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6 month developmental milestones

  • 0-1 Years
  • Child development and growing up
Young baby sitting on the floor smiling as her mum is reaching round her with a hand puppet.

There are some key physical and communication milestones you will expect your 6 month old to reach. These milestones should be treated as a rough guide, as each child is unique and will develop at their own pace. It is often unhelpful to compare a baby to other babies or their siblings.


Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023

At around 6 months old you can expect your baby to be able to:

Physical

  • roll from their back to their tummy
  • when on their back, play with their feet
  • when on their tummy, pushing their whole chest off the floor and straightening both arms
  • sit up with support
  • lean on their hands when they sit on the floor
  • get into a crawling position
  • grasp a toy using both hands at once
  • reach a small object using their finger and pick it up using their thumb and all their fingers
  • pick up a small toy with one hand and pass it to the other
  • try to get a toy that's out of reach by rolling, turning on their tummy or crawling
  • start teething

Read more about early physical skills development

Communication

  • holds hands up to be lifted
  • makes sounds like 'ba', ‘da’, ‘ga’, and ‘ka’
  • squeal and laugh
  • when playing with sounds they will growl, grunt, and make other deep-toned sounds
  • repeats sounds back to you
  • enjoy looking at themselves in a mirror
  • act differently towards strangers than you or other familiar people such as staring, frowning or crying

Read more about early communication with babies and toddlers

Encouraging development

Activities and games you can explore with your baby:

  • trip to the park
  • nursery rhymes and peekaboo
  • ready, steady, go games
  • playing with your baby by getting down to child’s level (lying down or crouching)
  • playing with things they are interested in
  • picture books (using the same books helps with familiarity)
  • speaking with your baby and talking about what they are looking at
  • using different voices and actions when reading, singing and playing
  • talking to them in short simple sentences
  • responding to their babbling by copying back the sounds they make
Baby girl sitting up on a playmat holding a toy in one hand

Babies do not need lots of toys or devices to have fun or to encourage development.

They learn a lot of early skills by playing and spending time with you.

Possible development concerns

Sometimes development can be slower than you expect, or you may notice something different about your child or young person. It's normal to feel worried but there is lots of support out there. 

Contact your health visitor if you notice your baby is:

  • not reaching for and holding (grasping) toys
  • not bringing hands to midline
  • clenching their hands frequently
  • not exploring objects with hands, eyes and mouth
  • not holding head and shoulders up with good control when lying on tummy
  • not holding head with control in supported sitting

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Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Child development and growing up for additional needs

Information

Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's development, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Information for babies aged 6 months old

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