You have finally made it to 6 months! Your child at 6 months should now be developing some new skills, actions, and sounds that are important to their development. With this, they should be broadening their cognitive, social-emotional, adaptive, communication, and physical development skills.
According to HealthDay, parents lose up to 2 hours of sleep each night for the first 5 to 6 months, but do not stress, a little more sleep is coming your way soon. Doctors suggest, parents of newborns to 5 months old, lose around 2 hours of sleep a night, yet after 5 months to around 2 years old parents only lose one hour of sleep!
Development Milestones for your 6-Month-Old
Your baby should now be improving and completing milestones in five different skill sets as they reach the 6-month mark. Making sure your baby is on track in all areas of development is important so that delays or gaps can be detected as soon as possible. When delays in development are caught earlier, the child has a better chance of progress and reaching their full potential.
Here are some of the skills in each area of development to be aware of:
- Cognitive Skills- imitates familiar actions like clapping, reaches to get a toy, finds an object that is partially hidden, and explores with hands and mouth
- Communication Skills- responds to sounds by making sounds, uses gestures for waving “bye bye” and shaking head yes or no, strings sounds together when babbling, responds to name, and makes sounds like “mammama” and “dadada”
- Social-Emotional Skills- expresses affection, plays simple games with others, responds differently to children and adults, and shows preferences
- Adaptive Skills- anticipates spoon with an open mouth, closes lips around a spoon, and holds bottle to drink
- Physical Skills- rolls over in both directions, sits without support, bangs objects together in midline, supports weight on legs when standing, and rocks back and forth on hands and knees
As a parent, it’s important to be aware of these developmental areas and see where your baby is making progress or may not be making progress. Our downloadable chart below will help you see where your child is at in their development.
To check your baby’s different milestones under these five skill sets, download our free 6 Month Early Childhood Development Chart.
Concerned that your Child is Behind? Support is Here!
As a parent, if you are concerned that your child is behind in some developmental milestones, getting started with early intervention therapy or support can be extremely helpful to get them back on track and reach their full potential. Right Start offers four types of therapies that will help your child grow, reach their full potential, and progress through any developmental delays.
If you are concerned about your child, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist addresses many areas of development. The main goal of occupational therapy is to help your child improve their abilities and skills in these areas:
- Motor Development
- Sensory Processing
- Self Help/Adaptive Development
- Social Interaction/Behavior
Special Instruction & Behavior Support
Developing healthy social interactions and behaviors are crucial parts of your child’s life. When a child struggles to develop vital skills needed to succeed, Special Instruction or Behavior Support can help by addressing:
- Cognitive skills
- Social Emotional skills
- Behavior concerns
- Social Interactions and play skills
If you are worried that your child’s expressive or receptive communication is lacking for their age, Speech Therapy can be extremely helpful. A Pediatric Speech & Language Pathologist can strengthen your child’s skills by:
- Enhancing their ability to communicate with others
- Enhancing their ability to understand language
- Improving their feeding skills
- Improving their use of verbal and nonverbal communication
If you suspect a delay in your child’s physical motor skills, Physical Therapy can help. A Pediatric Physical Therapist will benefit your child by helping them gain skills essential for gross motor development including:
- Range of Motion
The therapists at Right Start are here to help your child develop new skills. They have extensive experience in pediatrics, are highly trained, and have many areas of expertise. Additionally, Right Start therapists provide pediatric therapy services in a child’s home, school, daycare, or community setting for your family’s convenience. Our goal is to improve the lives of children and families with our services.
What You Can Do if you are Concerned
If you suspect a delay in your child’s development skills, talk to your child’s pediatrician for guidance. Then, if your child is between the ages of birth to 3 years old, get in touch with your county’s Early Invention program. Or, if you are in our service area, fill out our referral form and we can facilitate the process for you.
If you don’t see your county, you can call the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 and get connected to a provider in your area. If you are in our service area, request Right Start Children’s Services!