Between the ages of 6 and 12 months, babies become more interactive and interested in the people and things around them. They gain mobility and independence since they have usually developed their skills at rolling, sitting up and eventually crawling. Around the 6 to 9-month range, babies also learn to play and participate in games like peek-a-boo, so big and clapping. Playing these social games encourages your baby to smile and interact with you.
Rolling and Sitting
Although babies' development ranges widely, most babies learn to roll just before the 6-month mark. This marks the end of that initial "find the baby where you put the baby" stage. After rolling, babies learn to sit independently when they are between 6 and 8 months old. Once little ones can sit up independently, they have more freedom to use their hands to play and interact. This is the stage where your baby might be most interested in banging toys together, grabbing at your hair, and later playing a fill and dump game with balls and a toy bucket.
Clapping and Other Social Games
With the freedom to sit up and use their hands, babies are ready to play. Peek-a-boo and so big are great social games for the 6 month to 9-month-old crew. At this age your baby will do more than laugh, he will start to anticipate your favorite games by putting up his hands, or starting to laugh before you hide your face. Baby will also start to imitate things that you are doing, which is typically how clapping starts. Try saying, "yay," with a big smile and clapping at something your baby does. Do this a few times over the course of a week or so and watch your baby start to imitate you clapping.
When to Talk to a Doctor
Just like all of the books and articles say, there is a wide range of typical development, especially for early milestones. Even if most babies sit by 6 months, some children take until they are 8 or 9 months old to master this skill. At the same time, you should talk to your pediatrician if you have questions about your child's development. Remember, when it comes to your baby, you're the expert! If you have concerns about the way your baby interacts, discuss these with your pediatrician as well, especially if your baby doesn't babble at all, doesn't try to get your attention other than by crying, or doesn't show any interest in peek-a-boo or other social games.