6 Week Old – What to Expect
What’s It Like To Be Six Months Old?
I turn toward voices.
I reach for toys and pick them up.
I can hold an object in one hand and put it into the other hand.
I briefly look for a dropped toy.
I pick things up and I shake them.
I turn objects upside down to get another view of them.
I may roll over from my stomach to my back and from my back to
I play with my toes.
I may help hold my bottle.
I know my name.
I may play games with people I know.
I babble, squeal and repeat sounds.
I sit by leaning forward on my hands. I can sit with support.
I may be afraid of adults I don’t know.
I know the faces of the people who are around me a lot.
I may know what the tone of your voice means.
Each month, Healthy Start, Grow Smart will provide information about
how babies grow and develop. If you have immediate questions or
concerns about how your child is developing, call your baby’s doctor.
Guiding Your Active Baby
At the age of six months, your baby is more active than in past months. Because she gets around more, it’s a good idea to make your home safe for your baby. Put all cleaning supplies, medicines, poisons and sharp objects where your baby can’t get to them. Be sure that everyone who cares for your baby knows how to keep her safe.
Sometimes she will reach for things she shouldn’t. She may pull at your jewelry. She may try to eat a piece of paper. A baby this young does not need to be punished. She is exploring her world. You need to gently control what she does so she will be safe. She will also know that you are in charge. Be with your baby as she explores her world.
At this age, your baby is not doing things to upset you on purpose. She learns by trying new things. She doesn’t know the limits. She needs you to show her what is okay and what is not okay for her to She needs you to show her in a loving way.
Always check on your baby when she cries to be sure that she is okay. Never leave her alone. Always watch your baby’s activities. Praise her and hug her when she is doing things you like.
Let her know when she is doing something you don’t want her to do. If she starts to yank out an electrical cord, or if she spills out the contents of a purse, speak to her in a warm but firm voice. You don’t need to raise your voice. Gently take her hand away and give her a toy. Maybe she’ll be too close to the hot stove. Maybe she’ll try to grab something that could break. Gently pick her up and move her away from the thing she shouldn’t touch.
Your Baby’s Developing Brain
Each brain, like each child, is unique. Here are some findings by researchers that may help you with developing your baby’s brain:
Your baby may make sounds such as “ba,” “ma” and “ga.”
Sometimes parents think these sounds mean more than they do.
Wait. Soon your baby will attach a meaning to the sounds she
Talk to your baby often. This will help her learn to use sounds.
Being in a safe and loving place helps your baby to learn. Toys
bought in stores are not needed. Playing with pots and pans can be
just as much fun. Playing with simple things is just as good for your
Praising your baby’s good behavior is good for both of you. Show
her that you like the way she is acting. This will help her do more
things you like.
When you take her to new places, your baby will want to reach for
new objects that she sees. She is not trying to misbehave. Plan
ahead and bring a favorite toy when you go out with her.
Games To Play with Your Six-Month-Old
A six-month-old is awake for much of the day, and she wants to play.
Here are some tips for having fun with your baby:
Play naming games with your baby. Point to her nose and say, “nose.”
Do the same with her eyes, hands and toys.
Play pat-a-cake with your baby.
Play pop-goes-the-weasel. When you reach the “pop,” raise your
baby’s arms in the air. Don’t jerk her arms or swing her by the arms.
Partly hide a toy under a blanket or piece of cloth. Let your baby grab
the toy and learn to pull the blanket off.
Put several empty plastic cups into a shoebox. The cups can be
different sizes. Reach into the box and take one cup out at a time. Pick
out another cup and do it again. After you do this a few times, your
baby will imitate you.
Put a large picture of yourself and dad near her crib or high chair.
When she says “mama” or “da-da,” point to the pictures. Say, “There’s
mommy” (or, “There’s daddy”).
Floor Time Is Playtime
Babies who are six months old need lots of floor time so they can learn to crawl and creep. If your baby doesn’t like being on the floor by herself, join her. Play on the floor with her. Here are two activities that you can do during floor time:
Put your baby in a sitting position. Support her with pillows. Roll a soft
ball to her and clap when she tries to roll it back.
Give your baby two plastic cups. Show her how to bang them together
or to bang them on the floor.
Here are some tips to make sure your baby is safe from harm or
Never leave your baby alone in a high place, such as a tabletop, a
couch or a bed.
Don’t leave her in a crib with the sides down. She can hurt herself if
Never drink, eat, prepare or carry hot things while holding your
Don’t smoke around your baby. Don’t allow others to do so.
Never give your baby any food or anything that could make her
choke. Only give her foods that have been mashed.
If you can, set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120
degrees or less. This will protect your baby from burns.
Never shake or hit your baby.
Never leave your baby alone with any pet. Even friendly pets can
harm a baby.
In the car…
Buckle your baby in a child seat in the back seat of your vehicle.
The child seat should face the back of your car, not the front.
Babies should never ride in the front seat of a car.
Never hold your baby in your lap while you are driving.
Never leave your baby alone in a car. Don’t do it even if the
windows are partly open.
In the crib…
Crib mattresses should fit the crib snugly. There should be no gaps between the mattress and the sides of the crib. Do not cover the mattress with plastic bags of any kind. The slats on the side of the crib should be 2 3/8 inches apart, or even closer. Keeping Your Home Safe
Here are things you can do to make your home safe for your baby:
Close the bathroom door.
Put gates across steps and stairs.
Cover unused electrical outlets. Use products that cover outlet
Keep cords from drapes and blinds and electrical cords out of your
Put baby locks on cabinets.
Protect your baby from furniture with sharp edges. You may be able
to move the furniture to another room. Or let her play in another
Keep medicines where your baby can’t reach them.
Move cleaning products from under the sink. Put them where your
baby can’t reach them.
Keep small objects and balloons away from your baby.
You can learn more about how to make your home safe for your baby.
Call the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-
- The call is free.