In the eighth month of life, babies go through many monumental changes. However, the development of an eight-month-old baby is not always easily defined. Some babies will hit these milestones earlier than others. If your baby has not yet reached these milestones it is likely no cause for concern. Nonetheless, the average eight-month-old baby will accomplish most of these milestones by his ninth month.
Many babies will experience the frustration of teething for the first time in the eighth month. As their first teeth begin to come through, they may feel a type of pain they have not likely felt before. Some babies go through this gracefully while others may be fussy and cranky. Occasionally, an eight-month-old will run a slight fever as a result of teething. To make the baby feel better, consider giving her gums a massage, supplying her with teething biscuits or using a pain reliever and fever reducer for extreme cases.
For many parents, self-feeding is a great milestone they have been waiting for. After months of hovering over your child at every feeding, you can finally step back and catch a snack for yourself as your eight-month-old baby learns to master his pincher grip. Dr. Dorothea Cudaback from the University of California system warns that chunky or crumbly foods like popcorn, cookies, nuts and corn may cause choking in young children and should be avoided at this stage. To try out your baby’s new skill, start by feeding him dry cereal or foods formulated just for self-feeding babies.
Look for Hidden Items
A crucial developmental turning point happens in the eighth month of life. Younger babies have an out of sight out of mind mentality. If they cannot see something, it does not exist. This means that, when you play peek-a-boo with a young baby, she believes that you actually disappear each time you hide behind something. That is why she seems so excited to see you again. In the eighth month, however, a baby recognizes that these hidden items still exist. You will know that your baby has reached this point when she searches for an item that is dropped behind another item.
Dada, mama and papa; your kid is probably becoming quite the pro with these basic sounds by eight months. Some eight-month-olds will begin to use these words discriminately rather than for their own entertainment. Occasionally, children of this age will begin to use other simple words as well. However, these words are not always decipherable. You may think you hear your child say a word but you will not likely know for sure until she begins to use the word frequently. First words are seldom as understandable as television would have you think.
One of the most thrilling milestones of babyhood is the time a baby begins to crawl. Finally, your arms can get a well deserved break. While each baby hits this milestone at a slightly different time, the majority begin to at least scoot across the floor by the eighth month. While crawling can be liberating, it is also a very dangerous time. Young crawlers have a tendency to pull things down onto their heads and stick their fingers where they don’t belong. However, the gravest danger is the habit of eight-month-old babies to put everything in their mouths. An Iowa State University outreach program warns mothers to move all small objects, poisonous items, medicines and even houseplants out of baby’s reach.