6-Month-Second Week (26weeks old)
How your baby’s growing
Your baby may favor one hand for a while and then switch to the other. But you can’t really tell whether he’s a lefty or a right until he’s about two or three years old.
Don’t try to influence your baby’s hand preference (it’s determined before birth). Forcing him to use her right hand when he’s really a lefty, for example, may confuse him and lead to problems with hand-eye coordination, dexterity and handwriting down the road.
How your life’s changing
Comparing your baby to others most of the time? It’s hard to imagine a parent who doesn’t sneak a sideways glance now and then at a friend’s baby or one she sees in the supermarket, checking how her own compares. When you hear about a baby who seems more advanced in one area or the other, it’s natural to worry – or at least wonder – whether your own child is “OK”.
Not that this kind of thinking is ultimately very useful. Every baby grows and develops at his own pace. Especially around the six-month mark, physical and speech-related milestones can vary significantly from child to child.
If you have concerns about your baby, it’s better to learn about the normal timeline for development than to use other babies as reference marks. Even then, milestone charts are just a general guide. Your baby may stray from the timeline because he’s temporarily focusing on one skill rather than another or he may just need a little extra time. Take comfort in knowing that just because your baby seems to lag in one area, the chances of a developmental delay aren’t very high. But trust your instincts, too – if you’re still worried, talk to your doctor.
Parent tip: cool comfort for aching hot gums
“When my baby was teething I would put a clean wet muslin handkerchief or teether in the freezer for some time and give it to her to chew on. She found it very soothing.” — Rehana