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Milestones Surviving the First Six Months

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Milestones: Surviving the First Six Months.

Boys Town Pediatrics

Your little bundle is going from a tiny newborn to a cuddly, playful baby in six short months.

Your baby is developing into an active, outgoing and happy infant. This video is intended to help answer your questions about sleeping, feeding, dealing with a fussy baby and developmental milestones during the first six months.

How many times has someone asked you if your baby is sleeping through the night? 

Sleeping through the night means that your baby sleeps a consecutive 6 to 8 hours at night. Most babies can accomplish this task by 4 to 6months. But, not all babies do sleep through the night by 6 months of age. Depending on any underlying medical conditions, prematurity or special feeding habits, it may take a little longer before your baby sleeps through the night.

To help your baby start or continue to sleep through the night, develop a consistent bedtime routine. A warm bath, a bedtime story or a gentle rock to a lullaby can help your baby transition to sleep.  

Start putting your baby down awake or drowsy for naps and bedtime. It is okay if your baby cries for a bit as you start this process. This will teach your child to soothe himself or herself back to sleep if he or she wakes up in the middle of the night.

Even if your child is crying, the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib or bassinet. Your baby should be placed on his or her back to sleep.  These practices have been associated with a decreased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

In addition to continuing breast feeding or formula, complementary solids can be introduced when your baby is 4 to 6 months old.

Your pediatrician will check for signs that your baby has the motor skills necessary for feeding and advise you on what foods to start and when.

Unless your baby has problems with constipation, your baby won't need any juice or water before the age of 6 months.

A baby cries for many reasons. Your baby may be hungry, have a dirty diaper or an upset tummy. Your baby may want to be held or may be very tired.

Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly why a baby is crying.  When babies cry for no reason at all, we call that colic. Colic crying usually lasts 1 to 2 hours at about the same time every day. It can start around 2 weeks of age and usually stops by 3 to 4 months of age. To help a colic baby relax try swaddling your baby in a light blanket, placing your baby in a vibrating chair or swing, or running the vacuum for a dull, constant sound.

If you cannot soothe your baby, place him or her in the crib. Chances are, your baby is overly tired and will fall asleep. If your baby continues to cry for more than 2 hours, call your pediatrician to make sure there isn't an underlying factor for your baby's crying.

A crying baby can be stressful for mom and dad. Just remember, crying will not hurt your baby. It is okay to put your baby in his or her crib and walk away for a few minutes to calm down your own nerves.

Keep your camera close by because your baby will be making many first milestones over the next several months.

By 4 months, you'll see lots of signs that your baby is ready to interact more with his or her environment. The more you talk, read and sing to your baby, the more fun sounds your baby will make back to you.

Continue frequent floor play time as your baby will be learning to roll, scoot and eventually sit up at 4 to 6 months.

Since your baby can see and track images, you  may want to have him or her sit alone in a bumbo style seat or play in a stationary gym like an exersaucer. Boys Town Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourage the use of a walker because of the risk of head and neck injuries.

Your baby may be very intrigued with his own fingers and hands. Put a toy in front of your baby and watch as your baby tries to reach for it. Your baby may even shake the rattles and toys once he or she grasps it. Just make sure the objects are clean and age-appropriate because everything in a baby's hand usually ends up in the baby's mouth.

As a pediatrician and a mother, my advice is to contact your child's physician anytime you have a question or concern about the health or well-being of your child.

Boys Town Pediatrics offers a 24-hour nurse helpline, so answers are only a phone call away, anytime of day or night.

We hope this video answers many of the questions you may have about your baby.

Remember, each baby grows and develops differently. This video generalizes on where most babies are in the first six months. Please contact your pediatrician if you have any questions about your baby's growth and development.

​For more videos, articles and ​podcasts on pediatric health and development visit boys town pediatrics dot org. Thank you for watching this Boys Town Pediatrics Milestone video.​​

Milestones are an exciting time in your baby's life.Learn how to survive the first six months with your baby.​

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