Your six-month-old baby

by Julie Snyder

6 month oldGetting up and getting going -- that's the theme of the month. Your six-month-old will learn to sit independently, push up and move around, in a circle if not forward or backward.

On another front, she's learning things have names and recognizes and often prefers the familiar in her world.

You'll be pleasantly surprised how much he's come into his own!

Social and emotional Development

serious discussion with dadShe recognizes the people and things around her, feels comfortable with the familiar -- mommy, daddy, grandma, and grandpa as well as a few of her favorite toys. She may act apprehensive around strange people or in new situations.

Six-month-olds are a bundle of fun! She can imitate actions, emotions and sounds; smiles, laughs and squeals. Favorite games include "so big," peek-a-boo and itsy-bitsy spider.

Language development

reaching to ask for toyHis babbles sound more like speech, complete with the intonation and flow. In fact, if you're not listening too closely it sounds like he's talking. He uses hard consonants like "da-da" but he probably hasn't connected the sound to the person yet. Now is a good time to teach sign language if you haven't already begun.

Cognitive development

He recognizes own name and a few other words. Have you taught him to call out "hi" and to wave bye-bye? As the family bustles through the daily routine, he knows what to expect next. Depending on personality, he might just tell you what he thinks of your upsetting his routine.

Large motor skills

Most likely he's moving now. Some have gotten their bellies off the floor and crawl. He might rock on hands and knees and probably moves around by rolling over, army crawling, inch-worming forward or backward, or scooting on his bottom. He'll be sitting fairly independently now leaning forward in a tripod to sitting upright and using hands to explore toys. Balance is a little uncertain so you might want to place a pillow or two behind him, just in case. His legs are strong enough to support weight a minute or two provide you help him balance, and a few babies are attempting to pull themselves to a stand already. Yikes!

Fine motor skills

She rakes an object toward herself and tries to pick it up using fingers and thumbs. She's not too successful yet. Her thumb usually just helps press a toy into her palm. She may have figured out a noisy way to explore toys -- by banging them around.

Note: These milestones may first appear this month. It's normal for them to happen later. Worried your little one isn't developing normally? Check out these developmental red flags.

The big picture

Feeling safe and being loved helps your baby to learn. What else does he need? Toys! They don't have to be expensive. Simple things like pots and pans can be just as much fun and just as good to foster development.

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