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Home > Education Center > 8th Month Guide

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8th Month Guide

8th Month GuideThe eight month of babyhood can bring with it many new changes. You may have noticed by now that this seems to be a pattern. Every month has something new, you’re your baby learns a lot. This is what makes this first year so precious.

You are probably even busier this month than you were before, especially if your baby has become mobile in some way or another. Since all babies are different in their timing, you may sleep at night or you may still get woken up once or twice a night. Your baby may still take a pacifier, or he may have ditched it a long time ago.

Some babies are crawling and pulling up in the eighth month, while others barely scoot and don’t really have any desire to crawl.

Your little one could already have as many as four teeth, or he could still be a smile full of gums. Most likely, your baby is perfectly normal for his age no matter what he is doing. Comparing your baby to other children can usually only cause unnecessary worry, and as long as you take your baby to the doctor for regular check-ups as required, you should use these check-ups to determine how your baby is doing developmentally.

Physical Development and Appearance

While you may not be able to see much of a difference in your baby’s size over the last month, you can look at photographs of your baby a couple of months ago and these will reveal how much your baby actually is growing every month. Your baby is probably wearing the same size diapers as when he was in the seventh month, but if you ever see any red marks around your baby’s waist or thighs, you will know it is definitely time to move up a size.

Your baby can possibly say a few recognizable words, along with many that aren’t recognizable. He may be crawling or not, but whatever he can do, he probably doesn’t like to be stuck in one place.

Your baby’s weight probably hasn’t increased much over the last month, particularly if he is breastfed. This is because most breastfed babies don’t gain as much weight during the last six months of the first year as formula fed babies.

Care for Baby

  • Skin care—you may still apply lotion to your baby on a regular basis, usually after showers. While your baby’s skin is much more resilient than it was earlier, you may want to protect it, especially the skin that stays under a diaper. You can protect most of your baby’s skin by applying lotion after baths, and the skin that is kept under a diaper can be protected with Vaseline or a medicated ointment. Applying this even when it isn’t necessary can keep your baby from developing a diaper rash.
  • Teething—if your baby has already cut his first couple of teeth, you may feel like you don’t have to worry about teething for a while. But there is no determining in advance when your baby will cut his next tooth or teeth. It is always best to be prepared for that next tooth. At least this time you will know what to expect when it happens, and it is possible you can determine that this is what is causing your baby’s crankiness even earlier. This is good because the earlier you figure out what is causing your baby’s agony, the more quickly you will be able to relieve that pain.

    If your baby has yet to cut any teeth, you should expect it to happen any day at this point, and you will want to be prepared. You can do this by following the advice below (and if your baby has already cut teeth, you can still expect it to happen again soon, so you may still want to follow the advice below):

    You will usually know that your baby is teething because he will begin to drool more than usual, he will chew on things even more than usual (even though you may not have thought this was possible), he will be very cranky, he will possibly be running a low-grade fever, and he might have diarrhea. If your baby displays all of the symptoms above, you should check his gums. If they are red, swollen, and he cries more than usual when you touch them, or if you can see or feel a tooth coming in, then you will know that he is teething. If, however, this isn’t the case, you need to call his doctor just to be sure that he doesn’t have some kind of illness.

    If you can tell that your baby is definitely cutting teeth, there are a few ways to you’re your little one with the pain: give him cold or frozen teethers, apply a topical numbing cream or lotion (or you can use teething tablets—some parents say these are better than traditional ointments). In the place of a teether, you can use a frozen waffle (take care to make sure that your baby doesn’t bite any of the pieces off and take it away before it gets soggy) or a frozen popsicle that is unwrapped (this, of course, only applies to those kind in the plastic wrappers).

    If your baby is going through the painful experience of teething, it can seem like the crying and sleeplessness will go on forever, but have hope. Usually, although every baby is different, the severe pain will only last two or three days. Then, once the tooth has broken the skin, while your baby may still be feeling some discomfort, he will likely feel a lot better than before.

    If your baby has already grown a tooth or two, there may be a new problem that you have not yet experienced: biting. Babies will bite their own tongue and lips, may hurt their gums with their new tooth or teeth, and may bite you. If you stick your finger in your baby’s mouth to feel around for the tooth, to clean your baby’s gums, or for any other reason, you might want to be prepared to be bitten. Since babies are very experienced in sucking, this means they may have extremely strong jaws, which can lead to quite a bit of surprising pain if your baby does bite you.

    Another problem with biting is one that only breastfeeding mothers have to deal with: your baby may begin to bite your nipples while drinking. If this happens to you, parents tend to report that the best way to deal with it is to lightly take the breast away. At this age, most babies have already learned what the word “no” means. Tell him “no” and take the breast away for a few minutes. It won’t take too many times before your baby will connect biting with the breast being taken away, and he will likely stop. If this doesn’t work, you can lightly thump your baby on the nose when he bites you. This isn’t painful for the baby (you should only do it hard enough to get his attention), but is just irritating enough that it makes the baby want to stop biting.
  • Bathing—bath time for an eight month old can be a lot of fun. At this point, many parents will buy their baby bath toys such as a rubber ducky or one of the many bath toys available for babies at this age. These toys include a variety of choices, including such things as dolls whose hair changes color in the water, boats and animals that can be big fun in the water, as well as toys that have large and little parts. Some of these are like little playhouses that are suctioned onto the bath wall, and there may be little people or animals that are meant to play in the little playhouse. Some of these toys create bubbles, which can make bath time even more fun than before.

    You probably use a bath ring at this point, and you need to be sure to not feel too secure while using it. Babies are not completely safe in a bath ring because the suction cups can come loose. When this happens, the bath ring will often tip over, causing the baby to be stuck sideways, possibly under water. It is nearly impossible for a baby to turn it back upright at this point. So, while bath rings work great for keeping baby from slipping over while under supervision by an adult, they are not safe at all if there is no supervision.

    You should continue using baby shampoos and soaps to prevent his eyes from burning. Since babies don’t understand that they need to be still while you are washing them, you can easily get soap or shampoo in his eyes no matter how hard you try not to. If you use a baby version, you can keep this painless.
  • Diapers—your baby is probably in the same size diapers as last month, and the daily changes probably haven’t changed much within the last month. You can probably know what to expect on a regular basis at this point. If your baby seems to be constipated, you should add apple juice into his diet and you can give him baby medication to relieve the pain. For diarrhea it is best to give him a nourishing drink such as Pedialite and some medication as well. If your baby goes through constipation or diarrhea for more than a few days, you may need to call his doctor for more advice or possibly a visit. If your baby has any other symptoms, such as a fever, you should call his doctor without waiting a few days.
  • Gum care and tooth care—once your baby has grown a few teeth, you may forget about gum care, but you should try to not let this happen. Until your baby has a mouth full of teeth, you should continue to clean his gums. And, once your baby has even one tooth, you should begin regular tooth brushing. This can help develop early habits that can last for life, plus it can help prevent cavities and other tooth problems.

    Another preventative measure that should be taken is to not let your baby to go to bed with a bottle, especially juice.
  • Sleep—your baby probably sleeps all night at this point, with a couple of long naps per day. The earlier your baby takes the naps, the better he will sleep at night. You should also feed him food at his last meal of the night instead of formula or breast milk. If you still give your baby a bottle or breast in the middle of the night, you can at least count on your baby to stop waking up once that has been taken away. While that may not help you now, it can at least provide some sort of end in sight.
  • Eating—there will not be a very big difference from the seventh month to the eighth month when it comes to eating. The time that there will be the next big leap with food is if your baby was not sitting up or crawling yet and begins to do this. Similarly, if your baby had not cut any teeth yet, when he does it will provide new abilities when it comes to eating.

Experiences

  • Toys for this age—just like many other activities, this may not have changed a whole lot since the previous month. This is true unless your baby has learned some new ability, such as sitting up better, crawling, pulling up or standing. What type of toys your baby can actually play with and enjoy will depend so much on what he is capable of doing that it only makes sense that the toy preferences may change once your baby learns new things.

    Your baby may like any type of toy that lights up and makes noise, but it is almost certain that your baby’s favorite toys will be those things that aren’t really toys. The top two things that babies tend to love that weren’t meant to really be played with are remote controls and car keys.
  • Parents—the eighth month is one that parents are able to see even more happen in than before. Some babies are able to crawl, pull up to standing, sit up, say words that are actually comprehensible, and more. Your baby may have a mouth full of teeth at this point (although many babies of this age have yet to cut a tooth) and he might be able to do a variety of other things.

    This is a time when it is very important to continue reading and talking to your baby as much as possible—and possibly even take it up a notch—because your baby really is learning from everything you do. You should count and sing the alphabet even you’re your baby is this young, because it sets up a great learning base for later.
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