During the first six months of his or her life, your baby is growing rapidly -- physically, cognitively and emotionally. Though all infants develop at different rates, these milestones can be used as a guideline for ages four to six months.

Mobility

During this time, babies get a lot more mobile. At four months old, your baby will likely begin rolling from front-to-back, and a couple months later from back-to-front. Your baby may begin to scoot or "commando" crawl -- dragging himself on his belly while pulling forward with their arms. By six months, babies can usually sit if propped up or by leaning forward on their hands. Few babies can sit up completely on their own at this time.

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Eating

Because babies can take in more at each feeding, you can scale back on the number of feedings per day. Formula-fed babies should take a maximum of 32 ounces a day. Between four and six months of age, most pediatricians recommend babies start being fed infant cereal. Keep in mind that learning to eat solids takes some patience.

Babies will push more food out of their mouths than they actually eat at first. Keep the first feeding of the day as a bottle or breastfeeding because the baby will be hungriest and probably not up for the challenge of the spoon at that time of day.

Sleeping

After three months of age, babies generally fall into a more predictable sleeping pattern -- sleeping a total of about 16 hours a day. At this age, babies usually take three naps a day and sleep six hours straight (or longer) at night. Try to phase out middle of the night feedings by the time your baby is six months old.

Communication

Your baby is making a variety of different sounds during these early months. And though it will be a long while before he or she actually talks, your child is learning all the time about what words mean. Some babies will begin making the n, d, p and b sounds, and can often mimic sounds.

How to nurture development

Play with your baby as much as possible to enhance his cognitive, emotional, physical and social development. Tummy time, rocking and playing with toys are all fun for babies. At this point, you should start reading to your baby if you haven't begun already. Pick board books and soft cloth blocks that are engaging and safe for babies to explore.

Cause for concern

By four months old, your baby should be double his or her birth weight. From four to six months, he or she should gain about one and a half pounds and an inch each month. If he or she doesn't gain weight or grow as expected, or doesn't seem to be eating properly, talk to your pediatrician. Babies should begin to lose their grasp and startle reflexes around six months old. Your child should also smile intentionally, respond to sound and follow objects with his or her eyes.

More about baby development

5 Things you should know about your newborn's body
Baby development: The importance of crawling
Fun ways to chronicle your baby's development

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