At 6 months, my son has gained many new skills. Chewing (followed swiftly by spitting out in disgust) seems to be one, as does pulling himself up. Watching him pull himself up recently, using my face for leverage, I wondered how he was fareing compared to other babies his age. Like any intelligent adult that wanted a true, accurate answer, I trawled the internet. It took minutes to find a chart, listing Mastered, Emerging and Advanced skills my son could have by now.
Lets do a list, shall we?
Mastered Skills – Skills that my son should have down by now.
Turns toward sounds and voices – Ned will turn towards sounds, but only if it suits him. For example, if we’re calling to him, and he’s not looking at a toy, or chewing something, or looking at something far more interesting, or trying to poo, or watching TV, or trying to climb up something, then he might look our way if we’re directly in front of him. I class this as him Mastering this skill.
Imitates sounds – If by imitating sounds it means imitates his own sounds that he has said at some point in his life, then yes, he is imitating sounds.
Rolls over in both directions – Rolling he has down, though he’s never awake on his back long enough to do one. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time he did a barrel roll.
Emerging Skills – Skills he should be showing signs of doing, and on the way to mastering
Is ready for solid foods – Baby led weaning is still on, and he is chewing more. Swallowing is still an issue, and he spits out more than he consumes, but he’s well on his way to getting this sorted.
Sits without support – are you kidding? my son is a lean mean sitting machine! he’s had sitting without support down for weeks. Old news grandma, get with the program yo etc etc.
Mouths objects – Toys, place mats, cutlery, hands, a chair leg, my own leg, a foot, glasses, a glass – My son will mouth anything he can get his piggy little hands on.
Passes objects from hand to hand – He does this a lot with food, and I’m unsure if it’s by accident or not. Sometimes he’ll drop it while passing from hand to hand, then instead of using his hand to pick it up, he’ll move his face down to the object and mouth it there and then. Sometimes I worry about him.
Advanced Skills – Ones that, if he does, he’s ahead of the game.
Lunges forward or starts crawling – He’s been doing this for two weeks now. Sometimes he overreaches his lunge and lands on his face. Crawling hasn’t happened yet, he still outstretches all limbs and whines until someone uprights him
Jabbers or combines syllables – Most of the syllables are shouted, or screamed, but there is a high rate of Jabber. Unsure if any of it is Jibber, however.
Drags objects toward himself – My son is greedy, and will drag most things towards him so it’s within his ‘zone of control’ this morning, he dragged his changing mat towards him so much, it knocked him over. I watched him look slightly embarassed as his head peeked out from underneath the mat, which had him pinned down. I was embarrassed, as I hadn’t been paying attention and stopped it from happening. The look in our eyes registered the mutual embarrassment, and we decided to keep this one away from mum.
I guess the moral of the story here would be that these development charts are a guide, but not a completely accurate one. They help you look out for certain abilities, but just because your son or daughter can’t roll left, or only chews shoelaces, doesn’t mean they’re underdeveloped, it means they’re excellent at something else.