Each new skill that your 8-month-old baby acquires as they grow represents an important developmental milestone in their life. Therefore, it is normal for you to be filled with excitement and pride when you see your child achieve new things.
In this article, we will talk about some of the changes that you might notice in your 8-month-old baby and some activities that you could do together to boost their development.
Of course, remember that each child develops at their own pace. The idea is that this material will serve as a guide to follow the evolution of your baby so you can talk with your pediatrician about their progress.
8-month-old baby milestones
1. Physical development
One of the milestones you might notice in your child is that they continue developing their senses and prefer smooth textures over rough ones.
Take into account that babies use their senses both to become familiar with their surroundings and to achieve comfort. In addition, these guide and encourage your little one’s actions. Their senses and motor skills work together.
Therefore, you can support your baby’s development by offering them boxes where you put objects with different textures, for example, some sand, a stuffed animal, and a small ball of aluminum foil. Invite your baby to touch the objects and talk about how they feel and look. Also, encourage them to take the toys out to boost their finger dexterity.
As for crawling, your little one may start dragging themselves to reach some things and get on hands and knees, rocking back and forth as they do so.
Keep in mind that learning to crawl is a complex process. Your little one will first have to learn to coordinate their movements and strengthen their arms, legs, and shoulders to carry their weight. Also, as they figure out how to move, this ability can manifest itself differently in each baby.
To support your 8-month-old baby with this developmental milestone, help them get into all fours and gently push them forward to propel them or roll a ball or truck towards them. Also, it is important that your baby has safe spaces to move around. Make sure that they don’t go near electrical outlets, cords, stairs, cleaning supplies, or fragile items.
Another idea is to encourage your little one to reach for objects that they want to touch and that they try to move towards them. For this, you can place some objects almost out of reach around them.
Finally, you can also support your baby by placing your palms against their feet when they’re in a crawling position (on hands and knees). This will help them feel more stable and prompts them to start moving forward.
2. Linguistic development
At this stage in your baby’s development, you will begin to notice that they repeat syllables and mimic conversations, for example, by waiting for their turn to “speak”. They could also babble when someone talks to them or ask for help by babbling.
Talking to your little one helps them learn new words. Also, this makes them feel loved and comfortable. Therefore, talking to your 8-month-old baby can be a great idea to foster their linguistic development.
If you notice that you start speaking slowly and in a higher pitch than usual when talking to your child, or you just use shorter sentences, don’t worry! Adults often do this automatically and, according to studies from Carnegie Mellon University, this can help babies learn words faster.
Another thing you can do to support your child’s language development is to use words to describe what they may be feeling. For example: “You are angry because you wanted to play with this, but I can lend you this toy”. Also, if your baby is looking at something and pointing to it, you can name it. An example of this would be: “That’s the radio. It plays music”.
Copying your little one’s sounds and actions also helps. So if your baby waves to you, you can do the same and say, “Hi!”.
3. Cognitive development
Your 8-month-old baby may start to pay more attention when you talk to them and they will also notice the location of objects that they’ve seen you hide.
Given this, you can play a game with your child where they have to find toys that you have hidden, for example, under a garment or the table. You can also drop an object and encourage them to look for it, or play the classic game of “Peek-a-Boo”, in which you cover your face with your hands and ask your little one to find you.
On the other hand, you can also foster their attention skills by reading to your baby using different voices, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Try to mention the names of the objects or characters your baby sees or points to, and allow them to turn the pages.
4. Social and emotional development
As your baby grows, they will begin to develop their independence. In this sense, around 8 months you might notice that your little one complains when their activities are interrupted.
Since your baby was born they’ve been, little by little, developing skills to communicate what they feel or need, and the response they get from you will help them foster these skills. Therefore, it is important that you listen to what your baby has to say and respect their feelings.
Now you know a lot more about the developmental milestones that an 8-month-old baby could reach at this stage.
Are you interested in learning more about each of your child’s developmental stages? Download Kinedu! The app allows you go deeper into your little one’s milestones and suggests easy-to-follow activities to encourage their development.