Your 8-month-old baby is a busy little girl. She has a whole new world to explore and she has little patience to wait. She sits up, crawls ahead, rolls her body in both directions and stands herself up while holding onto a piece of furniture. She sets her footprint in every corner of her play area. Her toys also have gotten busier and noisier. With your little munchkin in the house, not a single day goes by without a party!
As playful as she is, your little one is also growing more clingy. As the separation anxiety kicks in, she fuzzes big time when not seeing you for more than a few minutes. Parents, be proud! This is an indication of a healthy bond between you and your little one. In addition, your little one may have formed a special connection with a particular object. It may be a toy, a blanket, a stuffed animal, or whatever makes her feel secure and comfortable. It is there to fill in her need for mommy and daddy when you are not available.
- Maybe able to change from sitting to crawling: At eight months, most babies are not yet able to sit without assistance. But pretty soon, some may learn to crawl in a month or two. If your little one is not showing signs of crawling, you don’t need to worry too much! Some babies skip the crawling phase altogether and go straight from sitting to walking!
- Learns to keep the body upright and aligned: As the primitive reflexes disappear, the postural reflexes start to kick in. These reflexes help your baby to keep her body upright and aligned. They will eventually replace the primitive reflexes. Even so, your little tot will still topple over from time to time. Make sure you watch her while she is playing with toys with sharp edges or hard surfaces.
- Tries to stand on knees: While attempting to stay upright, your little one may notice that she is able to “stand” on her knees. Babies at 8 months do not yet have the core strength to put themselves up or cruise along furniture. But if you help place them on their knees, they will be delighted to discover that they are able to stay in this position while holding their body weight on their knees and legs.
- Enjoys rolling over: Another fun thing you may notice your little one doing from time to time is that they try to move about by rolling around. At this stage, your little one is a master of rolling, and now she is taking it a step further by trying to roll into other positions. It is such a joy, sometimes amusing, to observe your little one trying things out.
- Better control while rolling or sitting: With her rapidly developing motor skills and core muscles, your 8-month-old baby is gaining better control over her body during movements. Whether she is rolling, sitting, crawling, or even standing, she does not seem as wobbly as she learns to distribute her body weight for each position.
- Better hand-eye coordination: Your little one has long been a master of tracking moving objects since she was three months old. Now she has learned to coordinate her action with what she sees. When she sees something drop, she can focus on it, pick it up, and pass it between her two hands.
- Able to spot an object across the room: Your 8-month-old can see pretty well near and far. Though she still sees better things that are close up to her, she is not able to spot objects from across the room.
Social-Emotional and Cognitive Skills
- Experiments with objects by shaking, swirling, banging, or dropping: Your 8-month-old baby loves to get her hands on everything she sees. To further investigate an object, she shakes it or bangs it on the table. When she is in the mood, she may drop it and see you picking it up. What a naughty kid!
- Able to find partially hidden objects: With a better understanding of object permanence, you no longer can trick your little tot by hiding an object. She knows that it is not gone forever. Better yet, if the object is partially shown, she can spot it and pick it up.
- Develops an insistence for a favorite object: When babies turn to 8-month-old, they may become more attached to their parents. All of a sudden, you find them clingy and a bit shy. To fill in the time when you are not around, she may have grown an affection to a particular toy or object. Let her bring her comfort toy with her. It makes her feel secure and more at ease.
Activities with Your 8-Month-Old Baby
1. Encourage Crawling
According to the American Optometric Association, crawling can further develop a baby’s eye-hand-foot-body coordination. Compared to babies who skip crawling altogether, those who crawl more have better skills using their eyes together. As we mentioned in the 7-month-old babies’ activities, a good way to encourage crawling is to motivate her with an interesting moving toy in front of her.
2. Play Hide-And-Seek
Hide-and-seek is a great activity to test and strengthen your little one’s cognitive skills. Of course, small babies won’t walk around to find out where you are hiding, but they will be happy to look for a favorite toy. Start by hiding the toy partially and see her reaction. Once she gets the hang of it, completely cover the toy. While looking for the disappeared object, your little one practices her imagination and problem-solving skills.
3. Learn Though Toys
For 8-month-old babies, there are plenty of toys available, for both interactive play with parents and independent play on their own. Toys such as activity centers and busy boards provide a wide variety of things to do. From gears, mazes, and keyboards, to buttons, switches, and clocks, through playing, your little one establishes confidence in solving problems. This helps her build better self-esteem and a sense of independence.
Dr. Leah Alexander, MD, FAAP began practicing pediatrics at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey in 2000. She has been an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey since 2005.