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Well Child Care > Well child care: 6 Months

Well child care: 6 Months

Information regarding developmental goals, safety, immunizations, and nutrition information.

Developmental Goals

  • Babies sit without support by 8 months.
  • Play peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake and other interactive games.
  • Look at picture books together.
  • Baby learns by putting everything in mouth - watch for unsafe objects, but allow this exploring behavior.
  • Stranger anxiety begins soon. Don't be surprised if baby doesn't want Grandma or other unfamiliar person to hold him.
  • Babies love to look at themselves in a mirror.
  • Babbling, laughing and sound imitation are part of communication at this age. Talk about everything you do: Name body parts, talk about the colors of things, count as you walk the stairs. Do not do baby talk back.
  • Turn your television off. Did you know television viewing in children under 2 years can be harmful? 
  • See also Speech Development

Safety

  • Baby-proof your home: Cover electrical outlets, use gates, lock up medications/poison/cleaning products.
  • Think like a child when childproofing your home. Get down on the floor on your hands and knees. Look for small objects, breakables, poisons, cords, electrical outlets...anything a young child would find interesting that could be dangerous.
  • Keep products in their original containers. For instance, do not pour cleaning solution into a soda pop can / bottle.
  • Leave original labels on products. Read the label before using a product. Be sure to only use products in the ways they are supposed to be used.
  • Refer to medicine as “medicine,” not “candy.”
  • Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine. Check the label and dosage every time to be sure you are giving the right amount of the right medicine. If your child is on more than one medicine, write down dosage amounts and times that each is given so they are not confused.
  • Clean out the medicine cabinet 1-2 times a year. Safely dispose of unneeded medication when the illness for which it was prescribed is over. Do not pour contents down the drain or toilet. Click here for earth friendly and child safe ways to dispose of medications.
  • Use child resistant packaging properly. Close it securely after every use.A few seconds could save the life of your child.
  • Keep all chemicals and medicines locked up and out of sight. Use child resistant cabinet latches. Keep bathroom doors (and other unsafe rooms' doors) closed, since there are many unsafe products found there.
  • Do not put decorative candles or lamps with lamp oil where children can reach them because lamp oil is very toxic to children.
  • Don't let young children out of your sight. This means even if you have to pick them up and take them with you to answer the door or phone.
  • Be sure to follow these rules away from home also – such as Grandma’s house.
  • Never leave baby on changing table, bed or sofa.
  • Don’t use a walker. Exersaucers are safe.
  • Infant's car seat should remain rear facing until 2 years and 30 pounds. Please visit our car seat page for more information.
  • Use sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater); apply 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Lead poisoning risk may exist from cracked/peeling paint if it is from before 1960.
  • Keep the Poison Control Center number posted by all phones and store in your cell phone (1-800-222-1222).
  • Smoke alarms need yearly battery change. Change alarm every 5 years. Write the dates of battery changes and installation of the system on the alarm.
  • All parents should learn CPR and refresh skills every 2 years. For a list of CPR classes for both non-medical and medical professionals, click here.

Diet

  • Breast milk or formula - 30-34 oz. daily.
  • Expect decrease in milk need as food intake increases.
  • When starting a new food, take a teaspoon out of the jar to feed from the bowl. If baby likes it, feel free to take more out of the jar with a clean spoon (so saliva does not get into the jar).When baby is full, you can store the jar in the refrigerator. Babies will eat room temperature foods off the shelf, but you will need to gently warm food that has been refrigerated. If you make your own foods, you can freeze batches in ice trays and use one cube at a time. As your baby eats more, you will learn when you can feed directly from the jar because it will all be used!
  • First foods can be any nutritious food. Often babies like orange vegetables, such as squash or sweet potato, so those are great first foods, but you can also give avacado, green beans, or even meats fisrt. The important thing is that it is pureed to a texture baby can take. Stage 1 foods are single foods that are pretty runny. Stage 2 foods have multiple foods in one jar, such as turkey and vegetables, and are a little thicker.
  • We do not recommend Stage 3 foods; they have chunks of food and many babies choke on these, even if they can pick up table foods and eat without choking.
  • When your baby can sit well, grab with a pincer grasp (finger to thumb), and shows interest, you can begin table foods. There are baby specific finger foods available, or you can give what your family is eating, simply broken into small pieces.
  • It is now recommended for most children to start peanut products between 4 and 11 months to prevent peanut allergy. If there is a family history of peanut allergy or if your child has eczema, discuss this with your child's physician first.
  • Avoid honey until 12 months.
  • Avoid juice! It works well if used for constipation, but otherwise has a lot of empty calories and should not be used routinely.
  • Juice offers little nutrition and has a lot of sugar! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no fruit juice for children under 6 months of age and limiting 100% fruit juice intake to 4-6 ounces per day for children ages 1-6 years and 8-12 ounces per day for those ages 7-18 years. 
  • No popcorn or other potential choking foods until after 2 years old.
  • You may start water in a sippy cup.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants receiving less than 33 ounces of formula take a vitamin D and iron supplements. Vitamins for infants are available in your pharmacy in the vitamin section.
    • Vitamin D is not in breast milk unless mother takes 6400 IU/day. Every 8.3 ounces of formula has 100 IU. It is recommended for infants under 1 year to have 400 IU per day. If your infant has less than 33 ounces of formula per day a supplement is recommended. Skin can make it if exposed to sunlight, but no one knows how much is ideal and the risk of too much sun is great. Read more on our vitamin D page.
    • Iron is in breast milk and term babies are born with iron stores in the liver to last 4-6 months, but many babies are deficient when tested. Because iron deficiency can cause growth and developmental problems, prevention is worth the effort.
  • Don't forget to visit our page on feeding your 6 month old and Starting Solids.

Discipline

  • At 6-7 months begin telling child not to do any undesired activity. Be specific.
  • Divert attention from danger. Use "no" for dangerous situations, but try not to use it for other things.
  • Be calm, firm and consistent.

Sleep

  • Begin a routine at bedtime so baby learns good sleep habits. A bath is relaxing. If baby feeds before bed, be sure it doesn't put him to sleep. A great routine to begin is reading a picture book before bed.
  • Put baby to bed drowsy and let her fall to sleep on her own. If she falls to sleep drinking, you can wipe off gums or teeth (important to prevent cavities!). This will awaken her enough to put her to bed awake. Babies who learn to fall to sleep on their own tend to be able to put themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night better. If your baby has a hard time falling to sleep, you can let her cry a few minutes longer each night.
  • Bringing baby to bed is a hard habit to break and can be dangerous.

Health

Teeth hygiene - wash or toothbrush daily. Use a pea sized amount of toddler/training toothpaste or a grain of rice amount of toothpaste with fluoride. For more on dental care, visit our dental pages.
We offer fluoride varnish once babies have enough teeth - ask for it at your next check up.
It is recommended for babies to have their first eye exam between 6 and 12 months.Click here to learn about the Infant See program.
For fussiness, pain, or symptomatic fevers, use Acetaminophen(Tylenol) or Ibuprofen as directed for weight.
For information about penile adhesions (when the tip of the penis sticks to surrounding skin), click here.

Vision

  • Check your insurance for vision exam options at the 9 month visit.

Immunizations

  • Fever is common after shots. For fussiness you can give Acetaminophen every 4-6 hours as needed. We no longer recommend routine fever reducers to prevent side effects because research has shown it might decrease the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • Bring your shot record each visit.
  • Review the VIS (Vaccine Information Sheet) before visits.
  • Flu (Influenza) shots are recommended after 6 months of age. The first year children get a flu vaccine they need two doses: a "primer" dose and a "booster" dose. After two doses from the same season, they only need a booster each year. If they miss the booster the first season, they will need two the next season to be fully immunized, then they only need a booster each year. 

Be sure to obtain any required health forms at your well visit!

WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) provides nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and food to families who have needs. 

Request your child's 6-month well child care appointment now by clicking here.

Insurance

Review your insurance contract to see who is responsible for payment of specific things within your well visit. Many companies do not require a co pay for well care visits, but if additional topics are discussed (such as ill topics or refills of medications) they might require a payment from you. They might also require you to pay for all or part of any labs or testing done at well visits.

If you have questions about how your insurance handles codes performed at the time of well visits, please visit our insurance pages on patient responsibility with billing and Why am I being billed? I have insurance!

Find health information quickly in our parent toolkit.

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