The first six months of baby’s life is full of changes! The baby you bring home from the hospital will hit many milestones by the time they reach just 6 months old! While every baby is different and hits milestones at their own pace, here are a few you can expect to see in those first months of parenthood and some tips for encouraging development:
Between 6 and 8 weeks baby will give you that first toothless grin (and this time it isn’t gas!) To encourage those smiles…talk to baby which won’t be hard at all.
Holding up Head
Between 1 and 3 months baby will begin to lift their head and chest off the floor when lying on their stomach. To help develop these muscles keep up with the ‘tummy time’. We know tummy time isn’t always baby’s favorite time of day so here are a few ways you can make the AAP recommended 15-20 minutes of tummy time per day more fun:
- Tummy time doesn’t have to be on the floor. Lay on your bed and place baby stomach down on your chest.
- Get a play mat and some toys and play to keep baby engaged.
- As baby gets older place a plastic mirror on the ground in front of them. They will love looking at the ‘baby!’
Focusing on Objects 8-12 Inches from Face
Starting around the end of the first month baby may begin to focus on objects 8-12 inches away and their favorite thing to focus on…a face! So keep baby engaged by talking to them and getting plenty of face time. (That mirror might come in handy here too as babies love looking at themselves!)
Opening and Shutting Hands and Following Moving Objects
Between 1 and 3 months baby may begin to open and shut their hands, follow moving objects with their eyes and swat at toys…all making playtime more fun! During playtime grab a toy that baby seems to love and try moving it around to encourage tracking with their eyes and to see if they reach or swat at it.
Some babies reach this milestone between 3 and 4 months, with most reaching this around the 6 month mark. When baby is starting to show signs they are ready to roll over try to encourage this by placing baby on their back and putting a toy on their side just out of reach.
By 6 months baby is likely ready to start solids. You’ll know baby is ready when they have head control, are curious about food, are able to grasp objects with hands and bring to mouth and have good control over tongue movement. This is a very exciting time and after talking to your child’s doctor about the foods to start with, give it a try! Occasionally this change to baby’s diet can lead to occasional constipation. If this happens Mommy’s Bliss Constipation Ease may help.
Again remember that every baby develops differently and will hit milestones at different times. If at any time you are concerned about baby’s development consult your pediatrician.