6 months


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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)

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