Months 4, 5 and 6

Baby is approaching the half-year landmark and is beginning to become more separate from you. This is great as it brings exciting new milestones – but it also brings plenty of challenges.

Can baby roll over?

Your baby could begin to roll over as early as four months old. However, don’t worry if she doesn’t manage it just yet as some babies may not roll over until seven or even eight months. Plenty of tummy time can help develop the muscles she will need to achieve this milestone – place a tempting toy to her side to see if she can roll towards it.

Did baby just respond to her name?

By now baby has probably heard her name hundreds or maybe even thousands of times. Her brain is developing, so do not be surprised if she looks towards you with recognition and perhaps even a smile if she hears you say her name. This is just part of her burgeoning comprehension of language. She is getting to grips with the sounds of vowels and consonants and might even begin to combine them to create sounds herself.

Does baby really see everything?

Baby’s vision is developing so fast that she is now able to see both the big and small picture. She can see things in the distance as well as minute things such as jewellery, details on your dress and more.

Can I help baby to sit up?

Baby is ready to try and sit up during the 4-6 month period. You can help her find a comfortable position supported by pillows or cushions. This will help strengthen her core muscles, and she will likely soon begin leaning forward and attempting to rock herself upright again.

Is baby’s eye colour changing?

Most Caucasian babies are born with blue eyes because they develop melanin over time and this eventually changes their eye colour. If your baby has been born with blue eyes, chances are that they have already darkened and will have taken their permanent colour by six months.

Is baby teething?

Most babies don’t develop teeth until a little later; however, it is not uncommon for early starters to develop teeth at the 4-6 month stage. Even if there is no sign of a tooth, baby may be teething anyway, with dribbling and discomfort the two major signs.

Should I be starting to give my baby solids?

As your baby approaches 6 months of age, it’s time to start weaning her onto solids. However, you should only move on to solids after your health visitor has given you the go-ahead first. When making the transition to solids, you should start small – a spoonful of whole grain cereal mixed with her usual milk (so that its consistency is slightly thicker than liquid) or pureed fruits and vegetables are all great choices.

Remember that although she is starting to eat solids, this doesn’t mean that you should stop breastfeeding. Baby will still be getting most of her nutritional requirements from breast milk or formula at this stage.

How do I know if something’s wrong?

Babies all develop at different rates so it is important to remember this and not get too anxious about whether your child is hitting all the milestones at all the “right” times. However, if you are worried that something is wrong, you should contact your GP. Signs to watch out for include:

  • No improvement in neck muscle and head control
  • Baby doesn’t “speak” – i.e. make babbling noises
  • Baby doesn’t reach for objects
  • Baby doesn’t put objects near her mouth
  • Baby seems floppy
  • Baby doesn’t seem engaged or interested
  • Baby doesn’t react to sound
  • Baby only reaches with one hand
  • Baby has stiff or tight muscles

Am I sleep deprived?

Sleep deprivation is unavoidable if you do not get enough sleep over the long-term. Depending on your sleep deficit, it can be either chronic or acute. Sleep deprivation can result in fatigue, drowsiness, reduced cognitive function, clumsiness, and weight gain or weight loss. After months of near constant sleep deprivation, many mothers can develop postpartum fatigue.

Is it normal that my caesarean section scar is so visible?

Although the mark from your C-section should be healed by now, it is likely to still be quite a livid red or purple. The intensity of the scar will further fade with time.

I can’t be developing postnatal depression now, can I?

Postnatal mental health issues do not necessarily occur in the months immediately following birth. In fact, postnatal depression, postnatal OCD and postnatal anxiety can develop at any time in the first 12 months following the birth of your child. In fact, you may only notice that you are not feeling quite right once things begin to settle down when, with baby sleeping more regularly and solid feeding routine in place, you feel you should be feeling alright. If you have any concerns in this regard, speak with your GP.

Find out more about what to expect in months 7, 8, and 9.