Starts to become mobile and more active by sitting, crawling and bottom shuffling. Loves babbling and communicating with parents and well known adults but starting to be unsure of strangers.
What babies can do
• The baby has now usually settled into a good routine.
• Safety is also of paramount importance at this stage – a mobile baby is very vulnerable to an array of possible accidents inside and outside the home. Babies at this stage are also still putting everything into their mouth. Adult supervision is vital.
• Vision very good and moves head and eyes eagerly in every direction.
• Usually sits with support at 6 months and then without support at around 9 months but still requires good supervision at all times.
• Might start to crawl at around 8 or 9 months.
• Enjoys rough and tumble play and tickling games.
• Likes to be read to (even at this stage) and it’s never too early to introduce books with simple pictures and dialogue.
• Enjoys banging objects together or passing an object from one hand to another (called transferring). This is an important stage and to be encouraged. Give a baby hand size objects to play with and transfer from hand to hand. They also like toys which make a noise.
• Likes being spoken to by parents and other family members in a sing-song, high pitched voice called ‘Parentese’. This way of talking to babies comes naturally to most people and really encourages language development.
• This two-way process of communicating with a young baby is extremely important – even though baby cannot yet use words she is learning the ‘rules’ of speech – listening, taking it in turns, babbling, giggling and making eye contact etc…
• Teething may start at this stage.
Routine and parenting
The mother and baby bond is usually very strong and baby prefers well known adults including grandparents and other family members. Baby can become distressed if mother or main carer is not around and a stranger appears. Parents become much more confident and really know their baby’s personality, routine and habits, so feel more relaxed. Now, life is much more enjoyable as it can incorporate play, music and fun in the daily routine e.g. bath time play, changing and even mealtimes. Weaning is now fully under way and healthy eating habits need to be encouraged at this important stage for the baby (and the whole family). Starts to hold a beaker and feeds herself with finger foods, tries to hold a spoon. Parents may take their baby swimming, to baby tumble tots, baby yoga or local parent and toddler groups or children’s centres.
What items may be required at this stage?
Products – Playpen, safety equipment, baby gates and socket covers, aqua pod for bath-time and bath toys. Weaning items, if not already purchased e.g. highchair, weaning bowls, bibs, spoons and food blender etc… Parents may be starting to look for a forward facing car seat but they should be encouraged to keep baby rearward facing for as long as possible – usually until 12 to 15 months / (13kgs) – depending upon their infant carrier – a much safer way for baby to travel. Always refer parents to their baby’s weight as being the best and safest guide as to when they need to move their baby into the next car seat. Teethers and safe toys to chew on are perfect for this stage and more bibs – as the baby will dribble lots!
Clothing – more outfits, durable and non-slip clothes for crawling, change of season clothing for additional warmth for winter or sun protection in the summer.
Toys – musical toys, CDs for the car or home, baby mirror, activity toys, small bricks and stacking beakers, comfort toys, touch and feel books and board books with clear simple pictures of everyday objects and animals.
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