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As an 8-month-old baby, your toddler, at large, will be just ‘busy.’ They’ll be busy exploring, learning, engaging, teething, scooting, imitating, crawling, playing- there’ll be just so much on their plate and so many development milestones at 32 months old!
Your 8-month-old baby milestones and growth
1. Sleeping hours and patterns
At 32 weeks or eight months old, you can expect your hyperactive toddler to sleep as long as 11 hours in one stretch at night. Some babies may also instead prefer taking 1-2 extra daily naps to add another 3-4 hours to the long stretch 11.
2. Feeding requirements
As an eight-month-old toddler, you should be feeding at least 24-30 ounces of breast milk or formula milk to your baby; in addition to solids. Solids should comprise 4 to 9 tablespoons of cereal, fruits & vegetables, and at least 1 to 6 tablespoons of protein foods. By now, you can widen the kind of solids you feed them and don’t just have to stick to cereal or mashed bananas as you started with. You can feed an eight-month-old baby with whole grain bread, boiled carrot, mashed beans, rice cakes, oats cereals, mashed cheese or tofu, guacamole, chicken bits, scrambled eggs, baked fish, and mashed fruits.
Your child, by now, should also be able to manage some eating on their own while seated in a high chair or booster seats. It would be a good idea to give your baby some finger foods and let them hold spoons in their hands in order to help them feel independent and to help develop their pincer grasp by the time they hit the first year. It will surely be a messy and irritating affair to deal with, however, this transition from feeding to self-feeding is important for baby development. Make sure that you do not feed your 8-month-old baby with choke-hazardous foods like whole peas, raisins, nuts, popcorn, whole grapes, hard candy, gum, peanut, firm fruits, and high-allergy-chance foods like peanut/peanut butter.
3. Your baby's language skills
At 8 months, your baby will now start differentiating between vowels and consonant sounds; their sound-like communication will become a little more concrete, and perhaps you’d also get to hear the first ‘mama’ or ‘papa!’ Your baby will also be communicating a lot with you with varied facial expressions, nods and head shakes.
It should also be noted that your baby, at this age, may suddenly start showing disinterest in socializing with strangers and may completely shut themselves off when taken to meet friends or relatives. There’s nothing to worry about as this is a common 8-month-old baby development sign. On the other hand, they may seem super clingy to an object, like a particular toy or a blanket- do not take away this said object from them as this is also common in babies.
4. Your 8-month-old baby's weight and height
An average 8-month-old baby girl weighs between 13 and 23 pounds whereas baby boys at this age can be expected to weigh between 14 to 25 pounds. An 8-month-old baby can be expected to measure anywhere between 25 and 30 inches.
5. Your baby's mobility
As a growing baby at 32 weeks old, you can expect your baby’s motor skills to develop and they will display it in their actions. Your baby will learn to sit up unsupported, will try to push themselves into a standing position from a seated position, and will even start to crawl or scoot around the house. It is recommended that you encourage your baby’s movements and set up furniture around the house in a manner such that they can find the support of the fixtures as they inch across the room- a motor skill of babies called cruising.
What to expect from your 8-month-old baby's doctor visit?
Your 8-month-old baby will typically not have an appointment with the pediatrician unless you’ve missed out on any of the shots or you book an appointment for another concern on your own.
Taking care of your 8-month-old baby: Quick tips and tricks
Here are some quick things to keep in mind with an 8-month-old baby in the house-
1. Baby-proof your home
since your active baby will be moving a lot around this time, it is necessary that you baby-proof your home. Baby proofing refers to making sure all poisonous, sharp, and items hazardous in any form should be kept out of the baby’s reach.
At this age, your baby may tend to develop certain allergies which will show in the form of symptoms like a runny nose, rashed skin, itchy eyes, or incessant sneezing. Since allergies can spiral and are a matter of concern, make sure you reach out to your doctor at the first instance of an allergy occurrence and have anti allergens prescribed. However, don’t let allergies be the reason to lock your baby or to restrict their movement. It is very important that you let our baby move around and be free as it is important for the baby’s development.
3. A sensitive baby stomach
Some babies tend to have a highly sensitive stomach that causes them to have frequent bouts of stomach-associated troubles like food allergies, diarrhea, and food poisoning. If it so happens, reach out to your pediatrician immediately and do not try to first home-treat your child.
4. Stimulating your baby's senses
By the time your baby turns 8 months old, it may be a good idea to stimulate them by describing situations and things to them. Tell them about them, tell them about how your day was, tell them how an egg is made when you feed the egg to them, just talk to them, sing to them and introduce them to new landscapes, sounds, and smells. As you communicate with your baby and let them explore new things, it boosts the development of their language skills and also their communication ability.
Final Thoughts: Finger food safety and re-starting exercise!
Having said that finger foods are a top-recommended addition to your 8-month-old baby’s diet, we also recommend that you try and keep an open eye when handing over finger foods to your baby at this age. Never let your baby be fed with any finger food unless under adult supervision as they pose a high risk of choking and similar other hazards. If your baby has not started teething yet, it is not even advised to offer your baby any food that needs to be ‘chewed’ as your baby will need teeth to chew. Just limit the solids to easy-to-bite foods that don’t require teeth like mashed fruits, oats cereal, scrambled eggs, etc.
Come on, let’s exercise mommy!
As a new mother, you will need your stamina and immunity to take care of your baby and of yourself more than ever now. It is recommended that you try and indulge yourself in at least 20 minutes of activity thrice a week; to begin with and later, maximize it to perhaps 5 days a week. Your bone health also needs to be maintained and exercise is the best way to ensure that. As your baby is now 8 months, you can perhaps invest in a jogging stroller and take your baby for runs or brisk walks with you if you think you do not have the time to go to a gym. This will not only ensure physical activity but will also have your baby see the outside world and give you and the baby some bonding time!