8 Month Old Developmental Milestones

You've got a real person on your hands now. And they are on the move.

You Have an 8-Month-Old. Now What?

So much is happening at 8 the month milestone mark! It’s starting to feel like you have a real little human on your hands. At 8 months your baby is trying all kinds of new foods for the first time! As they test these new foods, you’ll see some funny faces. That’s because all babies fall on a spectrum of cautious to adventurous. (But this will change as your baby becomes more familiar with social interactions, play and newness.) When your babe rejects a food, don’t react. Remember, you get to decide when and what they eat and your baby will decide how much. So keep trying! It can take up to 15 tries for your babe to love a new food. Continue to add new foods and a variety of textures to your baby’s diet to avoid a picky eater in the future. 

8 MONTH OLD MILESTONES

  • Pincer grasp is hard at work — your baby will be able to pick up food between their thumb and pointer finger
  • Transition to eating more solid food and less breastmilk or formula
  • Time to baby proof! Your baby is starting to explore on their own and everything will go in their mouth
  • Taste and touch are key ways your baby will learn
  • Bouncing while they’re standing
  • Trying to crawl (scoot, boot, move across the floor)
  • Loves a mirror
  • Recognizes familiar faces

The Yumi Milestone Plan: At 8 months we’ll be introducing brain foods rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, folate and omega-3s.  


Your Baby’s Brain at 8 Months

Your baby’s brain is a sponge right now! They are ready to soak up everything, which makes it a great time to play all sorts of music in your home and in your car.

Hola. Bonjour. And 你好 to your little boss. The brain-body connection at 8 month–.there’s a lot going on. Most babies are starting to crawl and they are pairing motor skills with senses. They see a toy. Crawl to it. And pick it up. Your baby’s pincer grasp is also starting to develop. In the beginning of pincer development, you will see your baby use more of a “raking” motion. This will look like they’re swinging at objects and bringing them closer.

At this age your baby has a lot to say and can sometimes feel frustrated that they can’t communicate yet. Model sign language and pair the verbal command with the sign. A few of our favorites are  “all done,” “more,” “eat,”  and “sleep”.

Bilingual Homes 

There is growing evidence that children benefit from exposure to multiple languages even at 8 months. At birth, a baby can already differentiate between the language of their mother and different languages. In fact, language differentiation is one thing your baby can definitely do better than you– a baby can discern all 800 sounds that make up the languages of the world.

However, babies in monolingual homes begin to specialize in that language between 6 to 12 months. In part, this happens because their minds are learning to become more efficient. Around 9 months, the brain will begin to prune away language synapses that are not actively used. Thus, immersing babies in multiple languages while they’re young may make it easier for them to be multilingual in the future. 

See related: The Benefits of a Multilingual Home

Evidence supports that the early acquisition of multiple languages primes the brain to have better executive functioning skills, such as problem solving and attention shifting. Bilingual baby? ¿Por Que No?

Your Little Poker Champ 

As adults, probability is part of everyday life – we make tiny calculations every day. At 8 months, babies are honing in on this logic. In one study, researchers at the University of British Columbia showed 8-month-old infants a box containing red and white balls. They pulled out five balls – four of one color and one of the other color. Then they revealed the contents of the box, which were either mostly red balls or mostly white balls. Interestingly, when the outcome was unexpected, such as 4 white balls pulled from a mainly red box, infants stared at the box for about 2 seconds longer, indicating that they were surprised that the box didn’t match their expectations.


Your Baby’s Eyes at 8 Months

At 8 months your baby is watching everything you do– especially when it comes to food. Studies show that baby’s facial expressions will change during feeding in response to the face they’re seeing. In fact babes will show expressions of distaste (i.e. a grimace), even if they are increasing their intake of that food through repeated exposure. (Remember: it can take 12-15 tries to get your babe to accept a new food. If they resist, persist!) Focus on your baby’s willingness to eat the food and not just that goofy grimace.

Replace screen time with sound.  

As tempting as it may be to give a fussy infant a YouTube video or a fancy, high-tech toy, research suggests that lo-tech is still best for development and communication skills. In one study in 2016, infants that played with electronic toys were exposed to fewer adult words, fewer parental interactions and were less vocal during play versus time spent with more traditional toys and books. So play your favorite podcast in front of your little one instead of a movie.


Your Baby’s Sleep at 8 Months

At 8 months your baby is sleeping 12-15 hours a day, including 2-3 naps.

Sleep and language development are closely linked. At 8 months babies are starting to link words with meaning, and it’s the almighty nap that plays a key role in building these connections.

Sleep is a powerful tool for development. At this stage, your baby is beginning to put vowels and consonants together in ways that actually make sense, like “dada.”

See related: There Four Stages of Speech Development

Science Says Sleep

In one study, scientists associated made-up words with a category of objects to mimic the way we associate a word such as “cat” with several types of cats (despite variations).

Interestingly, kids who didn’t sleep or only slept for 30 minutes after the lesson failed to learn the meaning of new words. However, kids who slept 50+ minutes showed an ability to make the connection. Researchers believe this shows that the second stage of sleep is important for babies as they develop their linguistic capabilities.

Did you know: Naps aren’t simply a break for sleepy parents. They are crucial to the physical and cognitive development of your baby. According to sleep research, children who have consistent and regular naps settle at night easier and have less night waking.

While we don’t have the magic formula to get your babe to sleep through the night, our blends are packed with nutrients that help your babe catch those z’s.


Your Baby’s Heart at 8 Month

Proper nutrition plays an essential role in the development of your child’s cardiovascular system. Once your baby is born, their heart simultaneously grows along with other body organs. Like adults, babies require adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and phosphorus, which help form the tissues of your baby’s heart in the first trimester. These nutrients continue to play a vital role in your baby’s heart health.


Sources:

Sosa, Anna. (2015). Association of the Type of Toy Used During Play With the Quantity and Quality of Parent-Infant Communication. JAMA pediatrics. 170. 1-6. 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.3753.

 

 

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