Your Baby's Physical Development: Month 8
Your tot may be a moving target this month as she continues to enjoy her ever-increasing mobility.
Pulling up and standing may be on the agenda this month as Baby becomes stronger and more coordinated. It's unusual for 8-month-old babies to take their first steps (though it's possible!), but your girl may start to be able to stand on her own for a few seconds at a time. Here's what else you can look forward to this month.
What to expect: Baby might be ready for bigger physical challenges this month and may surprise you with his determination and skill. He may enjoy walking around the house while holding on to your hands and will probably master the art of standing while holding on to a piece of stable furniture such as a couch. And as he practices these new fun skills, your baby might figure out how to sit down after standing up and may make jumping movements (without leaving the ground) while standing.
Your little one is probably making great strides with hand development, so be on the lookout for improved hand skills while playing and eating. He might be able to pick up smaller items now that his muscle coordination is improving.
Progression: As this month continues, Baby should become less wobbly while standing and be able to show off more agility with the use of her fingers. She may also become more confident in taking steps while "cruising" or holding on to a piece of furniture, and be able to stand on her own for a few seconds.
How to help: Be sure that your house is thoroughly babyproofed and that anything that baby could potentially pull himself up on is secure. Babies at this age may be quicker to get into things than you would like, so taking these precautions can help prevent accidents. It's also important to keep small, potentially hazardous objects out of babies reach and to secure cabinets and drawers that contain items that are unsafe for baby.
"If baby is reaching for the spoon during mealtime, or for your food, start by offering small, raisin-size, soft mushy foods like steamed veggies, cut up banana, or ripe avocado," says Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a Parents advisor, mother of two, and author of the blog Seattle Mama Doc. "If Baby can pick up a piece and put it into her mouth, it's a sign that it may be a good time to start offering these table foods but it's always best to check with your pediatrician first," Dr. Borba says. Dress your baby in comfortable clothes to facilitate movement.
Don't freak out if: Your baby isn't too interested in movement this month. He may be focusing on developing in other areas, such as mastering language skills. As long as he's showing signs of improving on whichever skills he's working on, there's no need to worry. Babies also have their own schedules for teething, sleeping through the night, and interest in eating, so don't push too hard on any one topic because your baby might need a little more time.
When you should worry: If baby seems to be losing muscle tone, seems listless or generally disoriented, or shows a strong preference for one side or one hand over the other, check in with your pediatrician.
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