Crawling and Cruising

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.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 21, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Cognitive Development: 8 to 12 Months;" "Hand and Finger Skills;" "Movement: 8 to 12 months;" "Decreased Milk Supply;" "Sample One Day Menu for an 8-12 Month Old;" "Getting Started with Solid Foods;" and "Baby Walkers: A Dangerous Choice."

AboutKidsHealth: "Social and Emotional Development: The Next Six Months" and "Motor Development: The Next Six Months."

KidsHealth.org: "Communication and Your 8-12 Month Old."

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: "Taking Care of Yourself After Birth."

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