This will be a messy time as your infant learns to eat!
At this age, feeding time will be messy as your child is learning to eat. Human milk and/or commercially prepared formula is still required. Cow's milk is not recommended until after one year of age. Thirty-two ounces per day is usually the maximum amount recommended, and your infant will likely consume less as solids are introduced. Continue to advance baby cereal and strained fruits and vegetables. You may introduce juice but limit to four to six ounces per day. Please see our feedings handout.
Solids should be introduced as per the feeding handout. Start with single foods, given once a day. Feed with a spoon and do not put solids in a bottle or infant feeder.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supplementing exclusively breastfed babies with vitamin D. One such supplement, Poly-vis-sol, can be purchased over the counter; give one dropperful daily. Nursing mothers should continue their prenatal vitamins. Formula fed infants receive adequate vitamin supplement from commercially prepared formula.
Fluoride is very important for the development of your child's teeth and it is recommended to begin fluoride supplements at six months of life. Fluoride is not in formula or human milk and must come through water or supplements. Although most municipal water supplies add fluoride, some do not. If you are uncertain, you can check with your local utility company.
At this age your baby should:
- Sit without support
- Support weight on their legs for a short time
- Rock on their hands and knees
- Babble more than two sounds
- Roll over, scoot around, bounce
- Move object from hand to hand
- Reach for objects and hold them; bring feet to mouth
- Turn to a voice when called; recognize strangers
- Cry when left alone in a room
Indicators for concern:
- Unable to roll over
- Difficulty lifting head
- Does not turn head to direction of sound
Common Issues And Concerns
To see information on Acetaminophen (Infant Tylenol) dosage, click here. Remember to always dose based on the weight of your child.
(Helpful hints for preventing problems)
- Six months is when separation anxiety usually begins. Provide a friendly, soft toy as a crib companion or transitional object.
- Remember the four month instructions and make middle-of-the-night contacts brief and boring. Do not offer feedings.
- For fearful babies, make middle-of-the-night contacts prompt and reassuring. For mild night-time fears, check on your child promptly and be reassuring, but keep the interaction as brief as possible. In severe cases in which your child panics when you leave or vomits with crying, stay in your child's room until he is either calm or goes to sleep.
- Short of lifting your child out of his crib, provide whatever is needed for comfort.
- Do not turn on the light, and limit talking to a minimum.
As your infant grows and is exposed to other children (particularly if in daycare), upper respiratory infections may be frequent. Treatment is discussed in our hand-out on Colds and Congestion.
Clean your infant's teeth with a soft brush or washcloth when the first tooth pushes through the gum. See Tooth Decay, Prevention.
Distraction works well for discipline of a young child - if they are doing something you feel they should not, move them away from that place or object, and help them get interested in something else.
Your infant is becoming more mobile and constant supervision and safety precautions are critical. Do not leave your baby unattended. Click here for safety prevention guidelines from the AAP.
- Make sure you are using your car seat correctly and at all times.
- Take a course in safety and infant CPR. (Click here for a link to a DVD training video)
- Keep crib rails at the highest setting so your baby will not fall when he learns to pull up
- Do not use a baby walker. Walkers can cause injury, and delay learning and development.
- Childproof your home. Keep small and sharp objects, plastic bags, hot liquids, poisons, medications, outlets, cords and guns out of reach
- Install gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Let your baby be curious... this is how she learns.
- Be patient and do not scold.
- Talk to your baby.
Next Well Child Visit
The next routine physical examination is at nine months of life. Your child will have his hemoglobin measured at the nine month visit. Additionally, a developmental assessment will be conducted. This assessment can be viewed under the commonly used forms section of our website. The password to access the form is child.