Your child's third through sixth month of life

As your child becomes a three to six month old, she will continue to grow and develop quickly.

You may have already realized that your child is growing and changing by leaps and bounds. The days are flying by, and your baby is already losing her infantile characteristics. The first three months may have been a blur, especially if your baby's sleep patterns were erratic, and her days and nights reversed. As your child becomes a three to six month old, she will continue to grow and develop quickly.

Hopefully, she is beginning to settle into some type of a sleep pattern. She should be able to recognize the difference between day and night, and she should start to understand that nighttime means sleep time. You can help her understand when her bedtime is by establishing a bedtime ritual. Children thrive on patterns and routines, and your baby is not too young to become accustomed to a routine. You might want to give her a bath, followed by a song or story, and then place her in her crib. Once she is three to four months old, you may be able to start laying her in her crib while she is drowsy but still awake. This should help her sleep for longer periods at night. By the time she is three or four months old, she may be able to sleep through the night.

Although you should always place your infant on his back to sleep because this reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), you should still provide your child with tummy time on a daily basis. By now, his neck and arm muscles should be strong enough to hold him up for a few moments as he lies on his stomach. Place colorful toys just out of his reach to encourage him to focus and reach for these objects. Once he becomes closer to six months old, he may actually be able to get up on his knees for a few moments. You may notice that he rocks back and forth. This is a preliminary movement before he begins creeping or crawling.

As he reaches his five and six month mark, he may be able to sit up with support. You can buy one of those u-shaped pillows or just place several pillows at his sides and back to support and catch him if he topples over. You should place several toys around him. Some of them should be within reach, so he can practice manipulating objects. You can also place a few out of reach to encourage him to move and stretch while he is in a sitting position.

Your baby may be rolling from her front to her back when she is placed on her tummy. She may also learn to maneuver herself across the floor by inching backwards. If she has mastered rolling from her back to her front, she may proceed to roll across the floor to get to where she wants to go. Some babies are in such a hurry to crawl that they may actually be able to manipulate their knees and arms. Most babies won't crawl, however, until they are closer to eight or nine months.

Your baby will enjoy laughing out loud, and it may not take much to delight him. He will certainly enjoy your attention. You can read colorful books to him, and you should also give him sturdy board books that he can examine on his own. He will also enjoy listening to you sing silly songs and lullabies. Don't worry if you don't have a beautiful singing voice. Your songs will indeed be music to your baby's ears.

Your baby is growing and changing every day. He will continue to develop emotionally, cognitively, and physically. As he grows, he will still look to you for entertainment, love, and security. You can't spoil your baby, so pick him up, comfort him, and hold him as much as you like. He won't be little for very long!

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