This article describes the skills and growth targets for 6-month-old infants.
Physical and motor skill markers:
- Able to hold almost all weight when supported in a standing position
- Able to transfer objects from one hand to the other
- Able to lift chest and head while on stomach, holding the weight on hands (often occurs by 4 months)
- Able to pick up a dropped object
- Able to roll from back to stomach (by 7 months)
- Able to sit in a high chair with a straight back
- Able to sit on the floor with lower back support
- Beginning of teething
- Increased drooling
- Should be able to sleep 6 to 8 hour stretches at night
- Should have doubled birth weight (birth weight often doubles by 4 months, and it would be cause for concern if this hasn't happened by 6 months)
Sensory and cognitive markers:
- Begins to fear strangers
- Begins to imitate actions and sounds
- Begins to realize that if an object is dropped, it is still there and just needs to be picked up
- Can locate sounds not made directly at the ear level
- Enjoys hearing own voice
- Makes sounds (vocalizes) to mirror and toys
- Makes sounds resembling one-syllable words (example: da-da, ba-ba)
- Prefers more complex sounds
- Recognizes parents
- Vision is between 20/60 and 20/40
- Read, sing, and talk to your child
- Imitate words such as "mama" to help baby learn language
- Play peek-a-boo
- Provide an unbreakable mirror
- Provide large, bright-colored toys that make noise or have moving parts (avoid toys with small parts)
- Provide paper to tear
- Blow bubbles
- Speak clearly
- Start pointing to and naming parts of the body and the environment
- Use body movements and actions to teach language
- Use the word "no" infrequently
Normal childhood growth milestones - 6 months; Childhood growth milestones - 6 months; Growth milestones for children - 6 months
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. CDC's developmental milestones. www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/. Updated March 31, 2022. Accessed April 14, 2022.
Goode R, Lawrence A, Reimschisel T. Global developmental delay and regression. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 8.
Onigbanjo MT, Feigelman S. The first year. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 22.
Review Date 2/24/2022
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.