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Well checkup: 6 months

To schedule a checkup,
call your clinic.
For clinic phone numbers, use our clinic finder.

Schedule or cancel appointments online with MyChart.

Development

At this age, your baby may:

  • roll over
  • sit with support or lean forward on his hands in a sitting position
  • put some weight on his legs when held up
  • play with his feet
  • laugh, squeal, blow bubbles, imitate sounds like a cough or a "raspberry" and try to make sounds
  • show signs of anxiety around strangers or if a parent leaves
  • be upset if a toy is taken away or lost.

Feeding tips

  • Give your baby breast milk or formula until his first birthday.
  • You may introduce solid baby foods: cereal, fruits, vegetables and meats. Avoid added sugar and salt.
  • Avoid egg whites, chocolate, shellfish, honey and nut butters. Your baby may have a severe reaction to any of these foods.
  • You may need to give your baby a fluoride supplement if you have well water or a water softener.
  • Give your baby 400 IU of a vitamin D supplement every day.

Warning

Never give honey or peanut butter to a baby younger than 1 year old.

Stools

  • Your baby's bowel movements may be less firm, occur less often, have a strong odor or become a different color if he is eating solid foods.

Sleep

  • Your baby may sleep at least 14 hours a day.
  • Put your baby to bed while he is awake. Give your baby the same safe toy or blanket. This is called a "transition object." Do not play with or have a lot of contact with your baby at nighttime.
  • If you put your baby to sleep with a pacifier, take the pacifier out after he falls asleep.
  • You should not take your baby out of the crib if he wakes up during the night. You can comfort your baby while he lies in the crib.

Safety

  • Use an approved car seat for the height and weight of your baby every time he rides in a vehicle. The car seat must be properly secured in the back seat.
  • According to state law, the car seat must be rear-facing (facing the rear window) until your baby is 1 year old. Safety studies suggest that babies should be rear-facing until age 2.
  • Be a good role model for your baby. Don’t talk or text on your cellphone while driving.
  • Keep your baby out of the sun. If your baby is outside, use sunscreen with an SPF of more than 15. Try to put your baby under shade or an umbrella and put a hat on his head.
  • Do not use infant walkers. They can cause serious accidents and serve no useful purpose. A better choice is an exersaucer.
  • Childproof your house once your baby begins to scoot and crawl. Put plugs in the outlets, cover any sharp furniture corners, take care of dangling cords (including window blinds), tablecloths and hot liquids, and put gates on all stairways.
  • Do not let your baby get small objects such as toys, nuts or coins. They may cause choking.
  • Never leave your baby alone, not even for a few seconds.
  • Use a playpen or crib to keep your baby safe.
  • Do not hold your child while you are drinking or cooking with hot liquids.
  • Turn your hot water heater to less than 120 degrees F.
  • Keep all medicines, cleaning supplies and poisons out of your baby's reach.
  • Call the poison control center or your health care provider for directions in case your baby swallows poison.

What you need to know about television

The first two years of life are critical during the growth and development of your child's brain. Your child needs positive contact with other children and adults.

Too much television can have a negative affect on your child's brain development. This is especially true when your child is learning to talk and play with others.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend television, video or screen time for children age 2 or younger.

What your baby needs

  • Play games such as "peek-a-boo" and "so big" with your baby.
  • Talk to your baby and respond to his sounds.
    This will help stimulate speech.
  • Give your baby age-appropriate toys.
  • Read to your baby every night.
  • Your baby may have separation anxiety. This means he may get upset when a parent leaves. This is normal. Be sure you and your partner get out of the house occasionally while your baby stays home with a baby sitter.
  • Your baby does not understand the meaning of "no." You will have to remove him from unsafe situations.
  • Your baby fusses or cries due to a need or frustration. He is not crying to upset you or to be naughty.

Dental care

  • Clean your baby's mouth and teeth with a clean cloth or a soft toothbrush and water.
  • Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups starting at age 3 years or earlier if there are questions or concerns. (Your baby may need fluoride supplements if you have well water.)

Eye exam

The American Public Health Association recommends that your baby have an eye exam at 6 months. Talk with your regular health care provider if you have any questions.


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic