Your once docile and stationary newborn is now well on her way to becoming a more dynamic being. Gone are the days when she could sit contentedly on her rocker while you tap away on the computer or do chores. She’ll need more space and a lot more of your time for active play. Do make sure that you always keep a watchful eye on baby as she explores the world around her using her new skills.
Here is what you can typically expect during the sixth month:
Distinguishes between voices
Smiles, babbles at strangers
Begins to play imitation games and peek-a-boo
Responds to a variety of sounds
Receptive language continues to improve
May also use gestures to communicate
Rolls over (back to tummy and vice-versa)
Scoots on belly
Can focus on objects as far away as three feet
Can follow objects going across, over, and under
Depth perception is developing (begins to differentiate between objects that are close and objects that are far away)
Can look back and forth at two different thin
How to interact with your six-month old: • Aside from deciphering baby’s babbling, you will also need to start learning what baby’s gestures mean. She may reach out when she wants to be picked up, scratch her eyes when she’s sleepy, or wave her fists when upset.
• Since baby is more active, be prepared with fun and interesting games like hiding toys under a blanket and letting baby look for them. Have her imitate what you are doing such as clapping, opening and closing your hands, or waving.
• Set out two toys in front of baby and observe as she looks from one toy to another. Since grasping toys will be much easier for her to accomplish now, watch her reach for the toy that is most interesting to her.
• Although your baby may be quite the social butterfly, strangers may not get such a warm welcome from her. She may assess first whether they are friend or foe so do not expect baby to react positively to everyone and do not force her to go with someone unfamiliar to her.
• If you have not yet done so and if you are so inclined, now would be a good time to sign baby up for a Mommy and Me class or join a playgroup.
Curtis, G. B. & Schuler, J. (2000). Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.