Your 6-Month-Old Baby's Development and Milestones

6-month-old Baby:

Get Ready for That Toothy Grin!

Congratulations! Your little one is half a year old. You and your baby can expect quite the adventure this month as they may learn to stay sitting up all by themselves and might even get their first taste of solid food. Read on to learn all about the development milestones your 6-month-old baby may reach this month, what exciting new foods they could try, what their sleeping and napping routine may look like, and the challenges you may face with older siblings!

Baby Development Milestones

Over the past few months, your baby has added new skills and abilities. For instance, they will now be able to spot objects that are several feet away and track moving objects well. You may notice they will perk up when they hear their name or will stop doing something when you say “no.” Around the time they’re 6 months old, pay extra attention so they don’t roll off a high surface—rolling over on both sides will be a new trick they will learn.

Growth and Physical Development: Your Baby’s First Teeth!

“They grow so fast!” You’ll probably hear this sentiment quite often. When your baby is 6 months old, they may have even doubled their birth weight. Not all babies will grow at the same rate, but don't be surprised if your baby gains around 1 to 1 1/4 pounds a month at this stage. Those little bones are growing rapidly, too.

Around this time, your baby may start to show signs of teething, including excess drooling and chewing on objects. You may spot a tooth or two—or not quite yet, as the age at which teeth first appear varies greatly from child to child.

Teeth and gum care are essential from the get-go. If you're wondering how you should go about cleaning those first tiny teeth, just brush them gently with a soft, child-size toothbrush and a tiny bit of toothpaste, approximately the size of a grain of rice.

As your baby reaches out to grab things and explore the world, make sure you’re careful about the things their little hands can touch. Babies love putting objects into their mouths, especially while they’re teething, so never give your 6-month-old any food or toys that might be a choking hazard, and don’t leave anything dangerous within their reach.

Senses: Your Baby Can See Across the Room

Around the six-month developmental milestone mark, your little one’s depth perception has improved. So, how far can a 6-month-old see?They will be able to see much farther now, perhaps even several feet or more. In fact, they can now focus on objects without getting cross-eyed, and can also tell the difference between colors.

Movement: Sitting With Support

Your little one is getting stronger and more mobile by the day. Around the time your baby turns 6 months old, they may be able to roll over in both directions. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t fall off the bed or couch. It’s better not to let them surprise you with this new skill when you’re least expecting it.

Each movement prepares your baby for the next step. As their trunk and neck get stronger, they may even be able to sit when placed in a seating position with support. Over the weeks they’ll get more confident, and soon they’ll also be able to remain sitting upright without any help.

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Personality: Your Baby Recognizes Their Name

Your baby is turning into a little communicator after spending their first few months listening to your voice and noticing the sounds you make. They may start to imitate the sounds of speech around the time they’re 6 months old. They still may be far off from talking, but that doesn’t mean these moments aren’t valuable.

If you call your baby by their name, they may perk up and take notice. Also, when you say the word “no,” they may pause what they’re doing in response. Slowly, your little one will start to associate words with objects. It’s going to be a thrill to observe how their language skills develop over the coming months!

As your little one gets more mobile and curious, they may become a little feistier, too. At this age, discipline is about keeping your baby safe. Setting boundaries helps teach your little one what’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The best way to handle an overly assertive 6-month-old is not to punish them, but to reward desired behavior. If you notice your baby doing something that’s not allowed, stop them, let them know it’s wrong, and get them interested in a better activity instead.

Activities for Supporting Your 6-Month-Old Baby’s Development

Are you wondering how to play or interact with a 6-month-old? It's easy to join in the fun and take an active part in your baby’s cognitive journey. Things to do with a 6-month-old baby include reading, singing, talking, and playing every day. These activities not only bring the two of you closer but also help activate your baby’s intellectual development.

Think of the words your baby hears as little seeds: Each one gets planted in their mind and will help them grow their vocabulary. Reading aloud doesn’t just teach them new words, but also encourages them to listen, introduces them to new concepts and ideas, teaches them about the world, and gives them lessons in how to communicate.

Reading to your baby can also help your little one grow socially and emotionally, especially if you tap your inner actor to read with enthusiasm, funny voices, and sound effects.

Your baby will want to look, point, and touch the page as you read. Encourage their participation as much as possible. The more words they hear and see, the more they’ll try to copy sounds, remember words, and recognize pictures. Try to set aside some time to read each day, and soon you’ll find it’s an activity you both love.

Feeding Your 6-Month-Old Baby: Starting Solid Foods

This month you may be wondering what to feed a 6-month-old? Welcome to the new world of solid foods. Get ready for lots of fun and messes!

Here are five steps for introducing solid foods to your 6-month-old baby for the first time:

  1. Find a time of day when your baby is not feeling tired and is a little hungry

  2. Support them in your lap or an infant seat

  3. Use a small spoon to feed them

  4. Hold the spoon close to their lips and let them smell and taste the food

  5. They may reject the food, but just try again a minute later. It’s perfectly normal for these first few spoonfuls of food to end up on the bib, the tray, your shirt, or your baby’s chin.

Wondering what can babies eat at 6 months old? Experts have traditionally recommended that babies start with iron-fortified, single-grain baby cereal mixed with some breast milk or formula, but you could also begin with pureed vegetables or fruits. If you’re unsure what to feed your baby, consult your baby’s healthcare provider for advice.

When introducing new baby foods, keep an eye out for reactions like rashes, diarrhea, or vomiting. If any of these reactions occur, check in with the healthcare provider to rule out food allergies or sensitivities, especially if either you or your partner has a food allergy.

Make sure your baby sits in an upright position, and give them only soft, easy-to-swallow food to prevent choking. Do not put baby cereal in a bottle, as this can be a choking hazard. In some cases, your baby’s healthcare provider may recommend bottle-feeding with a thickened formula if your baby has reflux or GERD.

At the six-month development mark, some parents may like to try a new feeding approach with their baby called baby-led weaning (BLW). This method involves introducing your 6-month-old baby to finger foods (instead of pureed foods) that are easy to eat even with no teeth.

A typical BLW meal plan may include steamed carrot sticks, roasted sweet potato wedges, and steamed broccoli florets, among other easy-to-chew vegetables or fruits. The key is to avoid offering food in shapes that might become a choking hazard, such as any vegetables or fruits in coin shapes (e.g., sliced carrots and cucumbers) and ball shapes (e.g., cherry tomatoes and grapes).

Even though your little one is varying their diet by eating solid foods, they will still need breast milk or formula including in their feeding schedule. At 6 months old, your baby may be taking up to eight ounces of breast milk or formula every four to five hours.

Make sure your baby doesn't fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth. This will help prevent cavities and also a condition known as “bottle mouth,” when the sugars from milk or juice eat away the enamel of the teeth.

What your baby eats may change, but one thing remains: dirty diapers. Fortunately, all those diapers can be quite rewarding! Download the Pampers Club app and turn diapers and wipes into rewards and discounts.

A 6-Month-Old’s Sleep Schedule: How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need?

How much sleep does a 6-month-old need? When your baby is this age, they may sleep around 12 to 16 hours per day. They might snooze around nine hours at night, sometimes even longer, with a few brief awakenings. During the day, they will still need around two or three naps.

If your 6-month-old baby’s having trouble sleeping, check out the Smart Sleep Coach app by Pampers. Cocreated by pediatricians and sleep experts, this easy-to-use app can help you understand your baby’s sleep and includes a tracker to help you plan your little one’s sleep schedule.

A Day in the Life of Your 6-Month-Old Baby

So, what “should” a 6-month-old baby be doing? Although each baby is unique, here is an example of a daily schedule for a 6-month-old baby.You could choose to follow this as a guide when it comes to establishing your baby’s eating, sleeping, bathing, and playing routines:

Your Baby’s Health

As your baby gets more mobile and reaches for more objects, they will become more at risk of infection. Your best bet is to keep your baby away from anyone with the flu or any other infectious disease. Sometimes, though, it’s impossible to prevent your little one from getting ill. These are some common health problems for 6-month-olds:

  • Diarrhea. This can be due to contact with viruses (like norovirus) or bacteria, from the introduction of new foods like fruit juice, or because your baby has a food allergy.

  • Fever. Infants may have temperatures higher than those of older children. On its own, a fever is not an illness, but rather a symptom of something else. It can mean your baby’s body is fighting infection.

  • Earache or ear infection. Middle ear infections are common for babies and children between 6 months and 3 years of age, and often occur after a child has had a cold. If your baby seems uncomfortable you can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen in a dose appropriate for their age or use a warm compress on their ear to help ease the pain. Your baby’s healthcare provider may also recommend pain-relieving ear drops. Some ear infections are caused by bacteria and may require antibiotics, so consult your baby’s healthcare provider about treatment options for your 6-month-old baby.

If you notice diarrhea, fever, or an ear infection, take your baby to their healthcare provider, who can recommend treatment and rule out any more serious problems.

Development Tips for Your Baby This Month

Consider some of the following activity ideas and development tips for your 6-month-old baby this month:

  • Provide consistent care, including physical touch. Any type of contact whether it’s hugging, skin-to-skin or body-to-body contact can help your baby build a sense of security and foster their sense of well-being.

  • Tune into your baby’s rhythm. Get to know your baby’s likes and dislikes and follow their moods. Any attention you give them won’t spoil them.

  • Chat with your baby. Talk to your baby throughout the day and have face-to-face “conversations.” If your family speaks another language, use it as often as you can.

  • Encourage longer stretches of nighttime sleep. At 6 months old many babies’ sleep schedule changes. At this age, your baby may be able to sleep for extended periods at night, while still taking a few naps during daytime hours.

  • Choose quality child care for your baby. If you depend on day care or use a babysitter, ensure that your baby receives positive, affectionate, and responsive caregiving.

Items You Will Need This Month

These are some baby gear items that may come in handy this month:

  • High chair. Now that your baby is ready for solid foods, it’s time to invest in a high chair to make feedings easier and safer.

  • Baby food maker. When your baby is 6 months old and starting on solids, you might appreciate having a baby food maker. There are many baby food recipe ideas you can try for delicious homemade baby food.

  • Baby toys. Some of the best choices for entertaining a 6-month-old baby and encouraging their curiosity and skill development are toys with textures and fingerholds, musical toys, and soft balls.

  • Diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream. It’s a good idea to keep plenty of diapers and wipes at home, along with some diaper rash cream.

  • Humidifier. A cool mist humidifier can help keep your baby comfortable when the air in our home is dry.

  • Baby thermometer. You'll be glad to have one of these when your baby spikes a fever. Keep one in your medicine cabinet or first-aid kit.

Your Life as a Parent: Dealing With Sibling Rivalry

If you have any older children, especially if they are under 2 years old, you may notice a spark of sibling rivalry. As your little one is getting bigger and starts demanding more attention, your older child may become upset about sharing the spotlight.

Try to help soothe your older child’s feelings by involving them in more activities with your baby—maybe read a story or sing a song together. This can be fun for all of you and will make the older sibling feel more included in the baby’s life.

Checklist for This Month

□ Babyproof your home. You can find lots of information on baby proofing here.

□ Schedule and go to your baby's 6-month checkup. Ask the provider about any upcoming immunizations your baby needs. Learn more about the immunization schedule.

□ Each month brings more exciting news for your little one. Find out what could be waiting for you when they turn 7 months old.

□ Download and print these baby milestone cards so you can celebrate and share this special date with family and friends.

□ For even more information, sign up to get our emails:

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.