Baby by month

Your baby: 5.5 months old

Stranger anxiety, how to tell if your baby is sick or teething and the great babies-and-TV debate. Learn all about life with your baby at 5.5 months old.

By admin
Photo: iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

Making strange Do you have a little cling-on these days? Don't be surprised if your baby, who was once unperturbed to be bounced from one person’s knee to the next, isn't too keen on playing with strangers these days. Starting about now, your baby becomes more aware of just who is a familiar face and who isn't. Many babies go further, and decide they don't want much to do with anyone who isn't one of their nearest and dearest. (And sorry, Grandma and Grandpa — you might seem like a new face if your grandbaby hasn’t seen you in a few days!)

Don’t worry. Stranger anxiety, or “making strange,” is perfectly normal, and most babies will warm up to new people if they're not rushed or forced into it.

Wondering what else to expect? Take a peek at more first-year milestones.

The recipe for a happy mom Hey mom, how are you feeling these days? Busy? Wired? Exhausted? Elated? When's the last time you did something just for yourself?

If your answer is “Who’s got the time?” think again. Your baby needs a healthy mom. In the hustle and bustle of baby care, it's important to find a little time that's just for you. Think of it as a sanity break, as time to recharge your spirit so you can be the loving mom you want to be. Time for yourself can be spent doing anything you enjoy — reading a novel, taking a class, going for a walk, lunch with a friend, people-watching in a café. Take a peek at these secrets of happy moms.


Good Question! How can I tell if my baby is teething? Your baby's first pearly whites might poke through his gums in the next few weeks, if they haven’t already. But figuring out if your baby’s irritability is caused by teething isn’t always easy.

One way to tell is to run your finger along your baby's gums to feel for swollen ridges. He may experience excessive drooling, a rash around the lips and chin, a cough, diarrhea, irritability, night waking, and even a low fever. But keep in mind that other illnesses can be mistaken for signs of teething; check with your doctor rather than assuming it’s “just teething.” Learn more about how to tell if your baby is sick or teething.

Tips from the trenches “I just had to let the Type A stuff go. I learned there was a new sheriff in town, and she had a different way of doing things.” Carrie, mom of 1

Did you know? According to recent studies, more than 90 percent of children watch TV regularly before age two — and start as early as five months old (in 1971, it was four years old). This trend is raising some red flags about overstimulation, and concern that more time in front of the tube means reduced time in activities that contribute to critical development. And your infant isn’t learning much either; evidence suggests language skills are actually weaker in little ones who watch TV regularly. Your baby gets more fun and learning from real life than anything on the screen.


Originally published on Oct. 20, 2011.

This article was originally published on Oct 29, 2014

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