Gross Motor Skills: 6 Months

By Jennifer Riesmeyer, DPT

As a reminder with all milestones, these are averages. It is very possible to not demonstrate a skill or two within a certain category, and still be within typical ranges. However if you are concerned, you are recommended to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician or contact your local early intervention office for an evaluation to determine possible assistance.

Turns out a lot happens at 6 months! I always knew there was a reason that I loved their personalities at this age! Here is a list of gross motor skills applicable to a 6-month old:

  • Sits upright independently for long periods of time, but usually needs some outside stabilization to hold the position at lower legs/pelvis and play with hands at the same time
  • Prop sits independently while reaching for a toy with one hand
  • Sits well in a highchair or leans on tray if assistance is needed
  • Stands tall with hands held
  • Beginning to learn to use one side of their body separate from the other
  • On back will raise arms individually or together
  • Can lift legs in the air without falling to the side (on back)
  • Frequently moving on back: bridging, arching, twisting, rolling
  • Plays in sidelying for extended periods of time
  • Attempts to push up to sitting from sidelying but usually cannot do so yet
  • On tummy, reaches for items with arms and legs extending
  • Gaining more control with rolling: pausing at various mid positions easily
  • On tummy, shifts weight side to side lower now (legs and pelvis)
  • Attempts hands and knees from tummy by pushing up onto forearms and tucking knees under body (falls forward)
  • More pushing up onto extended arms on tummy
  • May push backwards when on tummy
  • Cannot pivot or crawl forward on tummy, but could pull themselves forward if there is something to hold onto
  • Transfers toys hand to hand
  • Cannot actively release a toy in hand
  • Picks up small toys using a raking motion

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