Your baby is now eight months old and entering the ninth month.
In this series of articles, we are focusing on physical, mental and behavioural characteristics that are typically exhibited at each stage. However, remember that every child is unique and that is what we love about them. Some will exhibit certain behaviours early and some later. Just learn to enjoy parenthood and your children and go on the journey with them.
Also, when you read this series of articles, don't leave after reading one entry. Look at the entries for earlier and later periods also. This series of articles is written as a continuum and not as distinct entries for each period. For example, if your baby is six months old, read all entries from four to eight months.
Do bring it to your doctor's attention if there is an abnormal delay in reaching a developmental milestone. Regular visits to the paediatrician are required to ensure that your baby is progressing normally.
From the mouths of babes
- I am great explorer now. I will surprise you sometimes by getting to places you least expect me to reach
- As I explore, I will fine more new things and I will want to chew them, throw them and bang them
- I may make double sounds like papa or appa or amma or mama or dada
- Your baby should be able to pick up small bits of food and put them in his mouth
- Your baby will be moving a lot, so keep a closer watch on her.
- Your baby is sitting up a lot more and her balance has become good. She does not use her hands to support herself when sitting.
- Your baby may be able to push up when lying down on her tummy, and get into a sitting position
- Your baby's legs and hands may have enough strength to allow him to pull himself up to a standing position. This is usually done by holding a piece of furniture.
- Coming back to sitting, from a standing position is another matter altogether. Babies will fall a lot when trying to get down from standing. Don't try to eliminate this by not allowing them to stand up or by holding them all the time. Let them discover and learn how to get down. Just watch to ensure they do not hurt themselves. In particular protect their heads from being hit.
- Let your baby make noise with simple objects like spoons and cups. It may bother you a bit but it helps her develop.
- Stick to a routine every night - like a bath or a set of rhymes - and then put your baby to sleep. This will help your baby understand when he needs to go to sleep
- Give your baby a wide and varied set of experiences. This should also include outdoor time for the baby to enjoy natural surroundings.
- Continue the conversations with your baby. Respond to him when he makes his special sounds.
- Your baby may start to become scared of new faces. You may start to worry why this happening, but this is a natural change. He may want his mother or father or close caregiver to stay with him when new faces are around. Indulge the child and give him the reassurance he needs. This is just a phase he goes through. As he grows older, he will learn to interact with newer faces.
- Breast milk should remain the primary source of nutrition for the first year as long as you can produce it.
- Your child will try and eat the food himself. Let him try. It will boost his motor skills and his confidence.
- Toys that let your baby bang, poke, twist, squeeze, open/shut and push/pull
- Activity boxes (or busy boxes) where doing something makes something else happen
- Plastic cups that can be stacked inside each other, stacking rings
- Soft baby dolls, small plush animal toys
- Simple one-piece push cars
- Cloth books, board books
- Toys where an object(s) has to be put into a container and can then be taken out.
- Large, soft balls
1. Healthy Start, Grow Smart, Your Eight Month Old, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 2002
2. Indian Academy of Pediatrics, IAP Policy on Infant Feeding
3. Toy Safety Publications of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission