Your Baby's Sixth Month: Introducing Semi-Solids
Your baby’s sixth month of life is a milestone that marks the start of many new experiences. Now, your little one is ready to eat some solid food.
Their teeth are growing, and after a few attempts, they’ll be able to stand up.
This is going to be an unforgettable time! Let us be your guide in the changes that happen around the six month mark.
Changes in your baby’s sixth month
Changes can be worrying for first-time moms. But most of the time, with a little advice we realize they’re nothing to be afraid of.
During your baby’s sixth month, you’ll begin to notice some of the following changes:
Weight and size
Healthy weight for babies this age is a broad range. Don’t worry if your little one is over or under the average.
At six months, most babies weigh between 6–8 kg (13–18 lb) and their height ranges between 63–70 cm (25–28 in).
One of the most exciting developments that occurs in this new stage is your baby’s newfound agility. They’ll start to pick up toys, pass them from one hand to the other, or even throw them around.
You might also notice your child trying to stand up alone, holding onto the furniture for support.
By this stage, most parents are looking forward to complementing their child’s diet with different foods. It’s a joy to see their expression as they experience new flavors.
But before feeding your child semi-solids, see your pediatrician and check that this is the right moment to begin.
Once you have the green light, you’re ready to begin a stage of exploration. Your baby will begin to appreciate flavors, textures and other sensations that stimulate their sensory system.
What is the best way to introduce new foods? Go for fruit purees and mashed vegetables, which are an ideal complement to breast milk.
As you try different foods, watch your baby’s reaction for the next two days. Check whether they show any unusual symptoms, which could be a sign of an allergy.
Teething begins at around this time. For some babies, this process may be somewhat unpleasant. The first teeth to appear are the lower incisors, in the middle of their lower jaw.
At this stage, you’ll need to be patient with your baby. Teething can be painful and distressing.
You’ll notice right away when your baby is teething. They’ll drool a little more than normal, and will put anything they can in their mouth to scratch their gums.
They may also be irritable for a time, and can even have a high temperature.
What to feed your six-month-old
Without a doubt, it’s worth reading up on a healthy diet and finding out which foods are best for little ones. Be aware that this is a stage of adaptation.
Give your baby a little solid food as part of a complementary diet, but don’t stop breastfeeding or formula feeding.
- Start off with fruit, such as mashed banana, apple sauce, or peach or pear puree.
- Then include some vegetables, such as mashed carrot or squash.
- If your baby will eat them, pulses such as lentil puree are highly beneficial.
- Give them some grains, such as rice, barley or oatmeal.
- You can also include a little unsweetened yogurt.
- Add a few drops of oil when you cook for your baby. Oil contains beneficial fats that help the development of the nervous system.
- If you’d like to experiment with any other kind of food, talk to your doctor first before giving it to your baby.
Other tips for your baby’s sixth month
To make sure your baby’s sixth month of life is a wonderful experience, here are some other recommendations to take into account:
- Your little one will sometimes make sudden, surprising movements. Don’t be alarmed by this! Just make sure they aren’t within reach of risks of any kind. Other than that, let them explore and experiment.
- You’ll soon see your baby getting into position to crawl. Try not to cry out or scream, even if it’s with delight. This can frighten your baby, and they may not want to try it again.
- Don’t add any salt or sugar to their food until they’re a year old. Excess sugar causes obesity, cavities and many other health issues. And babies are used to the bland taste of milk, and don’t have a taste for salt.
- Don’t include honey in their diet until your specialist tells you it’s safe to do so. Honey can contain botulinum toxin, which causes a condition of the nervous system in some patients.
- It’s important to pay attention to your little one’s bowel movements. Introducing new foods into their diet can sometimes lead to constipation.
- Make sure to use suitable utensils to feed your child. This way, you’ll avoid breaking things and reduce the risk of injury.
- Don’t force your child to eat. Be patient! Your baby will get dirty, play with their food and spit some of it back up. They won’t eat quickly and neatly straight away, so give them time!
Above all, enjoy this time with your baby. Before you know it, they’ll be even bigger and more independent!