What Should an 8-Month-Old Baby Be Doing?

Reviewed on 6/16/2021

6 Development milestones

An 8-month-old baby
An 8-month-old baby is ready to learn and explore their surroundings, which will continue as your baby becomes more mobile during the next few months.

An 8-month-old baby has already come a long way, transforming from a tiny newborn to a curious little infant. They are ready to learn and explore their surroundings, which will continue as their baby becomes more mobile during the next few months.

Most babies reach certain milestones at similar ages, but some take more time to reach some of those milestones when they’re ready. Development is not exactly the same for each child, but there are some general infant development milestones for 8-month-old babies.

Moving: Physical or motor development

  • Strong enough to pull themselves up to a standing position while holding onto a chair or sofa
  • Starts to crawl
  • Can spot a toy from across the room and try to retrieve it
  • Can toss a ball
  • Bangs blocks together
  • Fits a series of the different-sized cups together
  • Can get into a sitting position and sit without support
  • Uses pincer grasp finely (using the thumb and index finger to pick up tiny objects)

Talking: Communication and language development

  • Understands simple words, such as “no” and “yes”
  • Understands simple instructions, such as “say hi to Grandma”
  • Makes different sounds, such as “mamama” and “bababababa”
  • Points at things with their fingers
  • Imitates any movements they see and sounds they hear
  • Develops a stronger sense of self and a greater awareness of their surroundings
  • Starts to anticipate daily routines, such as when to be in the crib or when it’s bedtime

Interacting: Social and emotional development

  • May get intimidated by strangers
  • Starts to cling to familiar people
  • Has a favorite toy they often reach for

Thinking: Cognitive development

  • Plays peekaboo
  • Passes things smoothly from one hand to the other
  • Tries to find objects they see you hide
  • Tracks the path of objects that fall
  • Picks up small objects with her thumb and index finger

Other milestones include

Sleep

  • Sleeps for an average of 13 to 14 hours per day
  • Takes two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon
  • Has separation anxiety or becomes upset when you leave the room

Food and nutrition

  • Enjoys teethers
  • Starts to eat thicker pureed foods and stays full for a longer period after eating
  • Reacts more to new smells and tastes
  • Takes 24 to 32 ounces of formula or breast milk every day
  • May become less interested in feeding on a bottle or breast
  • May get fascinated by table foods
  • Chewing skills are developed, so you could include finger foods in their meals

How can I encourage my baby to achieve milestones?

As a parent, you can support and nurture the healthy development of the child during this time in the following ways:

  • Follow your baby’s signals by letting them take the lead during playtime.
  • Always make the environment safe around your child. Remove any poisonous substance or things that could pose a choking hazard.
  • Avoid leaving the baby unattended.
  • Talk to your baby. Narrate your daily routine to them.
  • Read some board books with pictures.
  • Help your baby identify objects they notice in their everyday environment.
  • Give them small things to pick under your supervision.
  • Support and encourage your baby’s playtime.
  • Place your baby close to the furniture for them to get up.
  • Don’t allow them to see a television or computer screen until they turn 2 years old.

What is considered a developmental delay in an 8-month-old baby?

You should visit your pediatrician if you notice any of the following with your baby:

  • Does not babble
  • Does not make eye contact
  • Cannot sit without support
  • Does not respond to their name
  • Does not recognize familiar people
  • Does not bear weight on legs with support
  • Does not look where you point
  • Fails to transfer toys from one hand to others
  • Does not play any games involving a back and forth play
  • No weight gain

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References
WebMD. Baby Development: Your 8-Month-Old. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-development-8-month-old#1

Unicef Parenting. Your Baby's Developmental Milestones at 9 Months. https://www.unicef.org/parenting/child-development/your-babys-developmental-milestones-9-months

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important Milestones: Your Baby By Nine Months. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-9mo.html

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