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Early learning starts at birth. Help your child develop the fundamental skills and knowledge that will lead to his future academic and life success. Learn how to support your child's learning each week and discover engaging play activities that are "just right" for his early education.

Your Child's Development & Learning

In a Nutshell...Your Baby at 6 Months Old}

Summary Recap

In a Nutshell...Your Baby at 6 Months Old

Your baby is almost 6 months old, and what impressive skills she's developed across all the learning domains! One of the most important things you can do for your baby is to take her to all of her recommended well-child pediatrician visits.

Did you know that many potential learning and developmental issues, including autism, can be treated most effectively if detected early in life? This is important, since the later intervention occurs, the more challenging it becomes to correct their learning and developmental issues, as to do so children must essentially rewire their brain connections. So be sure to stay on top of your baby's doctor visits and learn about the American Academy of Pediatric's Bright Future well-child care guidelines and recommended visit schedule.

At six months old, you should continue to be on the look out for any major developmental red flags that your baby may show as she plays and interacts with others. If you notice any of the following traits or behaviors by now, be sure to speak to your care provider about your concerns as soon as possible.

Physical Development:

  • Still has tonic neck (lies in a "fencer position" with head turned looking towards an extended arm and the other arm flexed).
  • Seems stiff, with tight muscles.
  • Seems very floppy, like a rag doll.
  • Head still flops back when body is pulled up into a sitting position.
  • Reaches with one hand only.
  • Doesn't actively reach for objects (that are within reach).
  • Has difficulty getting objects to her mouth.
  • Doesn't roll over in either direction (front to back or back to front).

Social Emotional Development:

  • Doesn't smile spontaneously, laugh, or make squealing sounds.
  • Doesn't show affection for caregivers.
  • Doesn't seem to enjoy being around people.
  • Seems inconsolable at night after 5 months.

Language Development:

  • Doesn't babble consonant sounds (e.g. jabbering "ma", "na", "ba", "da", "ga", and "ka").
  • Doesn't laugh, chuckle, or squeal to show joy.
  • Doesn't respond to own name (e.g. by looking up).
  • Doesn't respond to conversation by making sounds (e.g. babbles, coos, and squeals)

Cognitive Development:

  • Doesn't follow objects with both eyes at near (1 foot) or far (6 feet) ranges.
  • One or both eyes consistently turn in or out.
  • Has persistent tearing, eye drainage, or eye sensitivity to light.

To review and check out all of your baby's achievements to date, click on her 3-6 month old developmental milestone list.