8-Month-Old Baby Quick Guide: Milestones, Development, and Helpful Tips
Your eight-month-old baby is developing and learning about the world around them. It is a beautiful time for both of you as your baby becomes more responsive and you get a glimpse into their world. Understanding the milestones and challenges of this stage can help you make the most of it. You can also provide the activities and care your baby needs for optimal development.
- 8-Month-Old Baby Physical Development Checklist
- What is Your 8-Month-Old Doing?
- What is Your 8-Month-Old Eating?
- Daily Schedule
- Activities for Your 8-Month-Old
- Care Tips and Tricks
- Helping Your Baby Develop
8-Month-Old Baby Physical Development Checklist
Your 8-month-old baby is very busy at this stage. They can sit without support and pull themselves into a sitting position independently. They might even have started crawling and can pull themselves up onto furniture. They might stand on their own while holding on.
Their advancing motor skills can be tricky for parents to deal with, and they will keep you on your toes. Your baby can roll in both directions, scoot, and rock back and forth. They might start cutting teeth, and you can tell this by the amount of drooling and chewing they are doing. So now is the time to stock up on bibs!
Your baby is growing steadily with a weight gain of 0.5-1 lb each month. They should also be sleeping 11-14 hours in total.
Your 8-Month-Old Baby Boy
|Weight||Length||Shoe Size||Diaper Size|
|18–19 lbs||27.95 inches||Size 4||Size 3|
Your 8-Month-Old Baby Girl
|Weight||Length||Shoe Size||Diaper Size|
|17–18 lbs||27.17 inches||Size 3||Size 3|
There are many opinions about how boys and girls develop. The science says that there is not much difference between girls and boys as they develop. Differences mainly come from a baby’s genetics and life experiences.
What is Your 8-Month-Old Doing?
Your eight-month-old is becoming their own person. They are exploring the world around them as they become more mobile and curious.
Here are some of the milestones your 8-month-old will be reaching.
Social and Emotional Development
This period in your baby’s social and emotional development can be tricky for you to deal with. Your baby is beginning to recognize familiar faces. But this comes with the fear of less familiar faces. This stage in your baby’s development could see them being clingy and feeling anxious when you are out of sight. Don’t worry, mama; this just means you are their safe space.
You might have noticed that your baby has a favorite toy or comfort item. If your baby cries at night afraid that you are not there, make sure that the comfort item is close to help them get back to sleep.
Your baby’s language skills are developing rapidly and soon you will have a constant babble in the background. Your baby will begin to repeat the sounds ‘m’ and ‘b’ and may be saying “mama” and “dadda”.
This is a good thing as they learn to point and become more assertive in what they want or don’t want. Your baby will also begin copying sounds and expressions so take the time to point things out to them.
At this stage your baby can also understand simple instructions and the word “no”.
Your baby’s brain is developing as they learn more about their bodies and how to interact with their environment. At this stage, your baby is beginning to understand the concept of cause and effect. You might find yourself building block towers only to have them knocked down repeatedly.
The idea of object permanence is also one your baby will begin to understand. Games like peek-a-boo and hide and seek will be firm favorites in this case. This stage is sensory, and your baby will put everything into their mouth to learn more about it.
They will also learn how to cross their midline by transferring objects from one hand to the other. The ability to use a pincer grasp introduces a whole new world for them. As they begin to eat independently they experience the world in a more sensory way.
At this stage, your child is sitting without support. Your baby will start to connect their abilities with their senses and needs. For example, your 8-month-old will be able to spot an object they want and move towards it. They might have started to crawl or they will scoot their way over.
Their cognitive development and motor skills are starting to align as they learn to manipulate toys. Throwing and banging are common actions and they can even start to differentiate size and shape. There vision is improved and they have almost mastered the art of depth perception.
Your baby will be starting to use the pincer grasp and their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills will be put to the test. They will use this new tactile function to put everything into their mouths. Your baby will also use these fingers for pointing.
Concerns Over Milestones
Each baby develops in their own time, but you should see a doctor if:
- your 8-month-old is unable to sit up with help;
- your baby isn’t babbling;
- your child doesn’t respond to their name;
- your baby can’t recognize familiar faces.
What is Your 8-Month-Old Eating?
This stage in your baby’s development is exciting in terms of food. They are beginning to experience the joy of eating solids and feeding themselves. Don’t take food too seriously but rather have fun with it. Don’t force your eight-month-old to eat things they don’t like as they get used to new flavors and textures.
Your baby should be eating 750 to 900 calories per day. This will ensure they have the right amount of vitamins and minerals for good brain growth. It is a good idea to introduce coarse textures to your baby’s palate and let them drink water.
These are some of the foods that will be popular with your 8-month-old. It is important to remember that every baby is different and will have their own food preferences.
Your baby might also have food allergies so it is essential to chat to your padiatrician before introducing anything new onto your baby’s diet. Certain foods like salt, sugar, honey, certain cheeses, and whole nuts are not advisable for babies.
Soft fruits are great for your 8-month-old. They allow them to eat independently, and your baby will enjoy the sweet flavors. Try cutting the fruit into small cubes or cooking it, so it is easier for your baby to gum.
Your baby can move from mashed vegetables to steamed pieces they can pick up and eat on their own. Sweet potato and steamed carrots are always firm favorites.
Salmon and tuna are great additions to your 8-month-old’s diet. They are full of omegas and are great for brain development. They are also interesting flavors and textures for your baby to explore.
Yogurt and cheese are an excellent source of calcium that your growing baby needs. They are also a quick and easy snack option. You can pack small cheese cubes for a snack on the go, and yogurt is a great sensory-eating experience.
You can introduce proteins like beans, beef, and chicken to your baby at this stage. If your baby is not interested in eating these types of proteins, then scrambled egg is a solid go-to option for busy mums.
Cereals and Grains
As your 8-month-old explores independent eating, muffins, and bread can make it onto the menu. Pasta in various shapes is always a firm favorite with young children.
Breastmilk and Formula
At this stage, nearly half of your baby’s nutritional needs will still come from breastmilk or formula. Giving your baby breastmilk or formula an hour after a solid snack is a good idea. 400 to 500 of your baby’s calories will be coming from breast milk or formula.
Finding a daily schedule that works for you and your baby can be tricky. Try for a rhythm rather than a set schedule, as this allows for flexibility.
Your 8-month-old could be transitioning from 3 naps to 2 naps daily, each of about 1.5–2 hours. Nap times are followed by an active period of about 3 hours. Your baby will play, explore, and eat during this time.
An example of a daily rhythm may look like this:
- 7:00 am wake up time;
- 7:30 am solid breakfast;
- 8:00–09:30 am active play period;
- 9:30 am morning milk or formula;
- 10:00–11:30 am nap-1;
- 11:30 am wake up time;
- 11:30–12:30 pm active play period;
- 12:30 pm solid lunch;
- 1:00–2:00 pm active play period
- 2:00 pm afternoon milk or formula;
- 2:00–4:00 pm nap-2;
- 4:00 pm wake up time;
- 4:00–5:00 pm active play period;
- 5:00 pm solid dinner;
- 5:30–6:30 pm bathtime and bedtime routine;
- 6:30 pm night time milk or formula;
- 7:00–7:30 bedtime.
If your baby has dropped a nap time, you might need to consider moving bedtime forward by 30 minutes. This avoids your baby being overstimulated and tired. A chart can also help you keep track of what rhythm works best.
Activities for Your 8-Month-Old
Your 8-month-old is becoming more curious about the world around them. The right activities will help to stimulate their brains and allow to them learn and grow.
Reading is vital for a baby at any age, particularly at 8 months. Your baby’s language is developing rapidly. Allowing them to hear the rich cadence of stories and rhymes helps their brains make critical connections. It is also a special time to sit and connect with your baby.
Play is crucial for a baby’s development. When play involves multiple senses, your baby’s brain makes important neural connections. Sensory play can be as easy as colored cooked spaghetti or a box of fabric scraps, ribbons, and pipe cleaners.
Blocks are a versatile activity for your eight-month-old. They are hardy and your baby can mouth them without damage. Building with blocks helps your baby develop their fine motor skills. It also improves their attention span as they puzzle out how to build simple structures. Throwing blocks is also a thrill for babies.
Music and sing-alongs are a fun way for you to spend time with your baby. Simple rhymes with an easy rhythm will entertain your baby and help their brain develop. Music impacts the neural pathways in your baby’s brain. These affect language development, so listening to music is vital for your 8-month-old.
Tummy time is more fun when your baby can look at themselves in a mirror. They also learn to recognize their facial features. Mirrors are also a good way for your baby to learn vocabulary. For example, you can sit and look in a mirror with your baby and point out and name different body parts.
Learning Sign Language
Learning sign language will help your baby communicate before they can talk. This stage of development can be very frustrating for them. Your baby is becoming more vocal but has not yet mastered speech. Signing will allow them to feel independent and autonomous as they develop.
Simple puzzles are great cognitive and intellectual development tools, but also fine motor skills. Puzzles also help your 8-month-old learn about shapes and sizes.
Water play is an excellent activity for 8-month-olds as they can sit and play independently. Offer them some plastic scoops, spoons, bowls, and sieves as they learn and explore. This activity is perfect for hot days when they can be outside or used at bathtime.
Care Tips and Tricks
All babies experience coughs, colds, and a snotty nose. They aren’t fun, but they are nothing you need to stress about. The best remedy for these is rest and cuddles from Mum. You could try saline nose drops for a congested nose or infant Tylenol if your baby has pain or a fever.
If your 8-month-old is teething, you might find that they have a diaper rash, sore ears, or a fever.
See a doctor if your baby has:
- trouble swallowing;
- swollen glands;
- a high fever for an extended period.
Baby-Proofing Your Home
Now that your baby is more active, they will get into everything. It is vital to make sure your home is baby-proofed to keep your child safe.
Ensure you have locked harmful cleaning products away. Stairs should have gates, and you should place small objects out of reach. They are more mobile so secure any cables, lamps, and blind cords. Your baby will also be pulling themselves up onto things so make sure furniture is stable. You can cover any sharp corners with protectors to protect your curious baby.
Keep your cosmetics out of reach and close the doors to bathrooms and bedrooms when you are not around. Plug socket covers are essential and you can install safety latches on your kitchen cupboards. Also, be aware when you are drinking hot beverages to keep them out of reach.
Traveling With Your 8-Month-Old
Traveling with your 8-month-old might be tricky, but it’s not impossible. With some planning, you can still have a fantastic family vacation. Before planning a trip, consider where you are going and how baby-friendly it is. You should prepare for a change in your baby’s sleep patterns. They might become overstimulated in a new environment.
Essentials to pack when traveling with an 8-month-old:
- sun shades;
- snacks and water;
- toys and activities;
- a baby carrier;
- diapers and wipes;
Tips for Helping Your Baby Develop
As parents, you want to do what’s best for your baby and help them learn and grow. But what your baby really needs for optimal development is time with you. They need an engaged and involved parent who can spend time with them, play, read and learn.
Helping your 8-month-old develop is as simple as talking to them about what you can see, hear, taste and smell. Your baby is curious about the world, and you are the best person to help them understand and make sense of it.
Here are some fun ways to help your 8-month-old develop:
- play hide-and-seek;
- create sensory bins;
- read them stories;
- dance with them;
- sing simple action songs like Incy Wincy Spider;
- provide a safe space for them to explore;
- give them objects of different shapes and textures to play with;
- spend time outside with new textures and sights.
Your 8-Month-Old Baby Parents’ Guide
Your 8-month-old baby is at an exciting stage of development. They are beginning to interact with their environment and the people in it. You will also find them more responsive and engaged. Your 8-month-old is active and curious. Your job as a parent is to help nurture them as they learn about the world and experience all it has to offer.
We would love to hear about your 8-month-old and share this with the grandparents so they can get involved too!
Cover photo source: DeymosHR/Shutterstock.com
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