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Health & Baby

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Baby Development: Your 8-Month-Old

WebMD Commentary

We’re up to 8 months. Get ready for some major developmental changes in the next months!

Your Baby’s Motor Movements

Creeping and crawling may already rule the day or soon will. Isn’t it amazing how fast your little crab can scuttle around on their little arms and legs? Soon thereafter, she’ll be triumphantly pulling to stand and surveying her kingdom, looking this way and that, with a big toothy grin. I am Master of the Universe!

Next comes “cruising,” which is pulling to stand and then moving around while holding on. Finally, the coup de grace: walking unassisted. This can happen as early as 9 months and as late as 18 months.

I can’t resist to share with you one of my all time favorite quotes is on this topic from, of all people, the 19th century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (no, I haven’t really read him either, but I absolutely love this quote):

"The loving mother teaches the child to walk alone. She is far enough from him so that she cannot actually support him, but she holds out her arms to him. She imitates his movements, and if he totters, she swiftly bends as if to seize him, so that the child might believe he is not walking alone...And yet, she does more. Her face beckons like a reward, an encouragement. Thus, the child walks alone with his eyes fixed on his mother's face, not on the difficulties in his way. He supports himself by the arms that do not hold him and constantly strives towards the refuge in his mother's embrace, little suspecting that in the very same moment that he is emphasizing his need for her, he is proving that he can do without her, because he is walking alone."

Walking is a wonderful triumph, thrilling to see, but so too is there a tinge of sadness: Your baby is moving on, farther and farther from you, less dependent on you, becoming her own person.

Your Baby’s Fine Motor Skills

Beware, here comes the “neat pincer grasp,” in which your infant can pick up the smallest object between their thumb and forefinger, a far cry from the clumsy raking grasp that jump-started the process just a few months ago. Coupled with 20:20 vision and keen interest in all things small, watch for the littlest speck of dust to make it into their hands and thence to the mouth.

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

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