Your Baby’s 6-Month Checkup

By 6 months, a baby is sitting up or getting ready to sit up and her back is straightening out. This is an enjoyable new perspective for your baby as she learns to play in more elaborate ways. Everything goes in her mouth — it's her way of exploring.

Preparing for The Visit

Your baby will get a lot of immunizations at the 6-month checkup. Her thigh (or wherever your provider administers these shots) might be redder than before, and she may get a slight fever as a result. These reactions show that your baby is building up a strong resistance to some serious diseases. Be sure to bring her immunization card and your health-insurance card.

Tip: To help ease the pain from the shots, give your baby the infant version of acetaminophen. Your provider will be able to give you samples of this pain reliever. If you have your own, bring the bottle with you so that your provider can show you the correct dose for your baby's age and weight.

At the 6-Month Visit, Your Provider Will Probably:

  • Weigh and measure your baby. Click here to see our growth chart.
  • Give your baby the next round of immunizations.
  • Provide insight into your baby's development, temperament, and behavior.
  • Help you teach your baby to form a good sleep pattern.
  • Review safety, as she can get into more things every day now and she'll be on the move soon.

What Your Provider Will Want to Know

  • Has your baby seen another healthcare provider since the last visit? If so, why? What was the outcome of that visit, and were any medications or treatments prescribed?
  • Does your baby have any teeth yet? Some do and many don't. Don't worry either way.
  • What kinds of sounds does your baby make: "ba," "da," or "ma"?
  • Does your baby "talk"? Describe any babbling, laughing, squealing, imitating, or "coughing" she does. Does she go back and forth with you, and try to imitate your speech?
  • How does your baby play with things? Does she put things in her mouth, drop them, or throw them? Does she pass things back and forth between her hands?
  • What can your baby do with her hands? Does she reach for things, take in small objects?
  • Can your baby sit up with support or by herself? Can she roll over both ways?
  • Can your baby bear weight on her legs when you hold her up?
  • Does she turn her head toward you when you enter a room, even before you say anything?
  • Has your child been ill? Report the details.

Talk It Over

  • Your baby may be ready or getting ready to start eating solid foods. Tell your healthcare provider about any food allergies, asthma, or eczema that runs in your family. Be sure you know how to proceed.
  • Talk over any sleeping problems your baby may be having. Your provider will be able to help.
  • If someone in your household or family has had tuberculosis or any other serious contagious disease, your provider will want to check your baby regularly to be sure he hasn't been infected. Let your provider know as soon as you're aware of it.
  • Remind your healthcare provider about any special issues identified at your child's birth. They may need to be checked again, through a hearing test or blood test, for example. Get the birth records for review if your healthcare provider doesn't have them.
  • Does your child need fluoride supplements? It will depend on your local water supply.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you're too anxious to let your baby play on the floor or in a playpen, or if you don't know how to play with your baby.
  • Discuss where to find materials on play, playgroups, parenting classes, or other community resources.

Speak Up!

Other issues may concern your healthcare provider. Let your provider know if your baby:

  • Tends to use only one hand, favors one leg, or seems to tilt to one side when he sits or moves.
  • Moves in a way that worries or concerns you. Remember though, that bow legs and rounded feet are still normal at this age.
  • Doesn't turn to sounds or doesn't seem to hear well.
  • Crosses his eyes, or doesn't seem to see well.
  • Doesn't make any sounds or makes fewer sounds than before.
  • Appears pale.
  • Doesn't roll over.
  • Shows no interest in toys or objects.
  • Gags on food, always chokes on liquids in a cup, or can't keep food in his mouth.

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