larson, David E. Mayo Clinic Family Health Book. 2nd Ed. William Morrow & Co., Inc., NY, 1996.
- Samuels, Mike. The Parent's Guide to Baby and Child Medical Care. Simon & Schuster, NY, 1991. Well Child Book. Summit, 1982.
- Schmidt, Barton, MD. Your Child's Health (Bantam Books)