Your little baby is getting big! Development is fast at 8 months, and everything should be explored now - the body, toys, voice and other objects.
Baby development at 8 months
Around 8-9 months of age, babies enter their next major developmental phase. They develop rapidly both physically and mentally, and many try different ways of moving forward or standing up. There is also a lot of fiddling with food to feel different textures, and the same food often ends up on the floor. Because it's so much fun to understand gravity! This phase is often referred to as the "8-month phase" and in broad terms it means that you may have a determined little person at home who wants more than they can handle. For some children at this age, sleep can become more difficult, because you miss so much when you sleep! Total refusal of sleep is not uncommon now.
Some find that interactions with other people become particularly sensitive and a child who has previously been perceived as outgoing and curious may become a little withdrawn. This is because many children want to be close to their parent all the time, and may appear more whiny and sad than before. Hang in there, this is a phase that will pass! You will sleep and have calmer periods again.
Your baby is likely to start "talking" more now and trying to imitate different sounds. Many children like to explore sounds and try to make different sounds by 'humming' or 'clicking their tongue'. You can explore the voice together and make it a game! Exploring different sounds is something that many children enjoy, especially when it sounds like much. This may be familiar to you if you have a little one at home who likes to throw things, drop them or hit objects against each other. Sound is simply fun!
Although coordination may still be a bit difficult, try challenging your little one by placing different objects in a box and then asking your little one to pick the objects out and into the box. Just give them a little help and you can play together!
Because there is so much going on during this month and at a fast pace, it is common for some babies to seek extra closeness and become more clingy than usual. Remind yourself that this clingy period is just a phase, it will pass!
Sleep and routines
For many, the most challenging period in terms of sleep occurs around 8-10 months of age. This is because the need for closeness and security is particularly high during this phase of development, and your baby may find it particularly difficult to leave the room.
One thing that can usually help is routines and fixed sleeping times as much as possible. This makes it easier for both parents and children, so that fatigue is punctuated without turning into overtiredness. An approximate sleep schedule at this age could be:
- 7:00 : Waking up
- 9:30 : Bedtime
- 11:30 : Waking up
- 14:00 : Bedtime
- 15:30 : Waking up
- 19:00 : Starting the sleeping routine
- 19:30 : Night sleep begins
Keep in mind that this is only a suggestion of times and that your little one might as well have a routine of waking up at 5 or 9 am - every child is different! Likewise, some children sleep several short hours per day, and others fewer but longer hours.
Food for babies at 8 months
It's good to introduce more and more regular food as your little one gets older. Usually 1-2 cooked meals a day is fine, but your baby will set the pace and it's important that your little one's tummy also keeps up with the food journey to avoid stomach pains. No matter how slow the pace of food introduction is, it doesn't mean that tummy aches won't occur. It's still a big transition and if your stomach starts to growl, it's good to stop and then continue to taper or increase the amount and number of meals.
Visit to the BVC
At the BVC visit this month, you will weigh and measure as usual, and talk about how life works at home. Among other things, you will talk about child safety, everyday habits such as food, media, tobacco and alcohol, sleep and the baby's teeth. Remember to ask any questions you may have and bring up any concerns or thoughts you may have. Maybe you can write them down so you remember when the time comes? Forgetting a few things is part of being a parent!
Here you can read about baby development at 9 months!