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Your Six Month Old - What You Need To Know

Ages and Stages

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Updated March 27, 2011

A six month old eating baby food.

A six month old eating baby food.

Photo (c) Shannon Long

Infant Nutrition

While continuing to give 4-5 feedings of breast milk or an iron fortified infant formula (24-32 ounces) and 4 or more tablespoons of an iron fortified cereal each day, you can now start to give well-cooked, strained, or mashed vegetables or commercially prepared baby foods. Start with one tablespoon of a mild tasting vegetable, such as green beans, peas, squash or carrots and gradually increase to 4-5 tablespoons one or two times each day.

Start fruits about a month after starting vegetables and again, gradually increase to 4-5 tablespoons one or two times each day. You can use peeled, cooked, or canned fruits (but only those packed in light syrup or water) that have been blenderized or strained. You can also begin to offer 2-4 ounces of 100% fruit juices. Start by mixing one part juice with two parts of water and offer it in a cup only.

Delay giving finger foods or meat and other protein foods until he is eight to nine months old. Some parents start meats earlier, but since many kids don't seem to like baby food meats as much as cereal, fruits, and vegetables, many parents go through all of the varieties of those foods before starting meats, and their baby is usually about eight or nine months old by that time.

To avoid having to supplement with fluoride, prepare powdered/concentrated formula with fluoridated tap water. If you are using ready-to-feed formula, or bottled or filtered water only, then your baby may need fluoride supplements.

Your infant will probably have given up middle of the night feedings by this age (although some breastfed infants continue to have a feeding in the middle of the night). If not, and your baby is gaining weight well, slowly reduce how much you are putting in the bottle each night and gradually stop this feeding all together.

Feeding practices to avoid are stopping breastfeeding before you are ready, putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, putting cereal in the bottle, feeding honey, using a low-iron formula, offering juice in a bottle or heating bottles in the microwave.

For more information on your infant's nutrition:

Infant Growth and Development

Your infant has probably doubled his birthweight by now. At this age, you can expect him to imitate speech sounds, reach for objects, roll over, and sit without support. Over the next few months, he will start to stand holding on to things, pull to a stand, jabber and combine syllables, crawl and transfer things from hand to hand.

If using a pacifier, now is a good time to start restricting its use to only when your baby is in his crib, or giving it up all together. Restricting its use will help to decrease his interest in it. Avoid giving your baby his pacifier every time he cries or allowing him to use it as a security object (offer other choices instead, such as a blanket).

Most infants take at least two naps during the day at this age (length of naps are usually very variable between different children, but naps are usually 1 1/2 - 2 hours each) and are able to sleep for the majority of the night (at least 10-11 hours). If not, check to make sure that he has a good bedtime routine and has developed the proper sleep associations. If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to move him into a full size crib, in his own room if possible.

For more information on your infant's growth and development:

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