Your baby has come such a long way from the eat-sleep-poop newborn to this little ball of energy who is starting to sit and maybe even wanting to crawl. He can roll around, and pass objects from hand to hand. He may not be able to pick up tiny objects yet, but he can rake things into his hands. He’s doing so many new things, so fast.
Babies around six months old …
… can see in full color, have improved distance vision, and can track moving objects well.
… can react to their own names, and tell your emotions from the tone of your voice.
… can find partially hidden objects, and will toil to get objects that are out of reach.
Six-month-olds are sociable – they love playing and cuddling with caregivers. Your baby will enjoy repeating sounds you’re making, and may even babble away all day long – especially if you’re providing feedback! Mimicking your baby’s expressions and sounds will help her learn about body language and the art of conversation. Talk, read or sing to your baby as much as you can – it’s the start of language learning.
Provide a safe area for baby to explore. Be sure you’ve started childproofing your home, since your baby will soon begin exploring every corner. Babies this age will put everything in their mouths – from fuzz they find on the floor, to dog food, to the button you didn’t know fell off your coat. Be sure that small and fragile items are out of reach. Gate any stairs and close doors where you can to keep baby contained.
Get down on the floor and play with your baby every day. Place toys just out of his reach once in a while, and allow him to strengthen his upper body, and gain more balance and coordination, by reaching for them. Toys your baby might like at this age include:
- Any kind of ball: Soft balls and open balls are easy for tiny hands to manipulate. And textured balls will give your baby different tactile experiences. Your baby will love rolling the ball back and forth with you and chasing after those rolls that miss the target.
- Anything with mirrors: Babies love looking at faces, and looking at his own in a shatterproof mirror allows him to develop his sense of self.
- Toys that are made for manipulation: Any bead maze, activity gym or busy board gives babies opportunities to use logic skills and to learn how moving parts work on a very basic level.
- Books: Soft fabric books or board books should be available for baby to handle. Read to your baby every day. Literacy learning can start even before six months. The great thing about the fabric books is that they’re washable; and since he likes to put everything in his mouth, they won’t get destroyed in the same way board books might.
- Teethers: Around this age, your baby will start getting teeth. But even before those pearly whites appear, baby may need something to soothe sore gums. Teethers with nubs and textures, as well as ones that can be chilled, are good options.
- Cooking and kitchen supplies: You don’t need to spend tons of money on specialty toys. Babies will play with just about anything. Consider filling a low cupboard in the kitchen with plastic bowls or containers with lids, wooden spoons, and measuring cups. Then allow baby to clean out the cupboard while you’re working.
Written by Michelle, childbirth instructor, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.