It's not taboo to say that having a baby is a daunting adventure. The entire act of parenthood is a huge responsibility; one most people have no knowledge about until they're thrown into the pool of parenthood themselves. If carrying the baby to full term is nerve-wracking, imagine taking that sweet bundle of joy home from the hospital! There's no more nurses or doctors — just mama and baby (and perhaps a partner).
Now that the baby is here and life at home begins, it's a parents job to take note of all the changes their baby is experiencing. After all, we're told time and time again how important those first few months of a baby's life are. Their brain is a sponge and they're soaking in everything in their environment. This means that training them for small achievements has to be a daily exercise — especially before their six-month mark.
Before the baby turns one year old, reaching their six-month mark means reaching a few milestones. Does the sweet baby babble? Do they have their first row of baby teeth sprouting? Are they picking things up in one hand and passing it to the other? These are all things a baby should be doing by the time they're six months old.
20 Baby Babble
Is there anything sweeter than hearing your baby find their little voice? They may not be saying actual words yet, but they're trying to. A baby babbling is their soft way of communicating. They're trying out different sounds and conversing in their own precious way. WebMD states that baby babbling should begin around the three-month mark. The site states, "At 3 months, your baby listens to your voice, watches your face as you talk, and turns toward other voices, sounds, and music that can be heard around the home." Hearing your baby coo around this stage is not just adorable, it's on track.
19 First Word
Once your baby is babbling and cooing in their own adorable way for six months, it's usually around this timeframe that their first word pops out. Simple words like "mama" or "dada" are easy to say for them. Then again, a child could try to say the pets name or a word mom says most often! Parent's shouldn't be upset, of course, if a baby says "mom" or "dad" first; as long as they're trying to use their words, they're on the right track. WebMD furthers this by saying, "By the end of the sixth or seventh month, babies respond to their own names, recognize their native language, and use their tone of voice to tell you they're happy or upset."
18 Starting To Sit Up By Themselves
It's eye-opening to see all the things a baby should be doing by the time they're six months. It really makes you realize how many simple things we do every day, but at one point we weren't strong enough to do it. Trying to sit up on our own is one of those things. If a baby isn't sitting up on their own by this age, they should at least be trying to get in that position. As WebMD says "To get ready, babies first prop themselves up with their hands, but over time they can start to let go and sit unsupported." This kind of mentality is shared with so many of us — no matter the age. Think about all the poses there are in yoga and how we have to keep on trying until we succeed.
17 Sleeping Throughout The Night
I think this age range is a young parent's favorite milestone. While a baby is still learning their own sleep patterns and schedules, they should even out by the time they're six months old. At this stage, getting a solid six to eight hours a night should be easy for them (and even easier for parents!). However, if your baby is not getting enough sleep throughout the night, they can always try The Ferber Method. As WebMD explains, it's when you place your baby in their crib while they're still awake. This will help them find comfort on their own (even when crying). It's up to the mom if she wants to soothe the baby when crying begins.
16 Change Of Eye Color
Surprise! Your baby may be born with one eye color, but that doesn't mean that color is going to stick as the baby ages. This happens especially to children who are born with super light color eyes (blue). "Lighter-colored eyes may go through several shifts before settling on their final shade at about six months," WebMD says. If your child has the eye color after the six-month mark, they'll most likely have that same eye color for life.
As Parents explains, a baby is born without a lot of "melanin" in their eyes, which makes them a lighter shade. However, as they age, the amount of light "stimulates the production of melanin," which can alter the color.
15 Doubled Their Birth Size
This may change from baby to baby. After all, babies are all different and mature at different speeds. By the time your sweet child is around six months, they should—more or less—have doubled the size they were born. "During the first few months of life, your baby was growing at a rate of about 1 ½ to 2 pounds a month," WebMD states. However, once the baby reaches six months, their body will only grow little by little every month. During this time, the length of their body will change, too; "Height gain will also slow, to about a half-inch each month."
14 Learning Valuable Relationships
It's easy for a mom to say they have a connection with their baby. They're attached to them — they carried them in their belly for nine whole months. She already feels an unbreakable bond. That's not always the case for babies though. Yes, they have a bond to their parents, of course, but before the six-month mark, they slowly learn what these "people" are and how they make them feel.
The Department of Health of Western Australia explains how these babies are forming relationships in their min and how they're rewarding. It's "an important basis for his relationship with you and other people as well as his own self-esteem. At this stage, he is often happy to smile and interact with strangers because he is getting so much pleasure from smiling and interacting with you."
13 Roll From Their Back To Their Stomach
Again, rolling around, sitting down, turning our head... we do so many of these things without thinking about it. A little baby, however, needs to train themselves. The more they do these things or watch their parent do them, the more they'll feel comfortable trying. Place them on the ground and put toys slightly out of reach; encourage them to roll over on their back and vice versa. Before they turn six months, they should be able to wiggle around without using their hands or your assistance. If your little babe hasn't reached this level yet, keep on practicing — it'll come!
12 Eye Contact
Eye contact seems like such a mundane thing, but grasping a baby's glance is a big step in the baby world. As an infant, so many things are going on around them; everything is new. They don't even know where to look half the time — this new world can be intimidating. Over time, however, they will learn to know they're safe and in good hands, which will lead them to create a deeper bond with their parent or caretaker through eye contact. The Health Organization of Western Australia explains, "He will be making eye contact with you and you will be smiling at each other. He will be able to ‘read’ some of your expressions and will smile when you show you are happy and may look worried if you look cross or tired."
Granted, smiling can come at many different stages — even earlier than six months. My best friend's daughter smiled on the day she was born. Now, I don't think she knew what she was doing, but she did it regardless (and now she's always smiling). Around four months, though, a child should be smiling on their own. They may even start kicking their legs and waving their arms around if they're really enthused. As a parent, smiling to your baby can help them learn to smile as well, which should be easy since smiling at your child is usually done without thinking.
10 Beginning Solid Foods
By the time your baby is four months old, they're typically ready for solid foods, per the Mayo Clinic. If your baby is showing signs that they're interested in eating, can hold things in their hands, and can sit up by themselves, these are all signs that they may be ready for their first solid food. You're gonna want to start off simple, with no salt/seasoned foods. Web MD says to "begin with an iron-fortified cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula." Then, you can start introducing fruits and vegetables a little at a time. The site does remind parents to space it out a few days at a time to see how they react to different foods.
9 Finding Their Toes And Fingers
Is there anything more adorable than a baby finding their toes for the first time? Once they learn how to use both their arms and legs, it's fun to see them discover all the things they can do. By the time your child turns six months, they should be able to kick their legs and grab their toes. Learning to grasp things with their hands is the first step, and once that's accomplished, they'll start for their toes. If you want to expedite this process, try taking the socks off your little one so they can find and play with their toes. Socks may keep them warm, but they also cover their toes, making it hard for them to explore.
8 Lift Their Heads Up During Tummy Time
Before you become a mom, the idea of tummy time seems kind of silly. Why do babies need to do this anyway? Well, lying on their belly helps them learn basic skills along with gaining some muscles to help them do average everyday things. Start tummy time early while your baby is a newborn by placing them on your chest. The older they get, you can try it out on the floor where they have more room to wiggle around. By the time they're four months they should be able to do better at tummy time by being able to lift their heads. Being strong enough to lift their heads will make them much happier and have less fussy tummy time moments.
7 Recognizes Voices
As most mommas know, babies begin to recognize voices while they're inside the womb. But once they're born, it may take some time to associate the voice with the face. Especially for new people in their life. To test how well your baby knows the immediate people in their lives, play a video of their other parent, a grandparent, or a sibling and see how they react. Do they stop and listen, excited that the person in the video may walk in the room? Are they smiling and giddy that they heard the voice of someone they love? If you're curious who they remember, play a video or show a picture and see how they react.
6 Doesn't Flop Over When You Hold Them Upright
Baby Center explains that by the time a baby is four months, they should be able to sit up with their parent's assistance without flopping over. By this age, babies should have been doing tummy time for a few months by now and should have a stronger core to do things like sitting up with some help. New parents may be taken aback by how gentle and fragile their newborn is, but through these small training movements (i.e., tummy time), they can become strong enough to do other things on this list! Soon enough your baby will be trying to sit up by themselves without the help of mom or dad.
5 Searches For Sound
According to Healthy WA, by the time your baby is four months, they should be turning their head on their own. And by that, I mean they should be purposefully turning their head. They're not just going back and forth because they think it's fun; they're turning their head to see, smell, touch, or eat something. They're turning their head because they're trying to achieve something. This is also the case with sound.
If you have a pet in the other room who's barking, your baby may be strong enough to follow the sound with their head and try to find out what the sound is. The same can be said when a loved one walks into another room in the house and is calling their name.
4 Their Diaper Changes Going A Little Differently
As aforementioned, by the time your baby is four months old, they may be ready to start eating solid foods instead of just breastmilk or formula. This could be a few pieces of banana, a piece of broccoli, or some rice cereal. Trying new foods is monumental because you're essentially introducing their pallet to them. You're showing them what they'll be able to eat more of in the future. However, what comes with eating new foods with different textures? Different bathroom habits. While babies are still in the diaper stages, mom and dad may notice a difference in stool around this time period. But it's totally normal. The texture, amount, and smell may change, but it's only because of the new food their body is tasting. If you have any concerns about how frequently or infrequently your baby is going to the bathroom, call your baby's doctor.
3 Passing An Object From Hand To Hand
It's one thing to hold an object, it's another to cognitively pass the item from hand-to-hand realizing they're able to do that. They're not just holding something mindlessly; they're holding something with purpose. By three months, a baby should be able to hold something in their hand and pass it to the other. Baby Center explains that this is the stage where babies develop their hand-eye coordination, and they'll be more willing to attempt new things. Play around with your little one and help them gain this mobility! Place things in one hand, then the other; place a toy just out of reach so they'll try reaching for it with one hand and then the other.
2 Sit Up Straight With Assistance
There are so many adorable chairs and sets that help a baby sit up straight. They're comfortable and supportive enough to sit up straight without mom or dad sitting behind them every time. Having these little chairs makes parents lives easier, especially when a baby can now sit in them without much help from mom or dad. They can sit in these chairs and eat their food or play a game. By the time a baby is four months and can sit up with an assisted chair, they can also sit in a high chair during meals! It's an exciting moment in a parent's life, to be honest.
1 First Row Of Baby Teeth
The first sign that your little one is ready to eat solid foods is by seeing how many baby teeth they have! By the time your baby is four to six months old, their small baby teeth will begin to poke through. Parents explains that teeth usually grow in pairs, so don't be alarmed if you see two front teeth growing about the same rate, while others are slow moving — every baby is different. If you can remember that far back, teeth pain is a different kind of pain, so your baby may be bothered. But this is when teethers come in to play. Make sure your child has a teether to soothe their pain and give them nutrient-rich foods to help grow strong teeth!