Important Milestones: Your Baby By Six Months
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.
Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 6 months by completing a checklist with CDC’s free Milestone Tracker mobile app, for iOSexternal icon and Androidexternal icon devices, or by printing the checklist pdf icon[306 KB, 2 Pages, Print Only] below. Take the checklist with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.
What most babies do by this age:
Social and Emotional
- Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger
- Likes to play with others, especially parents
- Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy
- Likes to look at self in a mirror
- Responds to sounds by making sounds
- Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”) and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds
- Responds to own name
- Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
- Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
- Looks around at things nearby
- Brings things to mouth
- Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach
- Begins to pass things from one hand to the other
- Doesn’t try to get things that are in reach
- Shows no affection for caregivers
- Doesn’t respond to sounds around him
- Has difficulty getting things to mouth
- Doesn’t make vowel sounds (“ah”, “eh”, “oh”)
- Doesn’t roll over in either direction
- Doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds
- Seems very stiff, with tight muscles
- Seems very floppy, like a rag doll
Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay for this age, and talk with someone in your community who is familiar with services for young children in your area, such as your state’s public early intervention program. For more information, visit our “If You’re Concerned” web page or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be screened for general development using standardized, validated tools at 9, 18, and 24 or 30 months and for autism at 18 and 24 months or whenever a parent or provider has a concern. Ask your child’s doctor about your child’s developmental screening.
“Learn the signs. Act early.” materials are not a substitute for standardized, validated developmental screening tools pdf icon[918 KB, 115 Pages, Print Only]external icon.
Adapted from CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD: BIRTH TO AGE 5, Fifth Edition, edited by Steven Shelov and Tanya Remer Altmann © 1991, 1993, 1998, 2004, 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and BRIGHT FUTURES: GUIDELINES FOR HEALTH SUPERVISION OF INFANTS, CHILDREN, AND ADOLESCENTS, Third Edition, edited by Joseph Hagan, Jr., Judith S. Shaw, and Paula M. Duncan, 2008, Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.