An 8-month baby is very active and eager to explore new surroundings. He or she is becoming increasingly curious of the world around them and will start to comprehend what things are and how they work. Many babies at this stage are able to respond to basic commands and will recognize their own name by sounds and their own face in the mirror.
Many parents and caregivers are curious as to whether their baby is progressing at the normal rate. The truth is that the rate of development can fluctuate greatly from baby to baby – some babies may have taken their first steps already, while others may only be starting to sit up unsupported. This article will outline some of the most common baby milestones for an 8-month old and will provide tips and suggestions on how to provide the best care for a baby at this stage.
Baby Development by Month: Eighth Month
As your baby gets stronger, they become more active. A lot of babies will be able to pull themselves up to a standing position when holding on to something, and some may even take one or two tiny steps. If your baby is very active, it’s important to make sure that their surrounding environment is safe – don’t leave sharp objects or wires in the nearby area and male sure that all electronics are out of reach.
Babbling and cooing will be a common feature in your baby’s vocabulary, and they will express their emotions with various sounds and facial expressions. There are a few ways you can support your baby’s development, too:
- Play games. By playing games, such as peekaboo or find the object, your baby will engage in social interaction and respond with laughter, keeping them entertained and happy.
- Introduce a spoon. During mealtimes, try introducing a spoon in order to teach your baby about table manners and improve their motor skills.
- Read and talk to your baby. Reading stories, preferably with colorful pictures, is a great way to introduce new vowel and consonant sounds to your child. It will also help them to become familiar with the rhythm and dynamics of speech patterns.
- Get on their level. Playing with your baby regularly is essential. Yet, to increase the quality of the time spent playing together, parents and caregivers should get down on the floor to be on the same level as their baby. This will improve the bond and lead to your child becoming more engaged in the activity.
Average Baby Weight and Physical Changes
The average baby weight of an 8-month old boy is between 18 and 22 pounds, while the average weight for a girl is between 17.5 to 21.5 pounds. In terms of height, most 8-month babies will measure between 28 to 32 inches. Yet, average baby lengths and weights are not too important. All babies grow at different rates and parents shouldn’t compare their child to someone else’s, as the likelihood is that they are progressing differently.
Growth typically slows down at this stage, too, and your baby will now be gaining around 1 pound per month, as opposed to the 2 pounds every month that they experienced when they were newborn. Other physical changes this month include head and feet growth, as well as increased muscle strength in the back and neck region.
Baby Movement Milestones
The 8-month milestone is a time when a lot of parents see their babies crawl, or attempt to crawl, for the first time. To encourage your baby to crawl, give them enough time to lie on their stomach and place objects slightly out of reach so that they have to exert their muscles in order to reach them.
Another physical development for this month is the improved ability to utilize the pincer grasp. Using their fingers and thumbs, your baby will be able to grab objects of different sizes in their hands and may even be able to place an object from one hand to the other. Giving your baby toys of all shapes and sizes will help their ability to hold on to things and will increase their perception of dimensions and proportions.
Baby Vision Development
At this stage, a lot of parents wonder well their 8-month old baby can see. In the past few months their vision has improved considerably, and your child will now be able to clearly focus on near objects and some objects in the distance, too. As their motor skills develop, they become more synchronized with their eyesight, leading to more fluid movements and an improved hand-eye coordination. This will lead to your baby likely reaching for and grasping more objects that are within reaching distance.
An 8-month baby is absorbing all visual information like a sponge. It is a good idea to take your baby outside for regular walks so that they get to process new information and can test their eyesight on new things. Your baby may start recognizing the words of things, too, and naming items as you point to them will help them learn and become familiar with what certain items are.
Baby Hearing Development
An 8-month old baby will recognize certain words and can understand certain commands from the tone of voice in which they are spoken. At this stage, most babies can understand the command “no” and will be able to recognize their name when it is called out.
A baby’s hearing development is also essential to their speech development. The more sounds that your baby is exposed to, the more they will try to imitate them. It is, therefore, a good idea to read different stories to your baby on a regular basis, pointing at picture of the words in the book as you say them. It’s common for an 8-month old baby to combine vowel and consonant sounds, and you may hear them say “mama” or “dada” for the first time this month.
Baby Sense of Smell Development
Most parents introduce solid foods from month 6 onwards, and their sense of smell is crucial for differentiating which foods they like and dislike. If you try to feed your baby a particular solid food that they don’t like, don’t force it on them. Wait, and try again the next day – sometimes it can take up to 10 tries before they learn to like a new solid food.
Their sense of smell also provides them comfort and alerts them to danger. An 8-month baby will be comforted by the scent of their parent or caregiver but will become unsettled when they smell the scent of an unknown person, a phenomenon known as stranger anxiety. This is common among infants and it is important to soothe your baby to reassure them of their safety if this occurs.
Baby Feeding Schedule
Most 8-month old babies have started to eat solid foods in addition to breast milk or baby formula. As a general guideline, babies of this age need between 750 and 900 calories per day to support their growth, with half of their calories coming from solid foods if possible. As their sense of taste develops, you will be able to devise a feeding schedule based on the foods that they like and can slowly introduce new tastes and flavors to their diet.
Some common meals for 8-month old babies include whole-grain cereal, mashed fruit, cooked vegetables, yogurt, mashed potato, and soft cheese. It is important to avoid certain solid foods at this stage, such as high-nitrate vegetables, raw honey, and cow milk.
Baby Sleep Schedule
Many 8-month old babies sleep throughout the entire night, in stretches between 8 to 12 hours. They require around 14 hours of sleep per day and usually take 2 or 3 daytime naps. At this age, it’s quite common for some children to suffer from sleep regression, too, as their advances in emotional development may lead to separation anxiety in the middle of the night.
How to Change Baby Sleep Schedule
Having a regular sleep schedule can help a baby learn about the different times of day – to be active during the day and to settle down in the evenings. If your baby is having difficulty sleeping throughout the entirety of the night, here some tips that you can follow:
- Give your baby a transitional object, such as a toy or blanket, to occupy their mind when you are not around. This can help your child self-soothe and reassure themselves.
- Allow your child to suck their thumb as a mechanism to soothe themselves when they are distressed.
- Try leaving the doors open if your baby has their own room. If they can hear your voice, they may be comforted by knowing that you are nearby and have not deserted them.
Baby Emotional Development Milestones: Eighth Month
An eight-month-old baby will enjoy playing as much as possible and this is important for their social and emotional development. Most babies at this age will want to take part in games with people and will be able to show their pleasure or dislike at the activity being carried out. Popular games for an 8-month old baby include peekaboo and handclapping.
The emotional attachment that a child feels towards their parent can also lead to separation anxiety. Your baby is comforted by your presence and, as they do not have any concept of time, they become distressed and upset when you are not around. Using a transitional object, such as a toy or blanket, is a good way to counter this. Leaving your child safely for short periods of time with a transitional object is also a good way of encouraging them to self-soothe.
Baby Daily Routine at Month 8
A baby daily routine for an 8-month old will be different from one parent to the next, depending on their circumstances. Yet, there are a few rules that should be consistent throughout each day.
Your baby needs to get around 14 hours of sleep each day, including daytime naps. They should also have plenty of time allocated for playtime, especially in the mornings as they will be at their most active. If your baby enjoys being in water, they can be bathed every day, otherwise they should be bathed every other day. Be careful to monitor your baby’s skin if bathing every day, as over washing can lead to dehydration. At this age, they should be consuming 3 to 5 meals each day, and regular set meal and snack times will aid your baby’s digestion.
Baby Causes for Concern at Month 8
As your baby becomes more active and begins to explore the world around them, it’s common for them to end up with a few bumps and bruises. Yet, some symptoms require further medical assistance. You should consult your doctor if your baby is displaying any of the following symptoms:
- Refusing to eat.
- Not responding to sound or visual information.
Baby Checklist at Month 8
In order to ensure that your baby is getting the best care possible at 8 months, you should:
- Babyproof your home. You may find that your increasingly active baby will be more exposed to dangerous situations. Make sure that sharp objects are kept out of reach, they are not left on high surfaces, and they have a stable highchair that keeps them secure.
- Monitor any illnesses. You should consult medical advice if your baby is showing symptoms of illness such as vomiting, fever, and refusal to eat.
- Play with your baby regularly. Stimulate your baby’s senses by playing with them regularly throughout the day.
How do I know my baby is developing?
To monitor your baby’s development, look out for their gross motor skills (such as crawling or attempting to crawl), fine motor skills (such as tracking objects that move) and language skills (attempting to speak by babbling and cooing).
How can I help my baby’s development?
Playing with babies is the best way to help them develop – both mentally and physically. Introduce them to new toys with different colors, shapes, and sizes.
What age do babies start doing things?
As your baby’s senses improve, they will reach new milestones. At this stage, your baby may start crawling or lifting themselves up to a standing position using support. They may also start combining consonant and vowel signs as they attempt to imitate the sounds that you make while talking.