I think six months is the golden age of infancy. Your baby is old enough to sit on her own, she’s content if you set her on the ground with some toys for a few minutes, she won’t crawl away (yet), she sleeps through the night, she’s smiley and responsive; it’s all around—golden.

Safety

  • Car: use an infant seat, in the back seat of the vehicle, rear facing (I like the 5 point harness style that allows you to pull the straps tight against the infant’s chest).  Keep in mind that if you have a big baby, you may have to buy a convertible car seat at this stage.  You will know your child is too big for the infant seat if her head comes within an inch of the back of the car seat.
  • Sleep:
    • the crib is the safest place, slats less than 2 3/8 in. apart, lower the crib mattress
    • on your baby’s back (this is to reduce the risk of SIDS)—however, if your baby is rolling significantly, you do not need to flip her back over
    • No extra soft bedding (quilts, comforters), pillows, toys, positioners (these are also suffocation hazards)
  • Childproofing: Get down on floor level and look for hazards
    • Outlet covers
    • Safety gates in front of stairs
    • Chemicals/medications/cleaners out of reach or locked
    • Guns with ammunition separate and in a gun safe
    • Toys with small parts and sharp objects out of reach
  • Water Heater: less than 120 degree F (to prevent scalding)
  • Smoking: Keep home and car smoke free
  • Sun: Limit sun exposure, use sun protective clothing, you can now use sunscreen on your infant

 Nutrition

  • Continue to breastfeed or use formula.  The milk constitutes the major source of nutrition for your infant.
  • Start introduction of solid foods.  Usually start with iron fortified cereal first, then vegetables, fruits, and meats.
  • It’s important to do one food at a time waiting at least 2-3 days between foods to watch for any adverse reactions or allergies (e.g. rash or diarrhea)
  • Do not give your child honey (because of botulism risks) or peanuts (due to the increasing risk of allergies).

 Milestones

  • Sits unsupported
  • Uses a raking grasp
  • Transfers objects from one hand to another
  • Babbles