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The First Year: 6 Month Milestones (page 2)

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Updated on May 25, 2012

Back and Forth. Your baby can finally manipulate his hands so that he can actually play! You'll probably notice that one of his favorite games is simply passing one item back and forth between his hands. He might even find his feet and spend plenty of time examining his toes while he hangs onto them with his hands.

  • Provide plenty of safe opportunities for your little one to play. Soft toys, rattles, and noisy playthings are all great, but your baby also loves finger play. "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" is a classic! Be sure to play plenty of patty cake and any other games that get his hands moving.

Sleep Training Time. Your 6 month old is finally old enough to benefit from sleep training, which means you could also benefit from a little more shut-eye. Since your little one's tummy is big enough to hold enough food to get through the night, most night waking by this point in time is completely habitual.

  • Do your research and choose sleep training methods that fall in line with your ideals as a parent. If you're into attachment parenting, letting your baby cry it out might feel totally unnatural. From Ferberizing to the No-Cry Sleep Solution, you have tons of options to choose from.
  • Don't take a hard line on training just yet. Experiment with different techniques to see what works for your family. "If a parent has been consistently with one sleep method for 7-10 nights and seen no improvement then they should stop and see their doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be interfering with their child's sleep," suggests pediatric sleep consultant and family therapist Kim West. "Depending on the age of the child and 'what happened' they should take a break and revisit sleep training several weeks or months later, and perhaps try a different method."

Parrot Communication. Don't be surprised if your tiny talker starts echoing everything that you say. While he can't enunciate just yet, he can mimic the sounds you make in your words, especially if they're short like "eh" or "ga". He'll use these new communication skills to try and "chat" on his own; he might even yell when you're not paying attention.

  • Give your baby plenty of parrot practice. While imitation is a form of flattery, it's also a major form of beginning communication, and it's a fun game you can play together. Say a few short words or start babbling to see if your little one is interested in joining in the conversation.
  • Say the right words back to your baby. If he points at a dog and start babbling, you can say "Yes! That's a dog!" to help start to slowly expand his vocabulary. Narrate the daily stuff that you do in short, understandable sentences, like "Mommy is going to feed you. You eat carrots!"

Your baby's blossoming into a personable, funny little guy, and you're only halfway through his first year! You started parenting feeling clueless, but as your little one's grown and changed, you've rolled with the punches. Keep the camera close by for the "firsts" coming along as your baby continues developing throughout his first birthday.

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