Six months and beyond

From this age your baby will start to show their blossoming personality. They'll embrace play, be more attached to you and babble away to themselves quite happily.

Here are a few of the things you can expect to see at around six months and beyond:

Growth and appetite

They're getting bigger every day! From six months their weight gain will be around 70-90g each week. During the first year of life, on average their birth weight triples and they’ll need good nutrition to fuel their growth. From time to time there'll be 'growth spurts' and you might notice a change in the amount they eat around then. Baby’s weight and length will be monitored regularly by their child health nurse to ensure they are keeping on track.

At 6 months of age, breast milk (or infant formula) is still the most important food and should continue to be offered before solids foods. There are no set time slots to feed your baby, but you'll probably develop a routine for your family. Baby may be eating 1-2 small solid meals a day but remember all babies are different. During hot weather, you may need to offer your little one extra cooled boiled water in a cup. 

  All by themselves: sitting up

Around six months when babies are starting solids, they can hold their head up and will have good head and neck control to sit up in a supportive highchair (make sure you always use the harness).

By the time your baby is around seven months old they're likely to be starting to sit unsupported (somewhere soft and safe) for short periods of time. Just be careful not to leave them unattended as they can still lose their balance easily. They'll also be much more interested in looking at what is going on around them.

Excuse me: learning to burp

It's likely your baby will be able to burp by themselves at this age. Again, there's no set date for when this should happen, if they still need your help that's fine. Gently patting them on the back should be enough. If they haven't burped after a couple of minutes, they probably don't need to!

Constipation

As your baby’s tiny tummy adjusts to the new world of solid food, it is not uncommon for some to experience a change in bowel motions including constipation. However, constipation is less likely to happen with breast fed babies. With constipation your baby’s poos will be small and hard like little pellets and difficult for them to pass. There can be a number of causes - a common one is not enough fluids. Try giving more cooled boiled water and cooked and puréed vegetables and fruit. Remember, as your baby eats more food they may cut back on their milk intake, so they will need extra drinks of cooled boiled water, especially in warmer weather. Avoid giving your baby very high fibre foods like bran cereals, as these are a bit harsh on the tummies of little ones and they can make the problem worse. We recommend you talk to your health professional if constipation persists or keeps coming back.

Tricky little movements: fine motor skills

By six months or so, your baby's communication and coordination skills will be coming along in leaps and bounds. You might notice they have better control of their hands. They'll might be able to start holding a two-handled cup and learn to drink by themselves, maybe grip things better or even clap. These are known as fine motor skills, which use small, precise movements of thumbs and fingers. Fine motor skills also include small tongue movements, like you do when you taste something. These may be slowly coming along, but they'll play a big part in your baby learning to talk.

Remember, every baby is different and develops at their own pace, so don’t worry if your baby has other plans and doesn't follow this pattern very closely. If you have concerns about your baby’s development speak to your health professional for advice.

 

The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.

 

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