6 Months Checkup

Height: ____  Weight ____  Head Circ: ____

FEEDING:

Now is the time to introduce your baby to solid foods, such as:

   Cereals: Rice, oatmeal, barley

   Fruits: Applesauce, bananas, pears, etc

   Vegetables: (Yellow) carrots, squash, sweet potatoes

   (Green) green beans, peas, etc

Offer solids prior to offering the breast or formula. Introduce one new food at a time at intervals of 4-5 days to allow for identification of possible food allergy or intolerance. Begin spoon feeding by gently putting food on the middle third of the tongue. Start with 1-2 teaspoonfuls and gradually increase to 1-2 Tablespoons per feeding, usually 3 times a day.

Do not mix foods by mixing with breastmilk or formula in the bottle. Formula need will decrease to 24-28 oz per day as the amount of solid food increases.

Do not put your child to bed with a bottle. This has been found to increase the incidence of ear infections and cause dental cavities and decay.

Begin to introduce your child to the sippie cup.

ELIMINATION: Stools may vary greatly as you introduce new foods. They still should be soft and easy to pass. Pear, Prune, and White grape juices may be helpful if stools become hard or pellet-like.

SLEEP: Sleep requirements vary. Put baby to bed at a regular time each night. Most are sleeping through the night. Your baby should sleep in his own bed, preferably out of the parent’s room. Put baby to sleep when awake or slightly drowsy so he will learn to fall asleep on his own. This also helps teach him that he does not need you in order to get back to sleep if he awakens during the night. This will avert many problems in the long run.

Many babies awaken 1-2 times during the night at this time. If you are certain the child is not hungry, and is safe, warm, and dry, let him cry it out and comfort himself. This could last up to 45 minutes.

DEVELOPMENT:

  • Begins to imitate sounds, babbles, Da, Bye, Hi, Ma
  • No head lag when pulled from lying to sitting
  • Rolls over
  • Grasps objects, transfers from one hand to another
  • “Tripods” or just beginning to sit without support
  • May crawl or creep

PLAY:

  • Likes mirrors and activity centers.
  • Recognizes his own name.
  • Plays peek-a-boo, especially hiding face in a towel.
  • Likes large toys with bright colors, moveable parts, noisemakers, large balls, sponge toys, tub toys.
  • Hold upright and bear weight and bounce.

SAFETY:

  • Restrain when in high chair
  • Keep crib rails to full height, lower mattress to lowest position
  • Fence stairways at top and bottom if child has access to either end
  • Place toxic substances (medicines, house cleaners, etc) on high shelf out of reach or in a locked cabinet.
  • Remove poisonous plants from child’s reach
  • Use outlet covers, oven and cabinet locks
  • Use an approved car seat
  • Do NOT use walkers. They are associated with skull fractures and other injuries (even if you do not have stairs) and can actually delay walking.
  • Have Poison Control Number on hand (589-8222). Syrup of Ipecac is NO LONGER RECOMMENDED BY THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS

SMOKING: Do not smoke around your baby, or even in the house or the car. Exposure to cigarette smoke has been linked to numerous illnesses: crib death, ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, allergies, and growth retardation. Keep in mind, too, that you are your child’s most trusted role model. Do you really want your child to smoke?

TEETHING: The first tooth may erupt at 3-6 months of age, or later. Usually the bottom center teeth emerge first. For pain relief try a cold wash cloth to chew on, or teething rings. Ibuprofen may help, especially at night.

STRANGER ANXIETY: This is an uncomfortable feeling baby experiences when the child sees unfamiliar people. He may become uneasy, a little frightened, or cry. This is a normal and healthy reaction, and your baby is simply telling you that he recognizes the familiar people in his life. This stage is temporary and may worsen as 9 months approaches.

YOUR BABY’S NEXT CHECKUP: 9 months of age