Physical Growth and Development

  • Infants weight will double by 6 months old. Each week after you will see a slow but steady increase of 3-5 ounces per week (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • Your infant should increase in length by 25 inches in the first 6 months. At 6 months you will see spurts in growth at random time frames (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • Head circumference should measure approximately 17 inches at 6 months and slowly increase each month. The back of the infant’s skull should feel closed while the front of the skull will close by 12-18 months old (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • Heart rate is 80-160 beats per minute, breathing rate should be 30-50 breaths a minute, and their temperature should remain around 98.6 if checked rectally (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • You should expect to see the baby’s first teeth erupt at age 6 months. This is typically the bottom front teeth. You may also notice drooling which is common (Misirliyan et al., 2024). 
  • At 6 months, the infant should sleep 13-14 uninterrupted at night and nap 2-3 times during the day (Misirliyan et al., 2024).

Activity and Social development

  • At 6 months old, an infant will roll from their tummy to back, lift their chest and abdomen off the ground with their hands, sit unassisted in a highchair with a straight back, and bear weight on their legs while supported by an adult (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • They should begin to mimic movements such as sticking out their tongue or cough, recognize their parents, may fear strangers, extend arms out to be held, imitate sounds, vocalize one syllable noises, vocalize to toys or a mirror, turn their head towards voices, and startle with stern tones (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • They will be able to grasp and bang small objects and manipulate pull strings, buttons, or other movable items on a toy. They will also reach for feet and bring them to their mouth. If they are bottle fed, they can hold the bottle unassisted (Misirliyan et al., 2024). 
  • Praise good behavior. Read to children frequently to increase vocabulary and visual simulation. Prevent exposure to TV until age 2. Instead encourage human interaction (Misirliyan et al., 2024).


  • Starting at 6 months, parents should begin to introduce pureed soft foods gradually into their diet. They can also decrease the amount of breastmilk or formula (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • Integrate 1 food at a time to monitor for food sensitivity or allergies. Do not give infants peanuts, citrus, honey, corn, or hard vegetables to prevent allergies or choking hazards (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • Oral health should be provided to reduce infections of the gums or development of thrush. When teeth begin to show brush teeth every morning, evening, and after feeding to prevent decay (Misirliyan et al., 2024).

Safety precautions

  • Choking and suffocation- monitor your area for small objects the baby will pick up or plastic bags near the area (Garzon et al., 2025).
  • Sleep safety- keep the crib free of loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed animals (Garzon et al., 2025).
  • Child proofing- as your infant begins to become mobile it is important to cover electrical outlets, low level cabinets, and sharp edges of walls/furniture. Keep all cleaning supplies, medications, pesticides, and firearms away from their reach (Garzon et al., 2025).
  • Car seat safety: Ensure the child is properly secured in a rear-facing car seat when traveling in a vehicle (Garzon et al., 2025).
  • Burns- Keep infants away from hot surfaces and educate them on not reaching for items that may be hot (Garzon et al., 2025).

Developmental Concerns

  • Notify your provider if you notice these delays in development or have concerns (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • Not reaching for objects, cannot hold hands together, or grab clothes (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • No babbling, response to voices or loud sounds, no smiles, or appears withdrawn (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • If there is not steady weight gain, head circumference is too small or large, poor feeding, poor calming abilities, or sleep regulation patterns (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
  • Unable to sit without support, has head lag when lifted, or has primitive reflexes (Misirliyan et al., 2024).
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