8 months and beyond: Developmental milestones

8 months and beyond: Developmental milestones

As you know, babies do develop at varying rates. If your baby isn't quite doing these things yet they will be soon enough! Here are some of the things you can expect from eight months onwards:

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Development

Your baby’s personality will be showing more, and their fine motor skills will be progressing. You can expect them to have better hand and eye co-ordination around this age, play actively and understand things like how their toys relate to one another. They might be able to clap, and start to grasp things fairly well and may be interested in feeding themselves!

Growth

They’re getting bigger every day. Don’t be surprised to see your baby gain something like 70-90g per week. During the first year of life, they'll grow quickly.  Their appetite might fluctuate, which is normal, but your baby should never go too long without food. From time to time there will be 'growth spurts' and you might notice a change in the amount they eat around then.  Just be guided by your little one’s hunger and fullness signs.

Appetite

It’s good idea to get into some routine with food.  In the early days it's better to give milk feeds when they're hungry rather than sticking to a strict time, but the ultimate goal is to get baby to feed at regular times during the day. At 8-9 months of age you can start to offer solid foods before the milk feed. At this stage baby might be having 2-3 solid meals a day and 1-2 snacks depending on appetite.

Changing tastes and textures

Once your baby is happy taking solids from a spoon you should progress them onto lumpier food. This is essential for babies to learn how to chew and develop their jaw muscles. By 8 months of age you can include soft finger foods.  This is a great way of giving them more independence at mealtimes and letting them try even more interesting textures. They still might not have a lot of teeth, but they’ll chew well with their gums!

Bathing

There are a lot of fun times to be had here! They may want to play a few games and have a good splash. The thing to remember is never leave them alone in the bath, if the phone rings or there’s someone at the door – let them wait. Your baby’s safety is much more important than rushing to answer it.

Crawling

Before they can walk, your baby will learn to crawl.  This will be there way of getting around for a while.  At eight months, your baby might be learning to crawl or already crawling - you can expect them to start any time between six and twelve months.

Some babies will learn quickly, but don’t be surprised if it takes them a couple of months to get the hang of it.  They might start by doing little push-ups as they lie on their tummy in order to get on their knees. You'll no doubt see a few weird movements and methods of getting around (bottom scooting, rolling - you name it!) but eventually they’ll push up on to their knees and start to move around on all fours.  Remember this process to being an unstoppable crawler can take a couple of months and there’ll be some golden moments, so have that camera on hand!

Once they’re mobile it’s time to be extra careful - they can get about on their own and they’re curious! If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to baby proof your home.  Ensure any chemicals and equipment are kept in locked cupboards, or well out of reach. Watch out for low hanging cords, or table cloths that your baby could pull on to. If there’s a particular room to be wary of it’s the kitchen!

Pulling up to stand

At this stage their balance won’t be great and their legs are too little to support them, but your baby might happily stand with your help or nearby furniture at around seven to ten months.

You might start to see your little one pull themselves up to a standing position, by using furniture to support them. They might even cruise from one piece of furniture to another – that means they’re on their way to those first baby steps!  It can take a bit longer to get the hang of walking by themselves, and most toddlers are walking by around 18 months of age.

The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.

 

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