Welcome to instalment three of our milestone series. If you haven’t read the previous editions, check out our Newborn Milestones and 1-3 Month Old Milestones. Today we are looking at the 3-6 month milestones.
It is right around this time that you are feeling intensely proud of yourself for creating, growing and nurturing this gorgeous little creature. The warm fuzzies from the smiles and giggles alone are worth the 20-hour labour right? This period is such a cool time for babies, as they really begin to get some personality and interact with their families.
Dare we mention this often dirty word? So by now, you are past the crazy newborn period and could be experiencing a bit more sleep. Or maybe not. The house is so boring and quiet in the dead of the night when you are 6 months old. Wouldn’t playing be far more fun? Fun for them, but not so fun for you when you might have other kids, errands to run, or a job to attend.
If you have tried the bedtime routine, and you are still having trouble with your baby’s sleep patterns, it might be time to call in the experts. Sleep consultants can be a godsend. Like any other consultants, you need to find the one that suits your family. Some will advocate crying it out, some will have more gentle techniques – so you need to find the one that fits your parenting values.
Certainly don’t be ashamed to call in an expert to get some sleep (and some sanity) back. With a full night’s sleep under your belt, you will feel like you can take on the world.
It’s around the 6 month mark that you will have baby solids on the brain. So many people will offer you advice on ‘the best’ way to do things. As with any parenting advice, smile and nod. Only take on the parts that fit with your parenting style.
Purees and Baby Food
This is the most traditional way to introduce solids to your baby. There is a great range of ready-made baby food at your local supermarket, or you can make your own. Check out our article on Home Made Baby Food
*Top Tip: Freeze home-made baby food into an ice cube tray. Defrost one cube at a time for the perfect portion size. No wastage, and easy storage.
Baby Led Weaning
This is a more modern method of introducing solids. Instead of feeding your baby purees, you give them finger sized chunks of food to explore with. For more info on this topic we have an article on Baby Led Weaning
*Top Tip: If you are worried about the choking hazard of baby led weaning, then you can use something like the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder which contains the food in a mesh pocket.
Your kids will have their favourite foods, like anyone, but make sure you give them a variety of things to try. Their palette will prefer sweet things as they have been used to the sweet taste of breastmilk and formula. Give them a variety of veges, as well as fruits so that they get used to more savoury tastes.
If you are a bit lost on what you should be feeding your little one, and when you should be introducing things, download Plunket’s Guide to Introducing Solids here. We also have a great library of articles on solids that you can check out here .
Yay, your little one is getting old enough to start playing with you and you don’t even need to splurge on expensive toys yet!
This is also the perfect time to start joining community activities, not just for baby’s sake but for your sake too. Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping in touch with the adult world, and the camaraderie with other parents. Try local music groups, Mums and Bubs exercise classes, pram walking groups, coffee groups, and Playcentre.
It can be hard to come up with ideas for what to do with your baby for entertainment. Lucky Huggies have come to the rescue with their activity ideas. Here is a list of age appropriate games and activities to play with your little one.
Stay tuned for our next milestone edition for 6-9 month olds due in a few weeks.