Learn everything you need to know about your 32 week old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
The reason your baby suddenly wants to be on the move all the time: Because he can. With each day, he's learning new ways of discovering his environment, with skills to perfect and a whole house to explore. Around 8 months, he's also much more goal-oriented. Instead of simply playing randomly with whatever's at hand, he focuses on interesting objects -- toys, shoes, pets -- and pursues them intently. Your perpetual motion machine also hates to be fenced in, and you might notice he's more wriggly or resistant when you pick him up, dress him, or change him now, so hold on tight. While it's wonderful to let Baby have the run of the house, exploring at will and building both large and fine motor skills, there will be occasions when you need him to stay in one place. Try an exer-saucer or a play pen -- but don't expect it to keep him happy for long.
Whether it's rolling, scooting, or possibly crawling or pulling to stand, babies this age are constantly developing newfound physical abilities, which they're motivated to practice hour after hour. As a result, those blessedly long naps might have gotten much shorter, or in some cases disappeared altogether. Try sticking to a regular nap schedule so your baby will be used to going down at the same time each day (say, 9:30 in the morning and 12:30 or 1 p.m. for an afternoon nap). If he misses the morning nap, bump up the next by an hour. And if he's sleeping less during the day, move up bedtime by a half-hour or hour, in 15-minute increments, to compensate. Bedtime might seem too early, but it doesn't mean he'll wake up earlier. In fact, most sleep experts agree that an early bedtime leads to better nighttime sleep, which in turn means he'll nap easier during the day.
If playing nonstop with his favorite toys doesn't burn up all of your baby's energy, you might find him letting it out with a more peculiar outlet: head banging. That's right; your baby might start smacking his head rhythmically against the crib or wall these days. Many parents find this behavior a little scary -- thinking their baby might hurt himself or that it's a sign of a developmental disorder such as autism.
The truth is that as many as 20 percent of babies intentionally bang their heads. Experts don't know why it happens, though some suspect that it might be a way of releasing tension, in the same way that some babies suck their thumbs or cuddle with their favorite blankies. While head banging can be one of the signs of autism, that's only if it's associated with a number of other problem behaviors, too. If by 14 months your baby doesn't point at objects, follow other people's gazes, or initiate pretend play, then talk to your pediatrician.
But in most cases head banging is a totally harmless behavior that your baby will outgrow in time. The more you try to prevent him from banging, the worse the problem might become. Be comforted by the fact that if it really starts to hurt him, he'll stop. Meanwhile, try some extra cuddling at bedtime. For some babies, that seems to eliminate the need for head banging
Having a baby who finally sleeps through the night -- or at least limits his wake-up calls to once or twice an evening -- might leave you feeling more rested than you've felt in months. But now that your baby's exploring, rolling, and crawling his way into things, you're suddenly on the go nonstop all day -- and that can be exhausting. No time to sit down and take a breather? Try these ideas for boosting your energy levels during the day:
Get your baby talking by responding to her babbles and squeals.Read More