WHAT’S COMING NEXT?

6 MONTHS

Most kids will begin to roll in both directions at this time.  No longer can you place them on the floor, answer the phone, and expect to find them in the same place you left them.  Remember, they can fall off countertops while you turn to reach for something.

Some can sit without support for a short period of time.  Then, they very calmly fall to their side.

When they sit with you while you are eating, they will start grabbing food off your plate.  They clearly have figured out what eating is all about.

The lower central teeth are often erupting at this time.  Teething, as a big problem, is overrated most of the time.  Tylenol, frozen teething rings, etc. are usually sufficient.

6 month old babies will begin to become fearful of strangers.  Stranger anxiety represents a fear of being removed from the person that cares for them most of the time (usually one or both parents).  Remember that loving relatives who don’t live nearby and don’t get to see your child frequently will be perceived as strangers.  This is very upsetting to grandparents and they often take it personally.  Although grandparents are thinking about their grandkids on a daily basis, the kids are only thinking of their parents.  Advise them in advance and visits should be happier.

Here’s a tip.  Get decent photographs of all the grandparents and put them in your child’s room.  Every day, say “hello” to grandma, grandpa, etc. and your child may actually recognize them when they come to visit.  (Mother’s…you ask your in-laws for these pictures and explain why you want them.  They will think that their son married the sweetest, most sensitive human on the planet.  Father’s…get the same kind of mileage by asking your in-laws for these photographs.)

When babies are born, they have received a lot of maternal immunity that passes through the placenta.  There is a decline in this temporary immunity so that by six months of age, it’s mostly gone.  If your child becomes 6 months old in the fall, watch out.  A lot of illnesses may come his/her way with exposure to others.  If your child was born in the fall, then he/she becomes 6 month olds in the spring and there are fewer illnesses at this time of year.  These kids tend to become ill when they are 1 year old and the fall illnesses tend to return to the scene.

Remember the teeth? They are starting to erupt at the same time that the temporary immunity is almost gone.  Throughout history, parents saw their kids getting ill around 6 months of age.  Fever, runny noses, diarrhea, rashes, etc. have been blamed on teething for generations.  Rather, it was the loss of immunity and the acquisition of viral illnesses.  So, when your friend says, “she’s got a runny nose, but she’s teething” this is a child that may be contagious to yours.