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By the time your baby turns 8 months, he or she can sit up, turn around and babble away. In month 8, there are more exciting milestones ahead: he starts crawling and is in the middle of the strangling phase. During this period, your little one needs special attention. How old is my baby and how can I best support him or her during this phase?
Baby 8 Months: How Old Is My Baby And How Is He Or She Developing Physically?
Your baby continues to grow and gain weight in the 8th month of life. However, how much he gains depends on how active he is in everyday life. The average dress size is now 74, and the baby’s head circumference is now between 42 and 46 centimeters.
It is an important indicator of your child’s healthy development and is therefore measured regularly by the pediatrician. Your baby’s first shoes usually fit sizes 15 to 18.
Baby 8 Months: How Is It Developing In The Motor Area?
In the area of motor skills and reflexes, an important developmental spurt is imminent for the baby: Your child is becoming more and more curious and independent. He uses every waking moment to be active and explore his environment. Many babies now crawl and push themselves forward on their stomachs with the help of their hands and feet.
If your little one skips this developmental step, however, don’t worry. Some babies go straight to crawling. Still other children skip this step completely and learn to walk directly.
By the time your baby turns 7 months or 8 months, he or she is doing a masterful job of overcoming obstacles. Even if the hurdles are still so small, you should not forget how much effort is behind the movements. Be happy together with your baby and praise him when he reaches a goal again.
The body of your protégé does not yet obey him completely, so every single part of the body is moved and trained. At eight months, many babies are already pulling themselves up on furniture. However, caution is advised during this process. At the beginning, your little one is particularly proud of his achievement and smiles.
At this age, however, the muscles quickly weaken again and your offspring drops backward without warning. This is the so-called Moro reflex, which automatically sets in when you fall backwards.
At 8 months, your baby’s muscles are not yet strong enough to hold its own body weight. Sitting exercises are therefore usually ended quickly. At this age, your child is increasingly trying to reach objects. In order to be able to grasp his favorite toy, he will try to move forward and stretch as much as possible.
Turning from the back to the stomach is also difficult for the baby. This ability is not yet fully developed. However, this is not due to a lack of body control. The child must first understand how to help itself by turning.
How Are My Baby’s Senses Developing At 8 Months?
When your baby turns 7 months or 8 months, most senses are almost as well developed as adults. He or she can see in three dimensions and perceive all color tones. It is also easier for your offspring to estimate distances – this is particularly useful when moving around.
In the eighth month, your offspring already has a fine sense of hearing – when it hears a sound, it will quickly turn its head in all directions. At 8 months, your baby’s sense of pain is not yet fully developed.
You can observe this if there is a small accident. It reacts to the pain with a time delay and only begins to cry a few seconds later. The wiring of the corresponding nerves in the spinal cord is not yet fully developed.
In the area of sensory perception, the baby is about to experience a developmental spurt in the 8th month: Your offspring develops an understanding of hide-and-seek games. If an object disappeared under a blanket before, it was gone. Now, however, the baby understands that the object has not irrevocably disappeared, but begins to search for it.
The spirit of exploration is awakened and your child will pull the blanket away. When he finds the object, he will be especially happy. Maybe your baby will want to play another round of hide and seek right after.
Now your baby will also start to focus not only on objects in his immediate vicinity. He will try to reach toys that are a little further away.
How Is My Baby Developing Mentally And Emotionally At 8 Months?
During the 8th month of life, mental development also progresses. Your baby begins to use tools to get to coveted items more easily. For example, if his favorite toy is on the blanket, he will use it to pull the toy toward him.
Laughing together is particularly beneficial to your offspring’s mental development. In the area of emotions, an interesting phenomenon now occurs, which is observed in children of many different cultures: strangeness, also known as eight-month fear.
When strangers are present, your baby feels increasingly uncomfortable. He or she now has a keen sense of smells, vocal tones and communication patterns, and notices when they differ from familiar caregivers.
Fear of the unknown sets in and your offspring increasingly seeks your closeness in such situations. In addition, there is the so-called separation anxiety when parents are not around. This phase can be very stressful for your child. Now your baby should learn that you will come back when you leave the room.
Although your baby may have a lot of anxiety during these months, this phase is an indicator that he or she has grown and can now tell familiar people from strangers.
When your baby is eight months old, it will become easier and easier for him to express his emotions. He will show you absolutely genuine emotions such as anger, annoyance, fear, joy and wonder. At this stage, your baby also learns to say no.
Baby 8 Months: How Old Is My Baby And How Is He Developing In The Social And Communicative Area?
By the eighth month, your baby has already developed a special skill: Humor. He is able to distinguish between serious and funny situations. If you want to make your child laugh, you should first scowl at him and then start laughing.
After repeating this game a few times, he will start laughing at the serious look. Laughing together promotes social and communication skills and activates the reward center in the brain.
How Can I Encourage It Through Play?
When your baby turns 8 months old, he or she has gained mental and motor skills. This opens up new opportunities for you to encourage your offspring through play.
Developing Gross Motor Skills
Play “Who is the strongest?” with your child. Encourage your baby to play tug-of-war and let him attack the end of a towel, for example. You take over the other side and make regular faces. Your child will squeal with delight.
Finger games are very popular in the 8th month of life. They promote a sense of language, cognition and motor skills. If you include finger puppets, you will make the game especially interesting for your baby.
Promoting Fine Motor Skills
Fill a small plastic container with beans, rice, or lentils and seal it with tape. You don’t need much for this homemade musical instrument and you can promote both the fine motor skills and the sense of the rhythm of your baby.