Child Development at 6 months

Posture & Large Movements

  • Lying on back, raises head from pillow. Lifts legs into vertical and grasps foot.
  • Sits with support in cot or pram and turns head from side to look around him.
  • Moves arms in brisk and purposeful fashion and holds them up to be lifted.
  • When hands grasped braces shoulders and pulls himself up.
  • Kicks strongly, legs alternating.Can roll over, front to back.
  • Held sitting, head is firmly erect, and back straight. May sit alone momentarily.
  • Placed downwards on face lifts head and chest well up, supporting himself on extended arms.
  • Held standing with feet touching hard surface bears weight on feet and bounces up and down actively.

Vision & Fine Movements

  • Visually insatiable: moves head and eyes eagerly in every direction.
  • Eyes move in unison: squint now abnormal.
  • Follows adult’s movements across room.
  • Immediately fixates interesting small objects within 6–12 inches (eg, toy, bell, wooden cube, spoon,sweet) and stretches out both hands to grasp them.
  • Uses whole hand in palmar grasp.When toys fall from hand over edge of cot forgets them.
  • Watches rolling balls of 2 to 1/4 inch diameter at10 feet.

Hearing & Speech

  • Turns immediately to mother’s voice across room.
  • Vocalises tunefully and often, using single and double syllables, eg. ka, muh, goo, der, adah, er-lah.
  • Laughs, chuckles and squeals aloud in play Screams with annoyance.
  • Shows evidence of response to different emotional tones of mother’s voice.
  • Responds to baby hearing test at 11/2 feet from each ear by correct visual localisation, but may show slightly brisker response on one side.
  • Tests employed – voice, rattle, cup and spoons, paper, bell; 2 seconds with 2 seconds pause.

Social Behaviour & Play

  • Hands competent to reach for and grasp small toys.
  • Most often uses a two-handed, scooping-in approach, but occasionally a single hand.
  • Takes everything to mouth.
  • Beginning to find feet interesting and even useful in grasping.
  • Puts hands to bottle and pats it when feeding.
  • Shakes rattle deliberately to make it sound, often regarding it closely at same time.
  • Still friendly with strangers but occasionally shows some shyness or even slight anxiety, especially if mother is out of sight.

Source: Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects No 102. HMSO 1960, revised 1975.