Oh, it’s such a cute age! Your 8 month old baby is perfectly chubby with dimpled cheeks you could squeeze and kiss all day! It’s also an exciting month for all of you because around now, your baby is probably getting increasingly mobile (think baby-proofing, mums and dads).
They probably make lots of adorable sounds, and although your baby won’t start saying “proper” words for at least a few months more, you can certainly respond to their sweet chatter with your own “parentese”. However, your baby is growing wary of the strangers they come across. So they won’t be smiling at the auntie in the elevator because stranger anxiety has well and truly kicked in.
What should you expect from your bubba this month in terms of development? Let’s find out, keeping in mind that every baby’s development is unique and not set in stone.
8 Month Old Baby Development and Milestones: Is Your Baby on Track?
8 Month Old Baby: Physical Development
At this stage, your child’s median length and weight* should be along this range:
– Length: 70.6 cm (27.8 inches)
– Weight: 8.6 kg (19.0 lb)
– Length: 68.8 cm (27.1 inches)
– Weight: 8.2 kg (18.1 lb)
And your child’s head circumference* should be:
- Boys: 44.5 cm (17.5 inches)
- Girls: 43.4 cm (17.1 inches)
Many babies have started to crawl by now, but please don’t be alarmed if your little one is yet to start. Some babies start crawling early, and others may even bypass this stage altogether, jumping straight to walking from rolling.
Alternatives to crawling that your baby might use to get about are creeping (on their tummy), scooting (on their bottom) and rolling (so cute – but watch out that they don’t bump into objects).
Your 8 month old baby’s motor skills are also improving day by day. So you might notice your little munchkin determinedly making their way across the room to get to a toy or easily playing with toys such as blocks and balls.
In preparation for those all-important first steps in a few months, your baby is probably practising standing up by holding on to a chair or low table. Your little one’s pincer grasp – where they use their thumb and finger to pick up objects – is well-developed by now.
Clapping and nodding their head are other cute skills your bub has this month. Don’t forget to clap and nod along with your baby!
How to support your 8 month old’s physical development
- Some good toys for your baby to enhance motor skills are a set of plastic cups that fit together and big, easy-to-assemble blocks.
- Because the baby is so clever with this grasp, do pay extra attention to small objects they might pick up and put in their mouth or push up their nose.
- Remember that if something is small enough to fit in a toilet roll, it’s a potential choking hazard to your baby.
Consult a doctor if your baby:
- Cannot stand while supported.
- Cannot sit without support.
Does an 8 month old baby love to drop objects repeatedly and then pick them up (or expect you to!)? While this might be a bit tiring when repeated, it shows off the baby’s cognitive development regarding their understanding of cause and effect: I drop this, mummy picks it up.
Other markers of cognitive development might be that your baby brings together familiar behaviours in new ways to “problem solve”. For example, they might reach for their favourite toy and crawl simultaneously.
Meanwhile, continue to play games like “Peek-A-Boo” with your bub that heighten their sense of object permanence.
How to promote your 8 month old’s brain development
- Bring your baby outside as much as possible and stimulate their cognitive development by pointing to objects and naming them.
- Buy your child STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths) toys. No, these are not fancy, high-tech gadgets, but simple toys like blocks and activities like painting that nurture creativity and brain development.
- Allow your baby to explore within safe limits. By exploring their little world, your child is processing and making sense of all that information.
Consult a doctor if your baby:
- Does not babble or engage in “baby talk”.
- Is disinterested in exploring new toys.
Social and Emotional Development
Your baby’s most special smiles and giggles are reserved for you.
Don’t be surprised if your tiny social butterfly is not so friendly around strangers (or even known people) anymore. Because they are starting to differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar now, it’s not surprising that your 8 month old baby might be shy or anxious around strangers.
How to nurture your 8 month old’s emotional development
Your 8 month old baby is starting to grow wary of strangers, which is a huge step in their emotional and social growth.
- Given this development, don’t force them to go to people they are uncomfortable with, even if they repeatedly ask or try to carry or cuddle your baby. Try explaining to them gently (but firmly!) that your baby is going through this phase of not being comfortable around people they do not know.
- Ask them to give your baby a little time to get used to them, and they might reward them with a quick smile or even cuddle!
Meanwhile, the sunniest of all smiles and the sweetest of all laughs are reserved for the baby’s favourite people in the world – their family!
Consult a doctor if your baby:
- If your 8 month old baby does not recognise familiar faces or does not respond when you call their name.
Speech and Language Development
Language skills are proudly displayed this month in the form of the cutest-ever babbling!
Don’t worry too much if your baby still calls everyone other than you “mummy”. Over the next few weeks, your baby will learn to direct the word to the correct person. Try asking your baby a question. Even though they won’t answer using words, you might be surprised to notice a tiny gesture that shows your baby understands.
How to encourage your 8 month old’s speech and language development:
This is the perfect opportunity to engage your 8 month old baby and help him develop his language skills. You can choose one, two, or more languages to talk to your baby, which is fine!
- Continue talking to your little one, even though the best response you will probably get to your question is “BA BA DA DA!” Continued interaction will help the baby’s language skills develop by leaps and bounds.
- This is the age that some parents start introducing baby sign language. This could be a helpful tool for your baby to express what they want without getting frustrated over his limited command of words.
- Your baby might show more interest (and patience) in listening to stories this month. So if they didn’t seem too keen on books last month, try again now.
- You might see that your 8 month old baby prefers certain stories or books over others. This is most likely linked to their favourite colours, pictures and the cadence of certain stories as you read them. Reading to a child is such a lovely way of bonding. At the same time, it also helps them develop language and communication skills.
Consult a doctor if your baby:
- Does not babble.
- Is not interested in engaging when you are trying to talk to them.
Health and Nutrition
Asian kids eating snacks with mom
By this age, your 8 month old baby can eat finger foods. Your child needs two to three meals a day, typically around three tablespoons of food (at the beginning of the month). Remember that some babies eat more, and some will eat less. You can gradually increase this amount to ½ of a cup per meal.
Typically, the calorie intakes for boys and girls of this age are as follows:
- Boys: 687.4 Kcal/day
- Girls: 651.8 Kcal/day
Their nutrition should be composed of the following:
Your 8 month old baby needs around 20g of protein per day. One serving equals up to three tablespoons of lean red meat, chicken, or fish, four to five dry beans and peas, or one egg (in total, 20g of protein). Oily fish such as pink salmon are excellent sources of DHA and Omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain growth.
Your child needs about 1/4 cup of fruit every day. 1/4 cup of fruit equals 1/4 of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, half (1/8) cup of dried fruit, and 1/4 of a large apple, pear or medium papaya or mango. Remember that fresh fruit is always better for your child’s health than dried or canned types, which can be very high in sugar.
Your child requires 1/4 cup (25g each) of vegetables at this stage daily. 1/4 cup of vegetables equals 1/4 cup of cooked or well-washed raw vegetables, half cup of raw leafy greens (which will shrink when cooked), 1/4 large tomato, half a medium carrot
Aim to provide a variety of vegetables in various colours, including dark green, red and orange. Add vegetables like beans and peas, sweet potatoes and yams each week. If selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.
Introduce up to 1 ounce of grains in your child’s meals. One ounce of grains equals one slice of whole grain bread, one cup of cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta or oatmeal.
Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.
Your 8 month old baby should drink a minimum of 700 to 1000mL of milk daily. Cow milk should be avoided until the baby turns one year old.
In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):
- Fruits: 1/4 for boys; 1/4 cups for girls
- Vegetables: 1/4 cups for boys; 1/4 cups for girls
- Grains: up to 1 ounce for boys; up to 1 ounce for girls
- Proteins: 20g for boys; 20g for girls
- Milk: 24 ounces for boys; 24 ounces for girls
- Water: 800 ml for boys; 800 ml for girls
How to support your 8 month old baby’s nutrition:
- Since your baby has a good pincer grasp now, try offering him chunks of firm food, such as banana or avocado, that he can easily hold and eat on his own.
- Always cut food into bite-sized chunks. Never offer food that is very hard or is cut into big pieces, as these could pose the risk of choking. Avoid foods such as grapes and nuts that could pose a choking hazard to your baby.
- Mealtimes should start getting very exciting by now, and you should be offering a wide variety of foods. Don’t be anxious if his milk intake drops – this is normal, given that he is now eating solid foods.
Mums and dads, remember to never leave your tot unattended while he eats.
Vaccination and Common Illnesses
There are no vaccinations required at this stage. However, you should make sure your baby has had all other vaccinations leading up to this month. Click here for more information.
Some common illnesses your child may get are the common cold and Hand Foot Mouth Disease. While these are often unavoidable, you can help your baby fight off the viruses more effectively by ensuring they have a nutrient-rich diet.
While you should bring your baby to the paediatrician at the first sign of any illness, you could ease a blocked nose by using saline drops or elevating the top of the baby’s mattress when they sleep. Never medicate your baby yourself. Stick to medicines and the correct doses as prescribed by a paediatrician.
If your child has a fever, only give fever medication at the correct dosage prescribed by a doctor. You could also sponge your baby’s forehead, groin area and armpits to reduce their temperature.
- It’s never too early to teach your baby good hygiene practices. Start with handwashing, and sing “this is the way we wash our hands” to make it exciting.
- Any caregivers of your baby must be informed to tell you if the baby falls or hits their head in your absence. Make sure they have emergency numbers as well as your own.
- If family members are ill, request that they stay away from your baby until they are better.
- If you are sick, wear a face mask when caring for your baby.
Consult a doctor if your baby:
- Shows a drop below 5 percentile in height or weight.
- Has a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or above.
- Has unusual bumps or rashes.
8 Month Old Sleep Schedule
Congratulations, you’ve made it! Your baby is eight months old, and you probably feel good about that. You’re also probably feeling tired.
But since your baby is getting fewer feedings (breastfed or bottle) during the day; they’re also getting better at self-soothing, which means less crying at night.
This is a great time for them to learn how to fall asleep on their own—that way, when they get older and have homework assignments due at midnight, they won’t be waking up their parents every time they need help putting on pyjamas.
Activities for 8 Month Old
Image Source: iStock
Now that your baby is 8 months old, it’s time to get out and have some fun. Here are some great activities for 8-month-olds:
- Go for a walk in the stroller.
- Take a bath together and sing songs while you wash his hair and body.
- Read him a story before bedtime that has both words and pictures (like Goodnight Moon).
- Put on some music and dance with them!
*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards.
Previous month: Baby development and milestones: your 7-month-old
Next month: Baby development and milestones: your 9-month-old
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.