Dear Mum and Dad,

Guess what? I just discovered who that cute baby is in the mirror…it’s me! I like to look at myself and admire how some of my features look like Mum and other elements resemble Dad. I sure am cute! Keep letting me look in the mirror after my bath, and don’t take away that mirror by my car seat, or the one hanging on my toy gym. It’s so fun to smile at my beautiful reflection!

You can tell that I still enjoy our snuggles and cuddles, but I’ve also started to seek independence…I’m attempting to sit up on my own! I still need your help because I’m a bit wobbly and fall over. Keep you hands on my hips to stabilize me. Holding me low on my waist will allow me to work my core muscles. Right now I can brace my hands on the floor and sit like a tripod. Will you help me practice this? Sit me in your lap facing you. Place my hands on your belly or chest and your hands on my hips. We can talk to each other while in this position, which will distract me from all of the exercising! Another way is to sit me on the floor with a large stuffed animal between my legs so I have something to hold and lean on to. Or, I can lean my back against your belly as we sit and play on the floor together. Give me another 2 or 3 months and I will be sitting up without any help!

Have we started playing peek-a-boo yet? I am beginning to understand object permanence. This means that I know something exists even if I cannot see it. Here’s a simple test to see if I have object permanence yet. Sit me in your lap and have me watch you drop a burp cloth to the floor (or any item that will silently fall, like a tissue or piece of clothing). If I look toward the floor to find it, I have object permanence. If I don’t, then I am still working on this skill. You can practice by dropping an object that makes noise to encourage me to look at where it fell. Or, partially hide a toy under a blanket and see if I can “find” it. Prepare yourself, Dad, because I envision some epic games of peek-a-boo in our near future!

In addition to object permanence, I am perfecting the skill of raking. No, I’m not old enough to rake the leaves in the garden, but I am old enough to rake my fingers across the floor in order to pick up a toy. I don’t have a pincher grasp yet (thumb and forefinger), so I simply use my palm and the forefingers to grasp things. It’s probably time to baby proof the house and remove any small, loose, tiny, items out of my grasp. Once I refine this skill further, everything will go into my mouth. In another few months, once I get a grasp of solid foods, I can begin to use my little fingers to pick up small puffs of soft food, like Cheerios and Puffs, or little bites of banana or sweet potato.

Mmmm, food…I can finally eat some food! For the past 6 months I’ve watched you, Mum and Dad, eat colorful food that smells delicious. I remember smacking my lips while you ate and trying to steal some off of your plate. It’s finally time for me to eat with you, too! Technically I still get all of my nutritional value from the 35-40oz of formula or breast milk that I drink each day, so these first food are all about experiencing new tastes and learning how to use a spoon.

Start with thin purees of fruit and veggies. Only introduce one new food at a time in case I have an allergic reaction. If you buy my baby food, read the label and purchase the product with the lease amount of additives. If you make my food at home (a puree of whatever meat and vegetables that you eat for dinner), just ensure that it is thinned out and without chunks. Over the next few months you can transition my food to become thicker and chunkier, until I begin eating bite sized, soft solids. I can eat baby cereal as well, as long as it’s mixed with water, formula, or breast milk. And it’s not recommended to put cereal in my bottle or I may get confused. Train me that liquids are drank from a bottle (and later a cup) and solids are eaten with silverware.

In 3-4 months from now, depending on how many teeth I have, I will be able to eat more solids like soft fruits and veggies, eggs, meat, fish, Cheerios, or similar baby friendly snacks. I’m teaching my little body how to eat, so I may gag or choke. Although some of this is normal, it would be helpful for you to learn how to perform infant CPR just in case I need help. Otherwise, remember to call 911 if I can’t breathe or choke.

Every baby is different. I may love peas while my cousin doesn’t. I may not enjoy apples while my sibling loved them. And, I may or may not sleep through the night yet. The average 6 month old will sleep a total of 11 hours at night, and 8 of those hours will be consecutive, plus they will take a morning and an afternoon nap. Are you having a hard time getting me to sleep longer through the night? Here are a few recommended steps to help us both get more rest!

  1. Establish a bedtime routine. This could be 15 minutes to 1 hour, but it should be relaxing and calm. Try to include things like a bath, reading books, or singing soft songs.
  2. Put me in my bed. I bet you love when I fall asleep in your arms, but I am a growing baby. I need to learn how to sleep in my own bed so that we both can get adequate quality and length of sleep.
  3. Try the 2-in 15-out Once you lay me in my bed, awake but sleepy, I may fuss or cry. If I do, comfort me for 2 minutes by rubbing my back or singing to me, but do not pick me up. After those 2 minutes, leave the room for 15 minutes. If I continue to fuss or cry, come back in after those 15 minutes and repeat 2 minutes of consolation without picking me up. Continue this pattern until I fall asleep. If that seems too harsh to leave me alone for 15 minutes, try this modified method.
    The Gradual 2-in 15-out strategy. employs the same 2-in 15-out principles, except you won’t leave me alone for those 15 minutes. For day 1-3, stay in my room until I fall asleep. If I cry or fuss, comfort me for 2 minutes by rubbing my back or singing to me, but do not pick me up. On day 4-6, stay in my doorway until I fall asleep, while using the 2 and 15 minute increments if I am fussy. Day 7-9 stand outside of my door until I fall asleep. If I cry, console me for 2 minutes and then return to your position outside of my door. And on day 10 close the door. Likewise, apply the 2-in 15-out principle.
    It’s probably helpful for you to fold laundry or wash dishes in those 15 minute intervals so you aren’t sad and counting the seconds while outside of my bedroom!
  4. Create a morning signal to alert me that it’s time to start my day. Maybe this is opening up the blinds in my bedroom, turning on a brighter light, or singing a good morning song. Soon I will learn that you only do this action in the morning, so any time you come for me during the night I will notice that it is time for sleep.

When I am awake during the day, I enjoy calling your name Ma and Da! Okay…I don’t know it’s your name yet, but I can say “ma” and “da” so it won’t be long until I associate those sounds with your name. I can probably say “ba” and “ga,” too. You are good at copying me when I say those sounds! And I like it when you repeat them to be two syllables, like “baba” or “dada.” Mealtimes together are lots of fun for me because I listen to all of the words you say to each other.

Our walks outside are so entertaining, too! I will babble in my stroller as you listen to me. When I say “ga” sometimes you respond with, “You’re right, honey. That is a girl.” And if I say “ba” you reply with, “Ball. Do you see the boy playing with the blue ball?” I’ve also noticed that you do this when we look at the pictures in my books together. Thanks for teaching me so many things as I explore the world!

Can you believe how much I have learned in the past 6 months? How to smile and giggle at Dad’s silly faces, to hold a toy, to grasp Mum’s finger, to lift my head and try to sit up, and even to start eating from a spoon. You both are my biggest fans! I love you so much, and this month I’ve showed it by reaching my arms up toward you when I want to be picked up! You’ve done a great job of teaching me this, by saying “up” and reaching out your arms before picking me up. Keep working on bye-bye too. Say bye-bye and wave your hands, then say bye-bye and make my hands wave. Soon I’ll catch on to these gestures!

And pretty soon I be able to give you a lovely, wet kiss to show you my love. Until then, I’ll express it will a smile on my face and my arms reached up toward your comforting embrace.

Love,

Your 6 Month Old Baby

6 Month Old Milestone Highlights

Physical Growth Boys weight: 14lbs 9oz – 19lbs 10oz
Boys length: 25in – 27.5in
Boys head circumference: 16.3 – 17.6in

Girls weight: 13lbs 3oz – 18lbs 5oz
Girls length: 24.4in – 26.8in
Girls head circumference: 15.8 – 17in

Eating Begins to taste baby food
Sleeping Sleeps 8+ hours at nights
Expressive Communication Can speak single syllables
Receptive Language Holds out arms to be picked up
Cognitive Looks for a dropped object
Social Emotional Will smile at self in a mirror
Fine Motor Picks things up by using hands as a rake
Gross Motor Can sit up using hands on the ground for support

Jana

Jana is the odd one out. Not a parent herself, she writes from the perspective of a young baby sitter. Experienced in making bedtime fun, she brings a unique perspective to parenting. She hopes that all she learns now will make the magic of being a parent just that extra bit special. She has no fixed address and is vagabonding around the globe, widening her world view.