Your Baby’s Eighth Month
Your baby has made seven months of milestones. These milestones have been exciting. Navigating this big new world is tricky, and your baby is doing a fantastic job! Of course, they get it from you. You are mastering this new parent gig and we want to remind you that you are doing a great job!
Here are some changes you can expect to see with baby this month.
Cognitive development continues to be mostly social/ emotional and linguistic. Your baby is talking up a storm. Don’t you wish you knew what he or she was saying? As time goes on you may be able to decipher some of those babbles and be able to pinpoint exactly what your baby is saying!
Your baby will be practicing his or her assertiveness right now. Your baby will begin showing their emotions, wants, and needs and might become pushy or assertive. Some of these behaviors are inappropriate and while baby is this young, it is best to ignore the behavior. Redirection can also work. There is nothing wrong with grabbing (gently) the hand of a hitting baby and telling them to use gentle touches and demonstrate it. While they do not understand gentle, rough, good, or bad, right now, they will quickly learn to say no, and repetitive expression of desired behavior will model expectations. It may take a year before they understand all of your words, but by beginning with gentle reminders, you can help your baby learn what to do.
Short-term and long-term memories are rapidly taking shape. While he or she will not remember events as an adult, the memories of how a spoon works, what sounds things make, and what to do to operate toys will start to take shape. You probably do not remember learning to use a spoon, but your brain has the memory of what that thing is. Some of these long-term memories are nearly carved into our minds as we grow. Encourage your Child’s exploration.
As your baby continues to explore words and sounds, you will notice more symbolic language. Words like bear and truck might not be clear, but you will begin to learn what your baby is trying to say. The more you continue reading to him or her, the more your baby’s vocabulary will grow. Not only will they learn new words, but they will also continue trying to talk. Modeling, in this case, is the best teacher. Your child will pick up sounds at the speed of light right now.
Most of your baby’s sleep will be consistent with the last month or so. However, he or she will also begin shortening that morning nap a bit. It may only be thirty minutes to an hour. Look for that nap to disappear in the next several months. The afternoon nap and overnight sleeping periods are about the same as before.
Like cognitive development right now, physical development is astronomical. Your baby will be growing and learning more than you can imagine. Also, like much of the cognitive development, the muscle skills developed now will be with them for the rest of their lives. Crawling, standing, and walking will all require the growth your child sees over the next few weeks.
Crawling may have started in the last month, but if it didn’t, you can pretty much expect it in the coming months. A few late crawlers might not get off and moving until 10-11 months, which is totally ok!
Your baby might start getting teeth over the next few weeks. Breastfeeding moms, you will be the first to know. Your baby might like a cool teether or something to help with gum soreness. Always check with the doctor or dentist before giving your baby medications, but baby pain relievers and teething gels can be a lifesaver right now.
Your baby is developing at his or her own speed. You are doing a great job advocating and learning about everything your baby needs. The most important thing you can provide is yourself. Food, shelter, love, and support will be the keys to unlocking your baby’s potential. You can do this, moms and dads.