Six months is an exciting time for your baby with solid food being introduced and lots of new skills being picked up.
As a result your baby’s schedule will change a lot between six months and one year.
The biggest change will be food, with the start of weaning and fewer milk feeds.
So your routine may feel like it’s shifting constantly during this time.
I remember feeling so confused about how to fit everything in at the beginning of weaning. When your baby is already on five feeds per day, it’s difficult to imagine how to add any more feeding times into the mix.
Then you need to start thinking about dropping milk feeds as the solid food takes over as being your baby’s number one source of calories.
When you think about the whole process it may seem scary, but the best thing to do at this stage is to take it one day, and even one meal, at a time.
It happens really gradually, starting with just a few teaspoons of food. Then before you know it your baby is on three meals a day.
It doesn’t have to happen in the first month. It may not even be happening by age one but one day it will just click.
The big thing to note about this phase in your baby’s life is that some days they will seem to hardly eat any solids at all. They may reject everything you offer them for an entire week.
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Just keep being persistent and they will get there in the end.
Feeding your 6-month-old
Six months is the beginning of huge changes for feeding your baby.
As you start to introduce solids gradually, you will be dropping milk feeds as you go.
However, rest assured that the change to three meals a day does not need to happen overnight.
It’s a gradual process that happens over the course of six months.
Try to remember this motto:
Food is for fun until they’re one.
When introducing solids, try to start with breakfast first.
This is a time when your baby should be at the their most hungry plus they will be fully awake and alert first thing in the morning.
Continue to offer milk first so that your baby is calm when they come to eat breakfast.
Start with baby cereal or baby rice in tiny amounts.
After a couple of weeks of this, you could start introducing other tastes at lunch time. Begin with vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, squash, potato, swede, squash, and cauliflower.
You can also offer small amounts of fruit too.
As weaning progresses you can gradually start to puree food less (assuming you are not following baby-led weaning) so that it has more texture.
If you are using baby-led weaning then you will be offering soft foods in small pieces that your baby can hold in their fist.
Bananas, cooked carrot sticks, cucumber and spaghetti are all great for this type of feeding.
The first milk feed to go will generally be the lunchtime feed. This is dropped as your baby eats more for their lunch and may take until they are around seven to eight months to go.
Next may be the morning feed, which you can replace with a snack instead.
By the time your baby is one, they may still be having milk in the morning and just before bed, but otherwise just having water in between.
However not all babies are exactly the same, so don’t expect yours to conform. As long as your baby is eating good amounts of solid food by the age of one, then you’re doing great.
Your 6-month-old’s sleep
Your baby is possibly down to two naps per day now.
Some may still want to squeeze in a catnap late in the afternoon as they might be exhausted from a busy day on the move.
As they are much more physically active, you may notice them being a little more grouchy by the late afternoon and early evening as they are so tired.
The nap after lunch will be the longest nap and may be up to two-and-a-half hours in length.
If possible, try to avoid allowing your baby to sleep beyond 4.30pm as this may disrupt their sleep at bedtime.
After six months your baby will hopefully be sleeping a lot better at night. However it’s still normal for babies to be waking in the night to feed.
If you are happy that your baby is feeding well in the day, growing and getting on with weaning OK, then you may want to try sleep training.
This does not have to involve leaving your baby to cry. There are lots of gentle sleep training methods you can try to improve your baby’s sleep.
One key thing to do is to teach your baby how to self soothe, so that if they do wake in the night they can get themselves back to sleep.
To help them do this, you may want to ditch any night feeds after around eight months (as long as you’re happy your baby is feeding well in the day). You can offer water instead at these times.
Playtime with your 6-month-old
At six months your baby either can sit up unaided or is on the way to being able to do so.
They may also be rolling over and as the next six months go by they will learn to crawl. By the time they are one they might be pulling themselves up to stand and trying to walk.
So as you can imagine, playtime with your six-month-old baby gets a lot more physical.
Your baby will enjoy exploring toys that make noises and have buttons so they can see cause and effect in action.
The best toys you can give your baby at this time aren’t necessarily toys at all. Just a wooden spoon and a pan to bang on will probably delight them as much as any toy.
Find lots of ideas for activities to do with your baby here.
Sample schedule for a 6-month-old baby starting to wean
|7am||Wake-up and feed (milk)|
|11.30am||Wake-up and offer lunch (solids)|
Some babies may still be feeding in the night at this age. It’s not uncommon for babies to not sleep through the night fully until age one.
You may want to try a dream feed at 10pm, where you offer your baby milk just before you go to bed, if you are not already. This may save you getting up in the early hours of the morning with your little one.
Sample schedule for a 6-month-old baby eating more solids
This schedule is for a baby closer to nine months and features all three meals of the day.
|7am||Wake-up and feed|
|8am||Breakfast – Solids|
Many babies at this point may have dropped the afternoon feed as well as the lunchtime feed.
Remember that some babies are still waking in the night to feed up to one year. Once weaning is full established, your baby should move closer towards sleeping through the night.
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