Your Six to Eight Month Old
How active your baby has become! He is learning about shapes and textures. Your six to eight month old is curious and exploring, and needs you to watch him carefully.
Feeding Your Baby
At six to eight months, breast milk or infant formula continue to be your baby’s main source of nutrients. As your baby begins to eat solid foods, he will nurse less or take less formula. Breast-fed babies nurse about every four hours during the day. Formula-fed babies need 28 to 38 ounces of formula a day. Click here for tips on feeding and signs of fullness.
Caring for Your Baby
- Never leave your baby alone
- Cover the water control knobs so your baby can’t touch them
Diaper rashes are more common in this age group. The best way to avoid diaper rash is to change your baby’s diapers often. If your baby does develop a rash, here are some steps doctors recommend to heal the rash.
Mouth and Dental Care
Babies put almost everything in their mouths
- Keep your baby’s hands and toys clean
- Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Put your baby to bed with only water in her bottle.
- Your baby probably has 3 periods of sleep: morning nap, afternoon nap and bedtime.
- Your baby should be sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day, most of it at night
- If your baby flips himself from sleeping on his back to his stomach, it’s okay to leave him that way. For more information on safe sleep practices, visit Baby’s Sleep Safety.
- Your baby will need another checkup and shots (immunizations) during this time. If your baby does not have health insurance, visit the Your Baby’s Health for more information on North Carolina’s publicly-funded health insurance programs.
- Remember to take your baby’s health record with you so your doctor or nurse can record your baby’s weight, length and any immunizations given.
- Ask any questions you may have.
Your Baby’s Development
There are lots of activities you can do with your baby to help your baby grow and develop. See How We Grow – Baby’s First Year can give you specific ways you can help your baby learn to trust, feel comfortable, communicate and become aware of how his or her body moves. If you can’t open the link above, try the plain text version.
Your Baby’s Safety
Your six to eight month old is now on-the-move and can quickly get into trouble. Be sure to visit the safety tips section for things to watch out for and steps you can take to keep your baby safe.
Most six month old babies are ready to start solid foods. Talk with your
healthcare provider to find out what is right for your baby. The following
are guidelines for the first year:
- Six months: Begin infant cereals (mixed with breast milk or formula)
- Six to eight months: Start pureed fruits, vegetables and fruit
juices. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to add other foods
- Seven to ten months: Start pureed meat, chicken, rice or tofu
- Check the “use by” date on all baby food jars, and keep opened jars in the refrigerator
- Serve foods at room temperature
- Avoid heating food in the microwave – it can heat unevenly and create hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth
- Introduce new foods one at a time, every three to five days. This will help you watch for signs of allergic reactions
Tips on Feeding
- Start to give your baby liquids from a cup (cups without spouts
- Use a bib or cloth to catch spills
- Allow your baby to hold his own bottle or cup, but stay close in case
your baby chokes
- Try one new food at a time. If your baby doesn’t like it at first,
try it again another time
- Put your baby in a high chair or infant seat or in the
lap of an adult at the table during family mealtime
Signs That Your Baby is Full
Your baby may be full if he:
- Loses interest in eating
- Turns his head away from spoon
- Refuses to open his mouth for the spoon
Some babies need to rest during feeding so allow short breaks during meals.