The first six-month milestones are the things a child can do by six months of age. Your child begins learning motor skills, communication, eating solid foods and other activities.
As a parent, you also begin to avoid the midnight crying and feeding, sickness scares and developmental worries when your child reaches six months. Your child is also in a position to interact with you and the environment at this age. This article explores the developmental changes that children undergo during their first six months, plus the dos that parents should undertake to facilitate the development of their children.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby can eat solid foods at the age of six months. During the initial stages of solid feeding, your baby can only eat small amounts every feeding session because the baby is still practicing. You need to cap every session with a bottle or breast milk. However, you have to be very careful because you and your baby are still trying to discover the most appropriate solid foods. To do so, you need to consider the following:
• Be sure to give the baby one type of food at a time and observe any reactions. This helps to eliminate foods that may result in allergies.
• Starting with vegetables and pureed fruits helps because they are easily digestible. Since your baby is still toothless, these purred fruits and vegetables may also help avoid possible choking.
Motor Skills at the Six-Month Milestone
Your child should be able to sit up almost steadily, if not fully steadily, at this age. The fact that they are able to sit up on their own exposes them to a new play environment because they are no longer restricted by the inability to move. As a parent, you need to literally and figuratively give your child support at this age to ensure that they perfect the art of sitting. You need to:
• Encourage your child to learn motor skills by giving them incentives like soft toys and rattles. Be sure to set the toys on a higher level so that your child tries to sit up and reach them.
• Ensure that the sitting environment for your baby is safe so that they do not hurt themselves when they topple. One way to do this is to put pillows around their bottom.
Besides sitting, your baby can learn to play by manipulating their hands at six months. In most cases, this is shown when your child passes an object back and forth between their hands. They can also spend time placing their hands on their toes.
At six months, your little one may begin mimicking your words despite the fact that they cannot pronounce the sounds clearly. They are also able to smile, laugh and bubble words like “mama” and “baba.” To encourage communication learning, you need to:
• Give your child adequate parrot practice. You can pronounce easy words like “mama” and encourage the child to repeat them after you.
• Join your baby’s conversation. For instance, if they point at a cat and begin to babble, you can join the conversation and encourage them by simply saying, “Yes, that is a cat.” You can also help the child learn speech by repeating simple and common statements every time. This helps to enrich the child’s vocabulary. For example, you can say, “This is your daddy” every time the child’s dad appears.
You need to identify an appropriate sleep method when your child reaches the six-month milestone. One common method is the Ferber method. In this method, you put your baby in a crib before they fall asleep. The baby is awake and parents leave the room. When the child starts to cry, the parents can calm it down with words, but then they should leave the room again. The whole thing should be repeated at fixed intervals of minutes until the child has fallen asleep. However, this method is very controversial. As a parent it is important to choose sleep training methods that fall in line with your ideals. Remember, because the baby has developed motor skills, they can roll during their sleep. As a parent, you need not be worried because this is normal. However, it is advisable to limit soft items around the baby to prevent possible suffocation.
In a nutshell, at six months, your baby undergoes tremendous developmental changes. For proper development, you need to be there for them and provide the support they need as they develop into an independent person. In the event that your baby fails to show the signs of these crucial milestones, it is advisable to contact your pediatrician as soon as possible to address any abnormality before it worsens.