13 June, 2017
The Emotional Development of 6-Month-Old Babies
In only six months, baby has changed from completely reliant to curious, friendly and ready to discover her world. Her emotional development begins to form not only a physical need but a mental need towards her parents. Babies begin to realize just how much they love to be around their parents. A 6-month-old is beginning to see the world from a different angle, and it is delighting her in many ways.
Babies at this age love to see and touch new people. Six months is a great age to socialize baby at the park, the grocery store and around other babies, because they are very friendly and will not develop separation anxiety for another few months. Six-month-olds can smile and squeal, and some even laugh to show their love of attention.
Babies begin to “invent sounds for happiness or other emotions,” states the Riley Children’s Hospital. Watching their facial expressions and listening to their little grunts provides entertainment for parents and family. Parents should continually include baby in conversations, waiting for a little grunt of a response and repeating common words like “diaper” or “doggie.” Babies also love to imitate and will do so endlessly to whomever wants to participate. Reading and singing songs at this stage can also help babies with language development.
At 6 months, babies begin to demonstrate rudimentary problem-solving skills, and love to play games like peekaboo, to showcase their talent of finding mom under the blanket. Another skill-building activity is hiding a small object under a towel or bowl and allowing baby to find it. She’ll squeal with delight each time she remembers the ball is underneath the bowl.
At this age, some babies develop fears toward common everyday props like vacuum cleaners or bathtubs. If baby all of the sudden screams during bath time, rather than forcing her into it, parents can temporarily use sponge baths while working on reintroducing her to the tub. "What to Expect the First Year" author Arlene Eisenberg reminds parents that babies are still too young to be spoiled since they cannot mentally comprehend the idea, so allowing her time to ease back into enjoying bath time is perfectly normal.
At about 6 months, many parents look into sleep methods to either help baby sleep through the night or move them into their own crib and bedroom. Many babies have developed sleep associations like falling asleep while warm and cuddly on mom’s breast. This is a great age to rid her of these associations, so she can begin healthy sleep habits. Focus on putting her down with a full belly but still awake so she enjoys being in her crib instead of fighting it.
- Riley Hospital for Children; 6 Months to 1 Year
- What to Expect the First Year; Arlene Eisenberg; 1996
- HealthyChildren.org: Soothing Your Child's Separation Anxiety
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Important Milestones: Your Baby at Six Months
- baby image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com