Month 8, Week 1
An 8-month-old is a baby on the move! He may be crawling, scooting, cruising -- babies this age have many ways to get around. But one way or another, he wants to explore his world!
- Don’t worry if your baby isn’t crawling yet. Some babies skip crawling entirely and go straight to walking!
- Prompt baby to crawl by placing an enticing new toy just out of his reach. Or play “catch me” -- you’re the exciting object he has to stretch for.
- Put up your baby gates. Stairs are dangerous for mobile babies.
- Woo his interest away from those tantalizing stairs with a mini-obstacle course built of cushions, blocks and pillows.
Your Baby's Development This Week
At eight months, babies are busy learning about cause and effect. If I shake this rattle, it makes that cool noise! If I drop my spoon, it hits the floor! (And Mommy makes that funny face sometimes.)
To encourage your budding scientist, you can:
- Recognize his short attention span by providing a variety of interesting toys
- Use household objects (and save some money); he’ll be just as happy with your measuring spoons and cups, colanders, and egg cartons.
- Hide a toy under a scarf and watch him delightedly find it.
- Let him take eager swipes at dangling objects, like the toys on his mobile.
- Set aside a safe area for him to play. Baby-proof by locking cabinets and make sure there’s nothing within his reach that’s not safe for him to grab and investigate.
You might wonder about:
- How to stop him from dropping everything off his high chair tray; you really can’t -- he wants to figure out this gravity thing! Give him soft and non-messy stuff (squishy balls, not blocks) to experiment with.
- Does he still seem a little clumsy when picking things up? Eight-month-olds may not have yet mastered the “pincer grip” -- using a thumb and one forefinger -- so they rake things up with their whole hand instead.
- Safety. Babies this age are starting to get impatient with diaper changes, so if you have a real “flipper,” it may be time to retire the changing table and do changes on the floor instead.
- Breastfeeding. If your busy 8-month-old sometimes refuses to nurse, he may be distracted, or he may be ready for a more steady diet of solid food.
Month 8, Week 1 Tips
- Worried that your baby isn’t meeting movement milestones? Each baby is unique. But never hesitate to ask your pediatrician.
- Encourage his sense of balance by sitting down with him and playing face-to-face games like peekaboo and patty cake.
- Wriggle alert: Your baby can probably move easily from back to stomach. Take care at changing time.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using baby walkers for safety reasons, and because they may actually delay independent walking.
- If you need to leave your baby with a new sitter, hang around for a bit before heading out. That way, you'll let him get comfortable, especially if he's anxious around strangers.
- To teach words, point to things and say their names, like ball, dog, cat, car, and spoon.
- Be an example for your baby. You, too, need a balanced diet full of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins.