By month 8 your baby will be surprising you with the rate at which she picks up new skills and new behaviours.
Growing and developing
Babies develop their moving and talking skills at different rates – but they are all curious about the world.
At this stage, many babies will be beginning to move around. For some it will be crawling, for others shuffling on their bottoms or their tummies. Some will keep rolling over to get where they want to be. Your baby will be more able to change positions too, like getting from lying to sitting.
She may also try to stand by holding on to you, or to the furniture. Rather than grabbing or pulling things, she will start using her thumb and 1 or 2 fingers in a pincer-like way to pick small objects. She’ll be more conversational although she’ll make sounds rather than words – but you might hear “mama” and “dada”. Because her skills can’t yet match what she’d like to do, frustration is very common emotion at this age.
Most 8-month-olds will be sleeping around 13-14 hours in a day. This includes a morning and afternoon nap, which can vary from 20 minutes to an hour or so.
She’ll want to feed herself using her new picking up skills and holding a bottle or cup, but her hand and eye co-ordination may not always result in all the food going in her mouth.
Mealtimes should include an increasing variety of foods. Try finger foods – bite-size pieces she can pick up herself. Never leave her alone while she’s eating, in case she chokes.
Caring for your 8-month-old
With your baby’s increased movement, the likelihood of falls increases. These are an inevitable part of growing up and help your baby learn.
You’ll need to make sure your home is baby proof, blocking off areas you don’t want her to go in and moving things you don’t want her to touch out of reach.
If she’s shy or anxious around strangers reassure her. Remember, every time you leave her and come back you’re helping her develop trust and form attachments to other people.
Playing with your baby
Lots of everyday activities can be made to feel like games. Counting the stairs as you walk up or down and naming colours and objects all help with language development.
You this month
With the baby taking up so much time you may find yourself drifting apart from your partner. Try to set aside time to enjoy one another’s company.
Find out What to expect in month 9
Did you know..?
Many experts advise that you don’t give babies honey before they’re 12 months old because of risk of an illness called infant botulism. So avoid it for a couple of months more.
How dads can help
At this age babies think people are more interesting than things, so now’s a great opportunity to take time to play, chat, read and sing to your baby.