6 to 9 Months: What to Expect
As your baby turns six months old, you will notice how active they are! So much will happen during the next three months in terms of development as your baby starts exploring the world more. This will be a busy time for you.
There are many things to look forward to at this age as your little one learns to sit up and start to eat solid foods. You might find life busier as your baby gets more mobile, and life is about to get messier!
So, when can you start weaning your little one? Six months is the time to begin introducing your baby to their first foods.
You may want to start introducing solids by offering spoonfuls of puréed food, or you may want to opt for baby-led weaning (BLW). BLW means offering your baby finger foods, like cooked broccoli, chunks of cooked apples, bananas, or unsalted breadsticks. You may want to try both, mixed weaning.
Whichever approach you take, never force food on your baby if they're not interested. Instead, follow their lead and let them guide you.
You need to continue feeding your baby breast milk, formula milk, or a combination until they are one year old. But as your baby eats more solids, they will start to drink less milk.
As your baby begins eating solids, it's a good idea to introduce them to drinking water from a cup at six months.
By nine months, some babies will be sleeping through the night. While for others, sleep can seem to get worse.
Some babies who have previously slept well may start waking up. This could result from separation anxiety or developmental changes and growth spurts. It's also possible your baby will wake at this age with teething pain.
Personal, Social, and Emotional Development
Is interested in playing with others interactive games such as peek-a-boo, clapping hands and pat-a-cake-like games
Maintains eye contact with people during a playful interaction
Reaches to familiar people and raises hands towards them to be picked up
Begins to show signs of separation anxiety
Begins to be scared of strangers
Sense of Self
Your baby is becoming more aware of their physical self
Enjoys mirror play and seeing themselves in the mirror. However, your baby might still not know their reflection looking back at them
Your baby begins to use their voice and cry to attract others' attention
Your baby stops crying when an adult communicates with them
Your baby begins to understand emotion in their primary caregiver's voice
Begins to communicate a range of emotions (e.g. pleasure, interest, surprise, excitement) through making sounds, facial expressions, and moving their bodies
Baby lying on floor legs up
Moving and Handling
Sits without support
Sits and reaches for toys without falling
Moves from tummy or back into sitting
Starts to move with alternate leg and arm movement, e.g. creeping, crawling - aids with sensorimotor development as your little one experiences the world while developing their brain and body
Your baby begins to lift their head and chest by supporting their arms and elbows, leaving their hands flat on the floor during tummy time
Your baby begins to turn their head to look for and track objects while sitting
Shows more control while rolling and sitting
Transfers toys from one hand to the other
Your baby explores objects and toys using their mouth
If held standing, your baby enjoys moving and bouncing up and down
Turns several pages of a chunky (board) book at once
Uses a palmer grasp when picking up objects
Health and Self-care
Communicates discomfort or distress with wet or soiled nappy
First teeth usually appear
Chews on toys and a baby toothbrush
Opens mouth for a spoon
Alert for periods of increasing length
Anticipates food routines with interest
Communication and Language Development
Listening and attention
Your baby begins to enjoy music, songs and rhymes, especially if they include actions
Listens to and recognises own name.
Begins to babble repeated sounds and plays around with these sounds
cooing, laughing, and gurgling become stronger
Babbling contains repeated sounds, consonants and vowels together, e.g. ba ba ba ba ba, ma ma ma ma.
Starts to understand contextual clues, e.g. familiar gestures, words and sounds
Begins to understand the emotion in their primary carer's voice
Follows some routine commands when paired with gestures
Looks at familiar objects and people when named
Recognises the sounds of their name
What to look out for:
Remember that each child is unique, and they all develop at various times and different rates. So, if your baby isn't doing the same things as your friend's kid, give your little one time! Your little one may be finding the following skills challenging:
Can’t sit without assistance.
Won’t respond to her name.
Doesn’t put weight on her legs.
Doesn’t play any games involving back-and-forth play.
Doesn’t recognise adults she knows.
Doesn’t look where you point.
Can’t transfer toys between her hands.
If you are concerned about your little one, seek help from your GP or health visitor. No matter how small your concern is don’t let it linger in your mind, ask for help.
Join 1000's of families learning at home
Get 3 months of free access to our award-winning nursery education app.