Your baby: 6.5 months old

Getting ready to sit up, bath safety and babies and dogs. Learn all about life with your 6.5-month-old.

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Up and at ’em!
This month, or maybe next, your baby will probably reach an important developmental milestone when he begins to sit up all on his own. Right now, he can probably sit in a highchair or propped up with pillows, and he may even sit on his own, by using his hands to support his weight and balance.

In the next few weeks, your baby’s back muscles will become strong enough to support his upper body and he may let go with his hands. But it will probably be a while yet before your little roly-poly guy masters the balance sitting requires. He may wobble, rock and fall right over!

And he’s just getting started.

A new world of play
Sitting will open up a new world play possibilities for your baby by freeing his hands. He may be able to reach for toys while he’s sitting, and he will come to rely less and less on his hands for balance. You can also encourage him to lift his hands off the floor by placing toys or blocks in front of him within arm’s reach. Learn some creative new play possibilities at this fun stage!

Read more: Your baby’s hands>

Baby care 101: bath precaution
Even if your baby can sit up on his own, it’s not safe to leave him alone in the bath, even for a moment. Unexpected tumbles can happen in a heartbeat, and babies can drown in mere centimetres of water.

Read more: Relieve dry skin with an oatmeal bath>

Tips from the trenches
“The best advice my doctor gave me was ‘talk to your mother.’ I truly believe that community/family/friend support is so important for new moms. Ask for advice from someone you trust, someone whose values are similar to yours. I’ve leaned on my mother since the day my first son was born, and I’m sure I’ll be leaning on her 20 years from now.” — Shauna, mom of two

Read more: Postpartum depression in dads>

How to make your own baby food
Prepared baby food can be great for convenience, but making your own is surprisingly simple. And when it’s homemade, you know exactly what your baby is eating (plus, it’s much cheaper!). Worried it will take too much time? Making baby food from scratch is never more complicated than cooking simple, natural and nutritious food that’s converted into the right texture for your little diner. Read on for tips, tricks and recipes.

Did you know?
Many babies develop attachments to comfort objects as they begin to realize that their parents may not always be around when they need comfort. Snuggling up with a cuddly blanket or toy is likely a way your baby has found to comfort herself. Learn more about loveys.

Read more: How babies play>

Good Question! How can I help foster a good relationship between our new baby and our “old” baby — our dog?
Chances are good that Fido is playing second fiddle to the new star of the family these days. But it’s important to ensure that the two will co-exist peacefully. Some tips:

• Don’t leave your dog and baby together unsupervised. Even the gentlest dog can inadvertently hurt a baby — and vice-versa.
• It’s hard to fit in those walks, but they can make a big difference to a dog’s behaviour. Consider hiring a teenager if you just don’t have time.
• Basic commands like “sit” and “stay” are doubly useful now. If your dog doesn’t know them, well, it’s never too late to learn.

Originally published on Oct. 20, 2011.

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