Six month handout

Photo by Unsplash by Gift Habeshaw

FEEDING

  • Breast milk and iron-fortified formulas are still a large part of the diet at this age.  Do not start cow’s milk until 1 year.
  • By this time or soon after, your baby should be having 3 feedings per day consisting of a mixture of healthy foods.  
  • Please do not add cereal to the baby’s bottle.  
  • Allergic symptoms to look for are skin rash, diarrhea, vomiting, or blood in the stool.
  • Remember no honey until one year of age due to the risk of botulism.
  • Avoid choking hazards foods like popcorn, nuts, marshmallows, uncooked carrots, raisins, candy, grapes, and hot dogs.

DEVELOPMENT

  • Read to your baby. Reading promotes social, emotional, and brain development and helps language development. It is also a great time to bond with your baby.

HEALTH

  • If you do not have fluoride in your tap water your baby may be started on fluoride at 6 -9 months.
  • Take your baby for walks, but use baby safe sunscreen.
  • Shoes are only needed to protect the feet and do not help your baby learn to walk.  Pick soft, wide, and flexible shoes.
  • Once your baby has teeth you can wipe them down with a wet washcloth or use a baby toothbrush. Regular toothpaste can be used but only an amount the size of a grain of rice.
  • Bottles in bed can cause cavities and ear infections.

SLEEPING

  • By 6 months, most babies sleep a minimum of 6-8 hours in a row.  
  • All babies (and many adults) awaken periodically at night, but your baby is old enough to soothe themselves back to sleep without a bottle.
  • Place your baby in the crib when drowsy but still awake so she’ll know where she is when she wakes.  It is helpful for her to learn to calm herself and fall asleep by herself. Establish a soothing bedtime routine.
  • Recommended reading: Solve your child’s sleep problem. Ferber.

BABY SPOTLIGHT – BABY PROOFING THE HOUSE

It’s never too soon to start thinking about baby proofing.  Use this checklist to help your job.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE YOUR BABY!

KITCHEN

  • Turn all pot handles to the back of the stove when cooking.
  • Turn the water heater temperature down to <120 F.
  • Install safety latches on kitchen cabinets.
  • Don’t allow electrical cords or phone cords to dangle in the child’s reach. Tie them up
  • Store all chemicals and cleaners locked and up high, NOT under the sink.
  • Store all cleaning products in original containers- labels often have first aid info.
  • Store all vitamins and supplements in a safe place, and alcoholic beverages out of reach.
  • Unplug and put away appliances when not in use.
  • Lock the dishwasher all the time. Don’t leave sharp knives inside.

 

BATHROOM, BEDROOM

  • Keep medications in original child-proof containers.
  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors and check monthly.
  • Keep all cosmetic products out of reach, especially nail products.
  • Keep bathroom doors closed and toilet lids down. Babies can drown in the toilet.
  • Consider removing firearms from the home, if you choose to have firearms the firearm and ammunition should be locked up separately.

 

LIVING ROOM

  • Remove all poisonous plants like philodendron, azalea, ivy, rhododendron, elephant ear, narcissus, daffodil, holly, oleander, lily, foxglove, coffee tree plant, tulip, primrose, holly, mistletoe, geranium, wisteria, carnation, potato and tomato plants, larkspur, poinsettia, yew (only a partial list)
  • Use childproof locks on all windows above the first floor.
  • Put safety plugs in all unused electric outlets.
  • Put safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.  Use hardware-mounted gates. Pressure gates are only okay between rooms as they can fall down
  • Tie cords from blinds and drapes out of reach.
  • Screen off fireplaces and other heat sources.

 

GARAGE, WORKSHOP

  • Store auto products high up or locked.  Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid are very toxic.
  • Do not leave buckets or containers of water on the floor.  Kids can drown in a bucket.
  • Use chemical products outside or in well-ventilated areas and store immediately after use in locked cabinets.
  • Have your home tested for lead-based paint if built before 1978.
  • Do not store cleaners in beverage or old food containers. Keep the original containers.

RESOURCES

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