8 Month Old Baby

image001If you have an 8 month old baby, he or she can be very active, moving around and getting into whatever they can reach. This is just an outgrowth of the natural curiosity that they have, as they become more aware of the world around them. Learning more about what is going on with your child at this age can help you learn what you can be doing to encourage healthy development.

How Is Your 8 Month Old Baby Developing?

1. Body Growth

Pay more attention to your baby’s weight rather than their height. Height is genetic, but their weight shows whether or not they are absorbing nutrients from the foods they digest the way they should. These are the WHO growth standards for 8 month old baby: the average height for boys is 70.5 cm, and for girls is 68.9 cm; the average weight for boys is 8.6 kg, and for girls is 7.95 kg.

2. Physical Development

Development

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Teething

A child’s first tooth usually arrives between 4-8 months, so if their teeth have not started to appear yet, they will likely show up around this time. Teething usually causes mild temperature, ear rubbing, facial rash, decreased appetite, gum rubbing, biting, sucking, drooling and wakefulness so watch for these signs.

Become more skilled with their fingers

Your child should be developing the ability to pick up items such as food with their thumb and first two fingers, or hold items in a fist. Encourage them to use this skill to feed themselves and explore, but be careful to ensure they do not pick up anything unsafe.

Getting much stronger

Your baby might be strong enough to pull themselves up and stand while holding onto something. Some may also be starting to crawl, though it is not worrisome if they are not ready yet. As your child becomes more mobile they will be able to access more of your home, so you will need to watch your child carefully.

3. Social and Emotional Development

Your baby will be able to express their emotions more clearly at this age. They may do things like blow kisses to people they know well, clap their hands when excited or wave goodbye. Your child is starting to learn empathy, so they might whimper when they see another child crying or mimic the emotions they see around them.

4. Communication Development

Your child will start to practice sounds and talk to themselves, but will not yet understand that the sounds they make could have meaning. You can provide positive reinforcement to help them create new sounds and teach them the meaning these can have. Your child is also starting to learn cause and effect which will help them anticipate routines and actions around them. As this skill strengthens, it will be easier for them to learn to perform certain actions or make certain sounds when prompted, which will ultimately help them start to label familiar things with words.

Watch this video to learn more about an 8-month old baby’s development:

How to Take Care of an 8 Month Old Baby

1. Feed Your Baby Properly

Your child should still be getting 24-32 ounces of formula each day, but they can now consume a variety of foods such as pureed fruits and vegetables or baby cereal at meals. However, they will not be ready for dairy-based foods or honey until they are a year old. You may find that your child is more interested in eating at the table which can make bottle or breast feeding more difficult. You may be able to start offering finger foods, but make sure they are bite sized and do not require chewing. Do not leave your baby unsupervised during mealtime because they could choke.

2. Understand Their Sleeping Patterns

8 month old babies sleep an average of 13-14 hours daily. They will usually take a morning and afternoon nap for around an hour. As your child develops object permanence they will know that you still exist when they can’t see you, so they may start to fuss when you leave the room. Try to avoid giving into this fuss so your baby can adjust and learn to fall asleep on their own.

3. Keep Good Hygiene

Your baby will start to pick up items off the floor which could be dirty. Work to keep your home clean and install safety gadgets on cupboards so they cannot get into items that could be dangerous. Block off stairs or items like bookshelves which could also lead to injury.

4. Be Cautious about the Plants and Flowers in Your House

Some plants are dangerous if they are ingested. Babies will often put objects in their mouth so it is important to keep potentially dangerous plants out of reach. Label all plants so babysitters will know what to report to your doctor if your child ingests something they shouldn’t. If plants tend to drop leaves where your child could reach them, it may be best if you remove them from your home. Plants poisonous to children include rhubarb leaves, daffodil bulbs, tomato plants, mistletoe or holly. Poinsettias can also irritating, though not necessarily life threatening.

5. Help to Develop Their Motor Skills

Your 8 month old baby’s motor skills are developing quickly. You can help this process by:

  • Help them stand, giving them something to hold for balance
  • Encourage them to bounce when standing
  • Place a toy out of reach and encourage them to crawl for it.

For safety, it is important to lower your child’s crib once they are able to stand.

6. More Tips for How to Take Care of Your Baby

Tips for Parents

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Talk to your baby

Talk to your baby about what you are doing to help them start to understand words. Including them in conversations will also help them learn how to socialize.

Sing to your baby

Research indicates that songs or music can help develop language skills, so try singing to your baby. Teaching your child songs with choreographed movement like “I’m a little teapot” can also help them learn to sing along and develop language.

Read to your baby

Reading together is perfect for developing language and encouraging your child’s imagination.

Play with your baby

Playing games like peek-a-boo, waving bye-bye or running outdoors will help them learn to sequence. It may seem silly, but these games help to provide the foundation for learning later.

Go out with your baby

Your baby will love spending time with you, so put on some sun protection and take them out when you have errands to run.