Monday July 16, 2018
By now, your baby has developed their upper body strength and coordination, but now their lower body faces a challenge. At this time, your baby should be steadier when sitting up on their own, although they may still need your help now and again. You’ll notice that their head and neck muscles are stronger, so they can now keep their head level when you pull them into a sitting position.
You may also notice that your baby is all of a sudden afraid of strangers, i.e. people they don’t see daily. This happens because the memory for faces of your baby has improved a bit, so they can tell familiar from unfamiliar people. Just as your baby is afraid of strangers, they also fear a physical separation from you.
By this time your baby can recognize names, familiar sounds, and some basic words like “no” or “bye-bye.” Also, some babies may be able to point to the objects you call. This is called receptive language, and it actually precedes the ability to speak. You can also expect to hear some speech-like sounds. They will begin to learn turn-taking in conversation as you wait for their babble to stop so that you can “answer” them. You can encourage their conversation with you by imitating the sounds they make. They may even produce a range of sounds and tones that they may not ordinarily hear. Continue reading to your baby. It doesn’t matter what you read to them because it’s the tone of your voice that’s important to them at this age.
At about 6 months old you can start weaning your baby and giving them solid food. They may not like it at first as they need time to get used to the new textures and tastes. Generally, you should avoid seasoning their food and offering them sweet food. When you introduce solid food to your baby’s diet, it doesn’t mean that you should all of a sudden stop breastfeeding them. Weaning happens over many months, and to help you with this, you should always offer your baby solid foods when they are really hungry, then breastfeed them. In that way, they will take less milk and more solid foods.
Around this time, your baby should be able to sleep for 8 hours without waking during the night to be fed.