Child Care 3 – 6 Months
REMEMBER: it takes time for your baby to develop a predictable routine. This can be a fun time as your child develops new skills such as exploring their world. As your baby becomes more mobile it is important to ensure your home and play areas are safe.
Babies become more predictable in their routine by 3 to 4 months. From 3-4 months most babies know the difference between day and night. They generally settle well overnight but may still need 1-2 milk feeds.
Awake time is becoming longer. Time spent playing with and talking to your baby is very important for their development. Some ideas for interacting during awake/play time include:
- Tummy time (floor play)
- Using rattles and soft toys
- Taking baby for a walk in the pram
- Telling stories using soft books
- Having a relaxing bath time or baby massage
- Singing songs or playing music
- Visiting friends
Sleep times can vary, with some having three longer sleeps per day and others needing only short naps. If your baby is generally alert and happy your baby is probably getting enough sleep Some examples of activities that you can do with your baby at this age include smiling, talking, singing, reading, cuddling your baby, and tummy time.
By 6 months your baby can commence taking solid foods. It is also a good time to commence feeding your baby cooled boiled water from a cup.
Some ideas for interacting during awake/play time include:
- Floor play
- Playing music and singing songs
- Reading stories or singing nursery rhymes
- Playing finger or toe games
- Providing toys – that move, make sound, are colourful and vary in texture
- Giving lots of cuddles
- Visiting friends/local park/play groups
REMEMBER: all babies are different. Modify the routine to match your baby’s needs for sleeps
- Talk to your baby all the time, telling her what you are doing and what different noises are. Use simple words and very short sentences.
- Make faces and blow raspberries on her belly.
- Sing to her.
- Place her on the floor in a safe place on her tummy for play.
- Place her on the floor without a nappy to allow her the freedom to kick.
- Provide her with bright objects to look at and place some within reaching distance so that she can accidentally touch them initially and then try to touch them again.
- Provide her with a variety of things to do and either change what she is looking at or move her to a different spot so she has something else to look at.
- Place colourful toys nearby for her to touch/try to touch, look at and hit.
These are very important months. Don’t hesitate to get help from your doctor or community health nurse if:
- your baby is unhappy or unsettled much of the time
- you are unhappy or anxious much of the time
- your baby is not turning to look for you when you speak
- your baby is not smiling and cooing even some of the time
- your baby is not kicking his legs
- you feel that you and your baby just aren’t getting on together as well as you would like.
Your baby can now grasp some small objects and put them in her mouth which means that she may swallow them or they may cause her to choke.
Babies often roll over by the time they are 4 or 5 months old and can get into danger quickly. Make sure that she is not left alone unless she is in a safe place.
- laughs aloud, by about 3 months, (between 2-4 months)
- enjoys being played with (laughs, kicks) by 4 months
Talk with your doctor or nurse if
your baby shows no obvious pleasure in interacting with people
your baby is not making eye contact with people