Growth and development for Infant- 6 months old

It feels like yesterday when your baby came into this world and now it’s half way to a year. There is so much going on in terms of growth and development for infant during 6 to 8 months of age . It’s fun and exciting seeing them do new things every day. This is the time when the left side of their brain starts talking to the right side of the brain. It helps them to coordinate with the movement of their body parts much better. The growth and development for infant at this age is very fast and you have to keep an eye on this. Following are the things that you can expect at 6 months (What foods can be given to 6 months old?) baby age:

Growth and development for infant

Physical development: By 6 months most of the babies start to roll over in both directions and push themselves up and down, it means now you have to take extra care while they are on bed or table. They begin to sit (How calcium and vitamin D helps in building strong bones in kids?) with or without support for some time and also are able to hold their head up strongly without any help. They also try to reach and grab toys and other things which they see and pass them from one hand to other.

Communication and language skills: Normally children start to babble consonant sounds like “ba”, “da”, “Ma”. They also begin to recognize their name and responses when someone calls their name. Beside their name they start to understand a few words like eat, bath, sleep (How sleep is related to brain development in babies?) etc. Some Kids at this age use their voice to get attention and to express their feelings.

Emotional development: The growth and development of newborn is very rapid. 6 months is the time when babies start differentiating between familiar faces and strangers, even their touch and voice. They respond to your smile and when you talk to them they express their feelings through their expressions. Seeing themselves in the mirror is fun for them at this age.

Cognitive skills: They start reaching for things and putting them in their mouth to explore the world, show curiosity (Some brain foods that can help to build cognition) about things and try to get objects that are out of their reach. They also try to move in all directions and decide whether to go, either for a toy or when they look at you.

Every child is different so their time to reach any particular developmental milestone varies too. Some kids grab skills early while some take a little more time. It’s not right to compare them with one another. But if anything is bothering you; it is always better to talk with your pediatrician. Some signs of development delays are:

When to consult a doctor:

  • Do not try to reach out for things and toys in sight.
  • Does not make any sounds.
  • Rarely responds to smiles and shows little interest in talking.
  • Not sitting even with support.
  • Not able to hold his/her head.
  • Trouble in eating, like pushing food out of the mouth instead of swallowing.
  • Does not respond to his/her name and to any other sounds around them.
  • Don’t make eye contact or every little eye contact.
  • Don’t roll over in any directions.
  • Seems very saggy or floppy.
Tips for growth and development for infant
  • Familiarize your baby with his/her name by using it frequently.
  • Get toys for your baby which is easy to pick with one hand, so that they can pass it from one hand to another.
  • Play interactive games. Like peekaboo, in which kids show their different expressions when you disappear and come back.
  • Reading by showing pictures and telling stories, develop your baby’s imagination, and help them to recognize things later.
  • Take your baby out to a park or garden, this will give your baby all together a different experience, as there is so much to see, smell, hear and touch.

6 months is also the time to start solid food for your baby, as only breast milk (How To increase breast milk production?) or formula milk is not anymore sufficient to meet their nutrients requirements. They also need solid food to build immunity and to support growth of brain, bones, eye-vision and overall body. Every food chosen has to have a nutritional purpose. Please keep this in mind that even a single junk food can prove to be a wasted opportunity, since the opportunity to feed is limited in babies. Feed these foods for better growth and development of infants.

Foods to start solids with:

Banana: Bananas are loaded with potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin and vitamin B6. They are also a rich source of prebiotic fiber that helps build a healthy digestive system. Banana(Recipe of banana muffins) is good for bones, improves brain power and cures constipation issues too. It is one of the best baby’s first foods to introduce. As it is sweet and creamy, babies also enjoy eating it. Initially you can start with giving half a small mashed banana. Later, a small banana per day is ideal for a kid.

Mung bean/ Moong Dal: Mung bean is the safest and one of the best foods for growth and development for infant. It is a great source of protein, iron, fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as probiotics (What is the role of prebiotic in maintaining gut health?). All of these nutrients are essential in babies growing years. Always remember to soak and sprout the bean since it makes it easy for a baby to digest. You may use any- hulled mung bean or those with green covering.

Potato: It is considered good for growth and development of infants. It is a good source of carbohydrates (Which foods can help kids to gain weight?) and provides energy to your growing baby. Vitamin C, starch and various enzymes in it nourishes baby’s skin. It also helps babies to gain healthy weight. Phosphorus in it contributes to building strong bones.

Rice water: Rice water is considered to be a very rejuvenating and healthy drink for babies. Rice water is starchy water left after rice is cooked. It is a great source of energy, as it contains carbohydrates. It also maintains the fluid level of the body and is effective in removing gastritis conditions in babies.

Carom seeds: It has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Carom seed extract helps to prevent and treat gas and indigestion. It is a common medication used to treat coughs in India. You can start giving your baby a little bit of carom seed water after starting solids to save them from indigestion and gas.

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