Your little love has changed so much over the past 6 months—and their skills are getting even more impressive. And more changes are coming for your 6-month-old baby, from starting solids to working on self-soothing and starting to crawl. It’s all happening, but try to savor this sweet time, too. Here’s what else to know about your baby’s health and growth this month.  

Related: 6-month-old baby milestones

6-month-old baby nutrition

After nothing but breast milk or formula for the first six months, it’s finally time to start solid foods. There are a few different approaches to take when introducing solids: start with spoon-fed purees, go the baby-led weaning (BLW) route or use a combination of the methods. But is your little one ready for that avocado or banana? Here’s how to tell. 

How to know when your baby is ready to start solid foods, according to AAP

  • Your baby is 6 months old
  • Your baby has doubled their birth weight
  • Your baby can hold their head up unsupported
  • Your baby can sit in a high chair
  • Your baby seems interested in watching you eat, and may open their mouth if a spoon comes their way

For now, your baby should still be getting most of their calories from breast milk or formula, and solid food should be considered introductory. As the saying goes, “Food before 1 is just for fun.” 

The AAP and La Leche League (LLL) recommend the following feeding timeline and amounts for 6-month-olds:

  • Solids: Offered 1 or 2 times per day
  • Breast milk: 6 to 8 ounces every 4 to 5 hours
  • Formula: 6 to 8 ounces every 5 to 6 hours

Read more: 6-month-old baby feeding schedule & amounts

While offering solids, the recommended serving sizes for a 6-month-old are:

  • Infant cereal (single grain) mixed with breast milk or formula: 3 to 5 tablespoons
  • Fruits: 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetables: 1 to 2 tablespoons

Aim to introduce one “single-ingredient” new food from any food group every 3 to 5 days, and watch for any reactions. Foods should be prepared with no added salt, as too much salt can overwhelm your baby’s kidneys, and texture is important—stick to softer foods that baby can gum or easily chew. Nothing too hard just yet!

Related: How to safely—and deliciously—start solids with your baby

A note on rice cereal, puffs and teething crackers

The FDA and CDC recommend avoiding rice cereal and rice-based products for infants, as rice-based baby foods have been found to be contaminated with arsenic, a heavy metal. Babies’ developing brains may be more susceptible to harm from even low levels of heavy metal toxins.

Lead, arsenic and other heavy metals such as cadmium have also been found in high amounts in some baby food purees—and even in homemade baby food. Some amount of heavy metals exist in the natural environment, but there are ways to reduce your child’s exposure.

Related: 5 tips on making safe, brain-boosting baby food at home

6-month-old baby weight

For babies up to 2 years of age, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using the World Health Organization (WHO) weight and length charts

The WHO growth charts for babies 0 to 2 years are based on what is standard for a predominantly breastfed infant. According to the organization, the WHO charts reflect growth patterns among children who were predominantly breastfed for at least 4 months and were still breastfeeding at 12 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends continuing to breastfeed for at least two years, as long as it benefits both mother and baby. 

How much does the average 6-month-old weigh?

For the first six months, your little one was in a period of rapid growth, and has likely now more than doubled their birth weight. For the next half of their first year, that growth will slow down a bit. That means they’ll no longer gain an ounce of weight per day, but they’re still growing, of course. 

According to the WHO:

What factors contribute to a 6-month-old baby’s weight?

Your baby’s weight may be a factor of how much milk they’re getting, their assigned sex and their activity levels. 

Assigned sex at birth: Male babies tend to gain weight slightly faster than female babies.

Daily milk intake: The amount your baby takes in at each feeding plays a role in their weight. 

Activity levels: Your little one may be able to roll in both directions, sit without support and working on crawling this month. Baby’s activity levels may factor into their overall weight, as physical activity helps build strong muscles and bones.

Related: Activities for a 6-month-old: Fostering baby’s development

6-month-old baby length

In month six, you can expect your baby to grow less rapidly as in previous months, but they’ll still add another ½ inch to ¾ inch (1 to 2 centimeters) in length.

How long is the average 6-month-old?

According to the WHO:

What factors contribute to a 6-month-old baby’s length?

Your baby’s growth depends on many factors, including family genes, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, overall health, and the functioning of the hormones that control growth. For length (or height), specifically, the biggest factor tends to be hereditary: if a baby’s parents are tall, the baby is likely to be tall too. 

Growth charts and percentiles 

Since birth, your child’s pediatrician has been plotting their weight, length and head circumference on a growth chart (see the examples below). Growth charts illustrate how your baby has grown over time and show how a baby’s weight or length may be compared to that of other babies who are the same age. 

For example, let’s say your baby’s weight is in the 35th percentile. That means that 65% of babies of the same age and sex weigh more, and 35% of babies weigh less. All babies grow at their own pace. Babies can be healthy whether they’re in the 5th percentile or 95th

Growth spurts

A big growth spurt is likely coming this month, as there are some major developmental leaps that are expected to take place around now (growth spurts sometimes go hand in hand with developmental milestones). Don’t be surprised if your busy 6-month-old seems hungrier or fussier than usual. 

Extra crankiness and hunger are both signs of growth spurts, which typically last anywhere from a few days up to a week. 

Babies at 6 months will likely still need one nighttime feed, but now’s a good time to work on self-soothing if they’re waking more than once to eat (outside of growth spurts). 

When should I worry about my baby’s growth?

At your baby’s 6-month well-check this month, ask your pediatrician if you can see their growth chart. A growth curve should be visible, and the doctor will be checking to make sure your child is exhibiting steady, sustained growth over time. If they’re concerned about your baby’s growth, they’ll let you know. 

At home, you can keep an eye on your baby’s growth and development, too, taking note if they seem especially stiff or floppy in their movements or aren’t getting close to meeting their 6-month developmental milestones. If you notice these signs in your baby, be sure to bring it up with their pediatrician. 

6-month-old baby sleep 

There’s a lot happening in your baby’s world this month, and you might expect some sleep changes as a result. Around 6 months is the time when many babies officially drop to three naps per day, and their sleep naturally starts to consolidate, says Rachel Mitchell, sleep consultant and founder of My Sweet Sleeper.

But babies under 12 months should still aim to get 12-16 hours of sleep per 24 hours. The Journal of Nature and Science of Sleep also adds that most commonly, sleep for a six-month-old baby averages more in the 13-14 hour per day range.

What baby sleep looks like at 6 months:

  • Your baby may be taking 3 naps per day
  • Your baby may be waking just once to eat at night
  • Your baby may be awake for 1.5 to 2.75 hours at a time

Your lovebug may also be ready to work on self-soothing in the middle of the night—see if you can hold off on rushing in (unless they’re really distressed) to help facilitate this process.

Read more: How much sleep does a 6-month-old baby need?

Diapering a 6-month-old

Given that your little one will be branching out in terms of their food intake this month, you can expect some changes to occur when it comes to their diaper contents. The addition of more fat and fiber will cause your baby’s poop to become more formed—and maybe a bit more smelly than you’re used to. Otherwise, you should still expect around 5 to 8 wet diapers per day, and a regular bowel movement schedule of one or more poops per day.

Skipping a day or two usually isn’t cause for concern, but if you’re worried about their stool frequency, a quick check-in with the pediatrician can’t hurt to prevent potential constipation from getting worse. 

Caring for a 6-month-old

Your baby will have their 6-month well-check this month, at which they’ll receive the next round of the same vaccines they received at their 4-month appointment. It’s important to keep your child on schedule with regard to their childhood vaccinations so that they can receive vaccine-provided immunity early in life, before they come into contact with potentially life-threatening diseases.

Vaccines for 6-month-olds

Your baby will likely receive the following vaccines at their 6-month checkup:

  • Hepatitis B (HepB)
  • Rotavirus (RV)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis (DTaP)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13, PCV15)
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
  • Flu vaccine (1 or 2 doses yearly)
  • Covid vaccine (number of doses depends on type of vaccine used)

Related: Questions about the Covid vaccine for kids? We’ve got answers

Your baby becomes eligible for a flu vaccine and a Covid vaccine once they turn 6 months old. Both of these vaccines can help prevent severe disease or hospitalization in your infant should they contract the illness. If you have questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your child’s pediatrician. 


If you’ve been holding off on using soap for your infant, once they hit 6 months is a good time to start incorporating some suds into your bathtime routine. Now that baby is moving and cruising a bit more, and getting a little (or a lot) dirtier, gentle soap can boost the fresh-and-clean factor. 

However, daily baths still aren’t a necessity. The AAP recommends no more than three baths per week in the first year, and they suggest keeping bathtime relatively short—just 10 to 15 minutes. If your little one enjoys them, baths before bed can make for a relaxing wind-down, for both of you. 

Tubby Todd Hair + Body Wash

Tubby Todd


Hair + Body Wash

Packed with natural extracts and plant-based ingredients, the gentle Hair + Body Wash from Tubby Todd is a Motherly favorite. It comes in a variety of subtle scents as well as a fragrance-free formula as well.

Common concerns

From baby’s first toothbrush to coughs, sniffles and general safety, here’s what to know about caring for a 6-month-old baby. 

Tooth brushing

Have you seen baby’s first tooth poke through yet? Once those first pearly whites make an appearance, it’s time to start an oral hygiene routine. A baby-friendly toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste are all you need—use an amount the size of a grain of rice until they’re 3 years old. Brushing twice a day, once after breakfast and once before bed, can help them establish healthy teeth habits well into the future. Wondering if it’s time for baby’s first dentist appointment? Your little one should see a dentist by the time they turn 1, or within 6 months of getting their first tooth, AAP says. 

Dr. Brown's Infant-to-Toddler Training Toothbrush

Dr. Brown's


Infant-to-Toddler Training Toothbrush

Super soft bristles, a fun shape and a grippable handle make this a great first toothbrush option. And bonus! The elephant ears keep the brush from touching any surfaces when you set it down.

Nuby 4 Stage Oral Care Set System



4 Stage Oral Care Set System

This four-piece set is designed to be used from their first gummy smiles to a full set of chompers. Each one is focused on a specific period of oral development and easy for parents to hold and maneuver.

Colds and illnesses

Most children get anywhere from eight to 10 colds by the time they turn 2—and if your little one has started daycare, it may seem like you’re seeing a new illness come home every other week. Rest assured that most colds go away or resolve by themselves and rarely lead to anything else. The key is to follow your pediatrician’s advice when illness strikes and help your baby stay comfortable, well hydrated and well rested. 

Little Dreams by Canopy



Humidifier & Diffuser

A humidifier that actually looks chic? We never thought we’d see the day. And one that’s dubbed the “world’s cleanest humidifier” at that! The no-mist design puts out filtered, hydrated air to moisturize skin and soothe baby’s breathing while the built-in diffuser fills the nursery with calming scents thanks to pure essential oil blends. (Their Rise scent is a blend of cool eucalyptus and sweet orange that’s perfect for cold and flu season!) Proprietary technology which uses a paper-based filter and embedded UV lights make it the only mold-inhibiting humidifier on the market—talk about breathing easier, right? Additionally, the unit is quite easy to clean and even dishwasher safe. (#Blessed)

Need more options? Check out our best baby humidifiers round-up!

erbavivia sniffles chest balm



Sniffles Chest Balm

This chest balm by erbaviva is an excellent choice for babies with sensitive skin. Other chest balms and rubs often include lavender, which might smell nice, but could also be  skin irritant. Sniffles Chest Balm, however, is made with essential oils of eucalyptus, tea tree, and myrrh, which are known to be immune boosting, lend powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties, and are gentle to baby’s soft skin.


Babies at 6 months old are especially curious about their environment, and with their newfound gross motor skills (sitting up, rolling over) and fine motor skills (passing objects from hand to hand, bringing objects to their mouth), they’re likely to reach for more things—and potentially get into objects or places they shouldn’t. 

“Parents need to be more careful about being safe with the baby,” says Ben Levinson, MD, a primary care pediatrician with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, to Verywell Family. “For instance, don’t leave a baby on a changing table or bed where they could roll-off. They also will put everything in their mouth at this age, so watch out for poisonous and small things.”

Baby gates, play yards and closely supervised playtime can be super important at this stage. 

Allowing your baby to safely explore their space while ensuring their safety is paramount.

Related: How to keep baby safe: Your complete list for babyproofing 

Wunderkids Babyroom



Babyroom and Silion Mats

A play mat is great. A play mat and corral that keeps them out of trouble while you make coffee? Even better. The stylish and super functional set ups from Wunderkids can be purchased together or separately to create a safe and fun space for your little(s). Each of the non-toxic, cushy mats are available in soft colors and can be put to good use for years to come. Cartwheel practice, anyone?

guava travel crib

Guava Family


Lotus Travel Crib

There’s a lot to love about the Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib. The lightweight design is easy to bring along on your adventures (it folds small enough to fit into a backpack!) but still roomy enough for little ones to sleep and play comfortably. But the standout feature? A zippered side door that allows you to lay down beside them to nurse or snuggle!

A note from Motherly on self-care while caring for a 6-month-old

It can be bittersweet watching your tiny infant transform into a bubbly, busy 6-month-old baby—packing away tiny onesies and toys from their newborn stage can fill you with nostalgia, but take heart that there’s so much joy in the here and now, too. Welcoming in this new era of exploration and engagement can be so rewarding. And we hope that you’re starting to get some more nighttime sleep as well, which can make caring for an infant so much easier. If you’re struggling, mama, reach out for mental health support in the form of therapy or medication. Postpartum depression can set in anytime in the first year after birth—and help is out there. 

Look ahead: 7-month-old baby health & growth guide

Postpartum depression resources

If you’re experiencing any postpartum mood symptoms, no matter how mild, know that help is available. Reach out to your healthcare provider about next steps and potential treatment options, such as more support at home, therapy or medication. If you’re in crisis, reach out to a crisis hotline or dial 988 or 911 for immediate support.

The phone numbers listed below are available 24/7 to help you with suicidal thoughts or other mental health crises. 

A version of this story was originally published on March 28, 2023. It has been updated.

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