Child's Routine Checkup, 6 Months: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Your baby's bond with you and other caregivers will be very strong by now. He or she may be shy around strangers and may hold on to familiar people. It is normal for a baby to feel safer to crawl and explore with people he or she knows.

At six months, your baby may use his or her voice to make new sounds or playful screams. He or she may sit with support. Your baby may begin to feed himself or herself. Your baby may start to scoot or crawl when lying on his or her tummy.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

Feeding

  • Keep breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.
  • If you do not breastfeed, give your baby a formula with iron.
  • Start feeding your baby iron-rich foods, such as iron-fortified infant cereal, finely minced meat or fish, mashed cooked egg yolk, mashed beans, or tofu. Then offer mashed fruits and vegetables.
  • When you offer a new food to your baby, wait 2 to 3 days in between each new food. Watch for a rash, diarrhea, breathing problems, or gas. These may be signs of a food or milk allergy.
  • Let your baby decide how much to eat.
  • Do not give your baby honey in the first year of life. Honey can make your baby sick.
  • Offer juice in a cup, not a bottle. Limit juice to ½ cup a day.

Safety

  • Put your baby to sleep on his or her back, not on the side or tummy. This reduces the risk of SIDS. Use a firm, flat mattress. Do not put pillows in the crib. Do not use crib bumpers.
  • For every ride in a car, secure your child into a properly installed car seat or booster seat that meets all current safety standards. Use a car seat or booster seat that is made for their weight and height. For questions about car seats and booster seats, call Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371 or visit the Government of Canada Child Safety webpage at www.canada.ca/en/services/transport/road/child-car-seat-safety.html.
  • Tell your doctor if your child spends a lot of time in a house built before 1976. The paint may have lead in it, which can be harmful.
  • Keep the number for your local or provincial poison control centre on or near your phone.
  • Baby walkers should not be used. They are not safe. Canada has banned baby walkers because many babies have been seriously injured while using them. It is illegal to manufacture, sell, advertise, or import new or used baby walkers. A stationary activity centre, with adult supervision, is a better choice.
  • Do not use walkers, which can easily tip over and lead to serious injury.
  • Avoid burns. Turn water temperature down, and always check it before baths. Do not drink or hold hot liquids near your baby.

Immunizations

  • Most babies get a dose of important vaccines at their 6-month checkup. Make sure that your baby gets the recommended childhood vaccines for illnesses, such as whooping cough and diphtheria. These vaccines will help keep your baby healthy and prevent the spread of disease. Your baby needs all doses to be protected.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You are concerned that your child is not growing or developing normally.
  • You are worried about your child's behaviour.
  • You need more information about how to care for your child, or you have questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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