Maternal and Child Health 6-8 Months

Maternal and Child Health 6-8 Months

The next recommended immunisation is due at six months.

Consider transferring your baby to a forward facing car restraint once they are 8-9kg in weight
Store any poisons or dangerous substances in a secure place
Be aware of potential dangers to your baby in the home that may cause falls, burns or drowing
Provide adequate protection from the sun
Ensure your baby is in a smoke free environment.

Health Visits
Check up of general health and development
Hearing assessed between 7-9 months
Avoid giving your baby sweeteners on dummies, sweet drinks in bottles or allowing continuous sucking of breast or bottle – this can lead to tooth decay.

Nutrition and Growth
Introduce a variety of foods with varying textures and flavours
Breast or formula feeding reduces as solids increase
Allow your baby a chance to feed themselves but continue to supervise
Offer water to drink between meals
Introduce a cup from 6 months
Usually has 2-4 teeth, lower teeth usually appear first.

Progresses from sitting supported by arms to sitting alone
Pulls to standing position and takes steps with alternate feet when held
Moves by creeping, rolling or attempting to crawl
Claps hands. Transfers objects hand to hand.

Laughs, giggles and makes sounds to get attention
Imitates sounds, repeats syllables, responds to conversation with babble
Recognises varying emotional tones of parents.

Learning and Understanding
Recognises partly hidden objects
Develops awareness of cause and effect

Expresses feelings, likes and dislikes
Frustrated if activity is interrupted

May sleep 7-10 hours each night. 83% of babies sleep through
Takes 2-3 naps during the day
May start bedtime rituals

Passes fewer bowl motions.

Begins to touch genitals

Increases interaction with family members and plays simple games
Enjoys and demands attention and affection
Wary of strangers and anxious when separated.

Becomes frustrated by restricted movements
Likes parents to be close by
Curious, distracted by new objects.

Crawling to Walking
Most babies crawl. Crawling is a usual part of babies' development and gives them independence to move about the house. Babies will push up onto their hands and knees and rock back and forth to start with. Soon their arms and backs will be strong enough for them to start to move off. It will take some practicing to get a smooth and efficient action, but they will be getting stronger all the time. Being able to use their arms to save themselves if they lose their balance whilst they are learning to sit, stand and walk.
Some babies sit and -shuffle' on their bottoms instead of crawling…

Getting into Sitting Position
After crawling, babies will find it easy to get themselves into a sitting position. They will push themselves up from their tummies, balance weight on one arm, twist hips around and sit down. From crawling it is also easy to move forward into a knee-stand position to reach an object on a low chair or table.

Learning to Stand
Babies will soon learnt to pull on furntiture and you can make things safer by putting away objects that may cause danger (eg. ironing boards, coffee tables or electrical cords).

Early Walking
Babies will soon take their first steps. They will start by walking sideways, probably around a low table, as this is the easiest way for children to start walking. Do not encourage babies to walk forwards first. They will walk forwards when they feel confident.

Children will want to practice their new skills and usually would rather walk than be carried. If you go for a walk, allow longer to get there, so that your child can walk part of the way. Going for a walk gives you child time to investigate things on the way. Whenever you drive to do your shopping, get into the habit of stopping at a park; your child will enjoy sitting on your lap on a swing or rolling on the grass.

The ability to sit is one of the milestones that babies pass through on their way to being able to walk and run.

Babies develop the strength and much of the balance that is needed in sitting while playing on the floor, especially on their tummies. They will learn to roll over (often whilst reaching for a toy), twist around to see where other members of the family are, creep forward on their tummies and get up into a crawling position. It is usually from this crawling position that they will sink down onto one hip and find they are almost in a sitting position. Then they will develop the skill of getting into and out of this position.

We all sit our babies on our knees and in the highchair, but don't be tempted to hurry up your babies' development by propping them in a sitting position on the floor with cushions all around. Sitting on your knees and playing bouncing games help to develop balance skills. Good balance is needed for safe playing and reaching. If babies are propped but have no balance in sitting, they will fall with any movement.

Babies will learn to sit safely if you allow plenty of flood play so that they can develop their skills at their own pace.

Foods 6-8 Months
Cereal, wheat based, oats – instant.
Fruit: could include peaches, mango, kiwifruit
Vegetables:" offer more variety
Dairy products: yoghurt, custard
Chicken, red meat, pasta, rice
Introduce a cup with water or formula.

Information provided by the Bayside Council.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries from Edible Blooms