8 Week Old Baby Development

Learn everything you need to know about your 8 week old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.

Portrait of smiling male toddler lying on floor at home
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Your Growing Baby

Developing Senses

Can you believe that your baby's already 2 months old? The time probably flew by, but you've certainly seen a lot of big changes in these past eight weeks, starting with your little one's sparkling personality. These days he's likely to share a gummy grin with doting family and friends, giggle when you blow raspberries on his tummy, light up when you laugh or play peekaboo. He's also becoming more vocal, making funny squawks or high-pitch squeals, or cooing contentedly as you walk into the room (courtesy of his improved vision). You might not speak the same language, but these early vocalizations prep him for his first words months down the road. If you listen intently, then talk back to him, he'll feel encouraged to keep experimenting with sounds. Your conversations might be utterly hilarious to you, but they're a great skill-builder for him.

Increased Muscle Strength

Your baby's coordination is improving by leaps and bounds as well. Arm and leg movements are more fluid and controlled compared to a few weeks ago, when there was more flail than finesse to his movements. He's slowly building neck and head muscles, so he's better able to support his own head when you hold him upright (though for now, you should keep a steadying hand behind his head just in case). Touch a toy, such as a rattle or a plastic ring, to the tips of his fingers, and he might even be able to grab onto it. Next thing you know he'll be running circles around the playground.

Health and Safety Info

Baby's 2-Month Check-up

Two months means it's time for another well-baby visit! Aside from the usual physical once-over and height/weight checks, your baby will also get his first set of immunizations. This round of vaccines usually includes DTaP (for diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis), rotavirus, Hib (for bacteria that causes meningitis), hepatitis B, and polio, usually delivered in a series of top-of-the-thigh shots. We're betting your baby's not going to be happy about receiving these shots—and let's be honest, it's no picnic in the park for you, either. So talk to a nurse about what you can do to ease the pain. Studies show that nursing or sucking on a pacifier while he gets a shot can be soothing; even holding your baby (rather than having him splayed on the examining table) can help him weather the moment with a tad more aplomb. Or ask your doctor about giving him a dose of infant acetaminophen an hour or so before your appointment to make him feel more comfortable.

As always, the pediatrician will check the soft spot on your baby's head to see if it's starting to close up; premature closing can be cause for concern, since it restricts the brain's growth. Your doc will also ask about your baby's sleeping and eating habits, so if you're stressed about fussing, spitting up, or a baby who just won't sleep more than a couple hours at a stretch, now's your chance to get expert advice. Don't forget your list of questions, too!


Coping with Immunizations

Vaccinations are no fun for moms. Of course, you hate to see your baby in pain, but even worse is that you've probably heard enough talk about potential links between immunizations and autism that you're stressing out about whether your baby should be getting so many shots at the same time—or getting any shots at all. It's totally normal to feel a little apprehensive about immunizations, so feel free to open up to your pediatrician. A good doctor will be able to explain the risks and possible side effects and ideally put your mind at ease.

Bottom line: Vaccines are crucial to keeping your child—and everyone else—healthy. And it might help to know that both the Centers for Disease Control and the Institute of Medicine have found no hard evidence to support the idea that certain vaccines can lead to autism in children. In fact, more than a dozen recent studies evaluated autism rates in millions of children in several different countries; they showed no major difference in the rate of autism between children who had received the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) shot and those who didn't. Do the research you need to get comfortable with it, then just think of the shots as the first of many boo-boos you'll be kissing in your kid's life.

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