Parenting in KFL&A
Adult holding cell phone taking a selfie with a baby.
Your baby is now 6 months old! This is a fun age with lots of changes! This month is a special issue - we’ll talk about milestones and immunizations and then we’ll give you lots of information about introducing solid foods.

It’s time to complete the 6-month Looksee Checklist.
Does your child:
  • Swipe at and reach for objects within view?
  • Turn head and look in the direction of a new sound?
  • Respond to own name?
  • Smile and babble when given adult attention?
  • Vocalize pleasure and displeasure? (squeal with excitement or grunt with displeasure)
  • Seem to respond to some words? (daddy or bye bye)
  • Make sounds while you are talking to him/her?
  • Roll from back to side?
  • Push up on hands when on tummy?
  • Sit with support? (pillows)
  • Use hands to reach, grasp, bang and splash?
  • Bring toys to mouth?
  • Pat and pull on your hair, glasses or face?
  • Sleep and feed at regular times?

Follow up with your health care provider if you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions or if you have concerns about your child’s development.
Immunization alert!
Your baby is due for another dose of the Pediacel and rotavirus immunization.

Flu shot
Your baby is now old enough to get an immunization against influenza (flu). The flu is a serious respiratory infection caused by a virus. The flu can cause a cough, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and even death. Babies are at higher risk of these problems.

The first time your child receives the flu shot, they will receive two doses, at least 4 weeks apart. The first dose stimulates their immune system. The second dose provides protection so that they will be able to fight off influenza.
Parents: don’t forget to get your flu shot at the same time!
Learn about influenza
Adult spoon feeding a baby.
Introducing solid foods
Now that your baby is 6 months old, they may be ready to start solid food. This is a big milestone that you can enjoy sharing with your baby. Here are some things to remember as you start offering your baby solids.
  • Offer your baby iron-rich foods such as lean beef, fish, lentils, or iron-fortified infant cereals twice a day to help their brain develop.
  • Offer your baby a variety of textures (not only purees) starting at 6 months.
  • To prevent choking, always supervise your baby while he’s eating, and do not give hard or round foods such as whole grapes, nuts, and raw apple. Do not add cereal or other foods to a bottle—this can cause your baby to choke.
  • You can give your baby tap water from an open cup. Choose water between meals. Sugary drinks like 100% fruit juice and chocolate milk increase the risk of cavities and can fill your baby’s small stomach, leaving less room for other foods.
  • If you use well water, test it for bacteria at least three times a year.
  • Sharing spoons with your baby can transfer bacteria from your mouth to theirs. This can be the cause of cavities for your child.
Foods to avoid:
  • honey (for the first year),
  • processed meats (e.g., ham, bacon, hot dogs, and salami), and
  • foods with high choking risk (e.g., marshmallows, popcorn, whole nuts, seeds, nut butters on a spoon, dried fruit, and hard (raw) fruit or vegetables).
Foods to limit:
  • fish high in mercury such as swordfish, tuna steak, and albacore tuna
  • foods that are high in sugar or salt
  • rice-based cookies, crackers, rusks, and puffs, especially those containing brown rice syrup or brown rice flour. These foods sometimes contain arsenic and the sugar can lead to cavities.
Feeding your baby
Raw and pureed apples, broccoli, squash, and banana.
Parenting tips
For reliable nutrition information and recipes, visit
You can also speak to a Registered Dietitian over the phone for free by calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
Have fun starting solids this month! We’ll connect with you next month when your baby is 7 months old!
KFL&A Public Health, 221 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, Ontario K7M 1V5