By this time, you and your baby have gotten to know each other pretty well. You recognize each other’s facial expressions and tone of voice. You often know what your baby is communicating, even without words. Your baby is eager to learn about the world around them, and you have lots of new ways to teach them.
Babies learn by exploring with their mouths, eyes, ears and hands. Give them things to touch, grab, push, throw and safely put in their mouth. Your baby learns more from playing and being with you than from anything else.
Ages and Stages
Every baby develops at their own pace. In general, after 6 months old babies are more active and have more control of their movements. They are also curious and learning how they can connect with you and things around them. If you have any questions about how your baby is developing, talk to their doctor or contact the Arizona Early Intervention Program.
You can learn more about ages and stages here.
Between 6 and 9 months, your baby may:
- Hold objects and move them from hand to hand.
- Respond to their name and look when you call them.
- Understand simple words like “no,” “bye-bye” and “bottle.
- Make lots of babbling sounds that imitate words, including “da da da” and “ma ma ma.”
- Start to scoot or crawl.
Between 9 and 12 months, your baby may:
- Copy sounds and gestures.
- Point to toys or foods when asked.
- Get into a sitting position without help.
Your baby’s first teeth may come in during these months. Earlier or later is also normal, though. See the Oral Health page for information about teething and taking care of your baby’s mouth, gums and teeth. And you can watch videos and learn more about helping your baby have healthy teeth here.
Helping Your Baby Sleep All Night
Most babies can go back to sleep by themselves by 6 months old. To help:
- Your baby probably still needs naps in the morning and afternoon. But try not to let them nap for more than three hours.
- Be active with your baby during the day. It’s no surprise that physical activity helps babies get more sleep.
- Put your baby to bed when they are sleepy but not yet overtired.
- By 6 months most babies don’t need an overnight feeding. But make sure they eat enough during the day and before bedtime.
- Have a bedtime routine, like a bath, a book and a kiss before you turn the lights off.
- If your baby wakes at night, check on them quickly and quietly. After you make sure they are comfortable, let them fall asleep by themselves.
More Ways to Find Help
Centers for Disease Control – Information for parents on developmental milestones by age.
Zero to Three – Advice for parents and caregivers of young children.
The First Things First Parent Kit was developed in partnership with Health Research for Action/UC Berkeley. © 2022 The Regents of the University of California. Additional video, graphic and other content © 2022 First Things First. All rights reserved.