The way your child learns, plays, and acts shows you important steps in development. All children grow and develop at their own rate. However, most follow a predictable skill path along the way. These skill paths are called developmental milestones; skills that most children can perform by a certain age. Refer to the checklist below to determine what milestones your child has completed by six months of age.
By six months most babies:
Fine Motor (skills that require balance and movement of small muscle groups)
_ Reach for and grasp a toy with both hands at once.
_ Pick up a small toy, holding it in the center of their hand with their fingers wrapped around it.
_ Try to pick up a Cheerio by using their thumb and all of their fingers in a raking motion.
_ Pick up a small toy with one hand.
Cognitive (memory, problem solving, thinking, and overall play)
_ When on their back, turn their head to look for a toy they have dropped.
_ Pass a toy back and forth between hands.
_ Bang toys up and down on the floor or table.
_ Play with sounds by using grunting, growling, or deep-toned sounds.
_ When you call them out of sight, they look in the direction of your voice.
_ Make sounds such as “ga”, “ba”, “da”, and “ka.”
_ Act differently around strangers (staring, frowning, crying).
_ Reach and pat their reflection in the mirror.
_ While on their back, put their feet in their mouth.
_ Try to get a toy out of reach (roll, pivot, or crawl).
_ While on their tummy they straighten both arms and push their chest off the floor or bed.
_ Roll from back to tummy, getting both hands out from under themselves.
_ Lean on their hands for support when sitting or sit independently.
_ Hold their hands for balance, they are able to support their own weight on their feet.
_ Gum and swallow a cracker.
_ Pick up a spoon using the handle.
_ Begin to finger feed themselves.
Talk to your doctor or contact an early intervention program in your community if you notice any of the following signs of a possible developmental delay in your child of six months:
_ Doesn’t try to get things that are in reach.
_ Doesn’t respond to sounds around them.
_ Has trouble or doesn’t bring things to their mouth.
_ Doesn’t roll over in either direction (back to tummy or tummy to back).
_ Doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds.
_ Seems very stiff with tight muscles or very floppy like a rag doll.
ASQ. Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ – 3)
CDD. Centers for Disease Control <www.cdc.gov>
D’Eugenio, Diane and Rogers, Sally J. Early Intervention Developmental Profile (EIDP). 1981. University of Michigan.