6 Month Old Baby
Your baby is 6 months old!
Can you believe you’re halfway through baby’s first year?! By 6 months, baby is probably pretty opinionated. She might scream when someone other than you holds her. Can you blame her? If a stranger tried to hug you, you'd give them a "back off, buddy" reaction too. Baby is also starting to develop food likes and dislikes as you introduce new flavors to her.
For now though, she’s pretty easy to please at mealtime. (Look out for picky eating later!) One thing she really likes is her name. Now, she recognizes it and shows excitement when you say it.
You might notice your 6-month-old have a growth spurt, putting about a pound on this past month and more than a half a pound next month. During growth spurts, babies tend to act a little differently than their norm, perhaps wanting to feed more often or being a teeny bit cranky. Luckily, a growth spurt usually only lasts a few days.
6-Month-Old Baby Weight & Length
How much should a 6-month-old weigh? Average weight of a 6-month-old is 16.1 pounds for girls and 17.5 pounds for boys. Average length (height!) is 25.9 inches for girls and 26.6 inches for girls.
Average or “normal” weight for a 6-month-old baby doesn’t tell the whole story though. Babies, just like adults, have different body types, and just because your baby doesn’t fall near the 50th percentile doesn’t mean she isn’t healthy. Instead, look to her rate of growth—the doctor will plot it on a growth chart. As long as baby continues on the expected upward swing, things are considered A-okay growth-wise.
- Baby’s depth perception is still improving. She can look across the room at you and at her blocks on the floor.
- She’s also looking at things more closely. You probably notice her fascination in examining her toys. (And the examination continues with her mouth too!)
- Most six-month-olds respond quickly to noises, turning their head quickly when they hear something. Male and female adult voices may start to sound very different to her.
- Baby’s interested in touching different textures and shapes and is even touching her own body a lot to get to know how it feels all over.
What should my 6-month-old be doing?
- Baby may have already started babbling vowel sounds, but she may be working some consonants in there too. About half of six-month-olds will repeat the same consonant sound over and over: dadadada, babababa, mamamama, etc.
- She’s probably also laughing and giggling up a storm.
- Baby probably rolls in both directions: back to front and front to back.
- She “rakes” or picks up small objects by pushing them with her hand toward herself.
- Baby sits up—but probably with some help. She’ll get there soon.
- She soon may start to pass objects from one hand to the other.
It’s common for babies to start teething around this age. If baby has been crying more than usual, has been drooling and perhaps has swollen gums, a low fever or trouble sleeping, you may have a teething 6-month-old on your hands. A 6-month-old refusing the bottle can be a sign of teething too. Here are some great tips to help make her feel comfortable as she cuts that first (or second or third or…) tooth.
Is My 6-Month-Old Healthy?
There are some common health questions parents of six-month-olds ask. These include:
- How often should a 6-month-old poop? (It’s complicated.)
- My 6-month-old is constipated. What should I do? How much prune juice for a six-month-old who’s constipated? (Two to four ounces per day.)
- My 6-month-old has diarrhea. What should I do?
- My 6-month-old has a cough. What should I do?
- I have a 6-month-old with a fever. What’s a normal temperature for a 6-month-old? What should I do?
- How often should I bathe my 6-month-old? A few times a week is fine!
How much should a 6-month-old eat?
Bottle feeding: How much formula for a 6-month-old? Typically six to eight ounces about six times a day.
Breastfeeding: How often should a 6-month-old nurse? Feedings are still typically about every three or four hours but each breastfed baby may be slightly different. What’s important is that baby seems content, your boobs seem to have been emptied (they’re soft) and baby’s gaining weight healthily.
Pumping: If you’re pumping breast milk, you’re probably wondering how many ounces of breast milk for a 6-month-old is enough. Typically, a baby needs about 25 ounces of breast milk per day. So you’ll need to divide that by how many feedings your baby typically has. So if you feed baby about six times per day, he should get about 4.2 ounces of breast milk at each feeding, for example.
Solid foods: Almost all babies are ready to eat solid foods at six months old. If you and baby’s pediatrician have decided to feed baby solids, go slow and follow baby’s cues.
How much baby food for a 6-month-old?
You might start out with one ounce of baby food at a meal and gradually increase the amount to about three ounces, three times a day, if it seems like baby enjoys eating that much. How much fruit and veggies or how much cereal for a 6-month-old largely depends on the baby. The longer baby’s been eating solids and the more he’s interested in eating them, the more you should feel free to feed him—up to three ounces, three times per day.
6-Month-Old Feeding Schedule
What can baby eat this month?
Start out with pureed fruits, veggies or whole-grain cereal. Just introduce one food every three to four days, and in the meantime, look for signs of an allergic reaction in your baby. (Tell your doctor if you suspect one.)
What to feed a 6-month-old baby—these foods are excellent choices for baby’s first foods:
- Sweet potato
- Brown rice cereal
- Oatmeal baby cereal
- Butternut squash
- Acorn squash
Can I give my 6-month-old water?
Yes! Just don’t overdo it—baby can get full by drinking water, which means he’ll be missing out on the nutrients he needs from breast milk, formula and/or solid food. How much water can a 6-month-old have? Around four to six ounces of water per day is okay—as long as baby is still getting enough formula (up to 32 ounces per day) or breast milk (six to eight feedings per day).
Here are some answers to common sleep questions of parents of 6-month-olds.
How Much Should a 6-Month-Old Sleep?
It’s common to wonder: How much (or how many hours of) sleep does a 6-month-old need? Most babies this age sleep around 14 to 15 hours per day. Ten or 11 of those hours may come at night, and the rest (three to four hours) come during the day. Some 6-month-old babies have dropped their third nap and are only napping twice a day now.
Here’s an example of a 6-month-old sleep and nap schedule.
6-Month Old Sleep Schedule
My 6-month-old won’t sleep! Why?
Moms we know often complain that suddenly their 6-month-old won’t sleep through the night anymore or that their 6-month-old is waking up every two hours. There are a number of things that could cause 6-month-old sleep regression.
Babies might start waking in the middle of the night because of illness or teething pain. During a growth spurt, they might be extra hungry and want to feed more. Now that they’re learning how to roll, creep and crawl, they might wake to practice their new skills in the middle of the night. They might just miss their parents and want some cuddle time!
How can I sleep-train my 6-month-old?
Sleep-training a 6-month-old is tougher for some families than others. But the gist is that sleep-training takes patience and maybe a few tears (for baby and for mom). You’ll want to gradually remove yourself from baby’s efforts to soothe herself to sleep. Babies, just like adults, wake up throughout the night. But being able to go back to sleep on her own is what constitutes “sleeping through the night.” Baby needs to practice in order to develop that skill. Here’s the full scoop on how to sleep-train a 6-month-old.
My 6-month-old is sleeping on stomach. Is that okay?
If your 6-month-old baby sleeps on her tummy, it’s probably totally fine, so long as she’s rolling over by herself and able to hold up her head and shoulders. Still, put baby to sleep on her back. If she chooses to flip to her tummy, you shouldn’t worry about SIDS at this point.
A six-month-old’s day is much less about sleeping and more about doing than it used to be. If you’re looking for things to do with a 6-month-old baby, try playing with soft balls and textured toys that make sounds. Simple musical instruments, such as maracas, are great toys for this age too. Other fun activities for a 6-month-old baby include reading board books together. You can even give your baby an old magazine to flip though—if you don’t mind it getting ripped up!
Remember: Fun time with baby can include running errands and exercise for you, so get grocery shopping done while talking to baby about the red apples and green lettuce.
6-Month-Old Schedule Example
A 6-month-old’s daily schedule might look something like this.
- Take baby to her six-month checkup.
- Vaccines: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a third dose of the pneumococcal (PCV13), DTaP, Hib, poliovirus, Rotavirus and Hepatitis B immunizations at the six-month visit.
- Ask the doctor about a flu shot for baby; she’s now old enough.
- Schedule baby’s nine-month checkup.
- Introduce water to baby in a sippy cup, if you haven’t already.
- Double check that the house is baby-proofed well. Baby will be crawling very soon!
- Take baby’s 6-month-old baby photo.