We like to think of an 8 month old baby as a miniature scientist. At this off-the-charts adorable phase, your little one is keenly studying all that’s going on around them, as well as discovering the remarkable things their body can do.
Perhaps the most striking of your tiny scientist’s discoveries is that moving that little body from one place to another is now a possibility. An 8 month old baby wants to get active! This is both incredibly exciting and terrifyingly nerve-wracking. (Yes, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to bolt everything down.)
Let’s take a look at what else you can expect at this exciting stage.
Table of Contents 📝
- 8 month milestones
- 8 month old baby development
8 month milestones
Before we get going with 8 month milestones, let’s have a quick pitstop at the idea of “baby shoulds” – you know, discussions around what an 8 month old baby should be doing. While it’s important to check with your doctor to see that your little one is developing in a healthy manner, for your own sanity, try to keep out of the “baby shoulds” discussion. Suddenly, everyone, from well-meaning family members to complete strangers, seems to have an opinion. Let’s take it down a notch, shall we?
With that in mind, there are some 8 month milestones that you can look forward to (and when we say 8 months, we mean in the general vicinity!).
- Movin’-and-a-shakin’. This period marks the beginning of serious chaos in your life — the most delightful chaos you can imagine. That’s because one of the most significant 8 month milestones is that your baby is no longer satisfied with a sedentary lifestyle. Those motor skills are developing rapidly. They can likely pull themselves up to standing and, if not already crawling into every crevice, are making some serious strides towards doing so. (That rocking back and forth motion is all prep for the big crawl.)
- Picking up the new skill of picking up. Those motor skills are also coming in very handy (literally) when it comes to object handling. They can pick things up, move them from hand to hand, bang them together (which is just so soothing), and are starting to inch towards getting cooperation between their thumb and forefinger so that one day they can pick up smaller things.
- Piqued curiosity. Those senses are alert and they’re looking to touch (and taste) everything. You may want to go through your house with eagle eyes sometime soon.
- Their sights are set on what they want. What can a baby see at 8 months? You may have noticed that your little one can spot a random thing across the room and then motor towards said object to get their little paws on it. They can identify objects, differentiate between near and far, and understand when things are moving and when they are still. They have also mastered the concept of object permanence (the idea that the world doesn’t disappear when not in view).
- Consonant carnival. What should an 8 month old be saying? Your 8 month old baby might be getting their mouth around some consonants. That means that you might be able to pick out a mama, dada, or bye-bye from the general gibberish they share.
- They just can’t get enough of you. Yes, it is totally normal for an 8 month old baby to start suffering separation anxiety. They suddenly have a meltdown if you try to hand them over to a stranger. Or when you leave the room at bedtime (or any time for that matter). They. Just. Love. You. So. Much.
If you’re a working mama, this can be incredibly challenging. The good news is, it will probably peak around 10 months and only last until they’re about 18 months. If you plan your exits for when they’re most likely to be calm (of course, very far from an exact science) and try to distract them (Hey look! Your favorite toy!), leaving may come with a little less fanfare.
8 month old baby development
8 months old baby weight
Your 8 month old baby is probably weighing in somewhere between 17 and 19 pounds. That’s about the weight of a small sledgehammer. (No wonder you’re feeling like you’ve been lifting weights.)
8 month old baby food
Your 8 month old baby will still be on a mostly formula or breastmilk diet, with some exciting solid foods thrown in.
Solid food-wise, you’re inching your little one towards a healthy diet that mirrors that of a full-grown human. That means protein, fruit and veggies, and whole grains. They can likely manage bread and cereals, softer fruit and veg like bananas, pears, and carrots, and proteins like fish, chicken, tofu, and beans. At this point, you might try a schedule of 3 meals and 2 snacks a day for your little one.
Your baby might also become more and more interested in self-feeding. And once they’ve got that pincer grasp down, the sky’s the limit. (Well, more likely the ceiling is the limit — and where some splotches of food will likely end up.)
Steer clear of cow’s milk and anything too sugary for now. Oh, and choking hazards like nuts.
8 month old baby games
You may find yourself playing games with your 8 month old baby that don’t seem so fun to you. A favorite? Your baby pushing a spoon (or other object) onto the floor at mealtimes then laughing at the fact that you’re so willing to pick it up. While you may feel as though your little one is doing this simply to annoy you (it seriously feels like it), there’s more to it than that. Your little scientist is experimenting with cause and effect.
You and your 8 month old baby
Lastly, there’s likely a lot going on in your life right now. Whether you’re back at work or adjusting to a life where the only conversation you get to have is with someone who speaks in “goos” and “gahs,” feeling a little out of sorts is completely understandable.
Know that it’s normal for this to not be easy. Call on your support network when you need to. Peanut mamas always have your back.
💡 Read next: 9 Month Old Baby: Milestones & Development