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Your 8 month old – baby development guide

Baby Development Guide - eight months oldMove your books from the bottom shelf and tell your dog it isn’t safe to lie in the lounge room anymore – your baby is on the move!

How is baby going?

By the end of this month your baby will be making tracks – commando crawling, bum shuffling, crawling, cruising the furniture or maybe even taking his first steps!

You might have a little comedian on your hands too! As your baby develops a sense of humour they’ll do anything for a laugh and will become quite a good mimic –probably starting to copy gestures like waving, clapping or coughing.

Your baby’s depth perception is developing too, which means baby might start to become scared of heights. By nine months old a baby can see a drop and understand that it is scary. The desire to move will sometime override this fear, however, so you’ll still need to watch your baby like a hawk – especially when up high on the couch, change table or bed.

You won’t stop every fall though – especially as your little one starts pulling himself up to standing. There will be more than one bump or bruise as baby masters the art of cruising furniture and eventually walking.


At this age babies are usually starting to drop to just two naps a day, although if your baby has shorter naps you might find that they still need three to function happily. These days your baby will be able to stay awake for longer between naps – up to three hours during some parts of the day.

It is recommended that an 8-month-old baby has about 12-15 hours over the course of 24 hours.


If you haven’t already, you should start offering your baby some chopped food or finger food. Some good example are soft cooked vegetables, ripe fruit, small sandwiches, macaroni-size pasta, crackers and toast. By this age you should be constantly adding variety to your child’s diet.

If your baby is still getting used to finger foods you might find that they occasionally gag as they are eating. This is a normal reflex – gagging is the body’s way of preventing choking. It can be quite scary to watch though so it is essential that parents understand the difference between gagging and choking so they can respond appropriately. Gagging is usually accompanied by noise and the child will be able to bring the food to the front of their mouth without intervention. However, choking is usually silent and means that food has been lodged in a child’s oesophogus – this requires immediate intervention and the child will not be able to breathe. Another good reason to find a first aid course near you.


You might have recently noticed that your baby loves playtime with dad or the other men in their life. The way a man engages in play with children is exciting and it can also be beneficial for their development.

Generally a male will engage in playful, physical activity with children and will focus on independence and achievement – while a woman’s protective instincts might stop her doing the same. For example, a father might like to throw his child in the air and catch them, tickle, wrestle, or encourage his child to stand alone and take some small steps towards him. And a mother might have a small heart attack if she walks in while any of this is happening!!

Some fathers feel left out during the newborn phase so this is a great opportunity to engage with their son or daughter. Physical activity and movement is so important for children – it stimulates their brain in so many ways setting them up for a lifetime of learning.

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How are you going?

You are probably starting to feel like you’ve found your groove now – and days with your baby are getting easier. Then, during five minutes of downtime, you check your social media to discover that everyone else is loving being a parent, their children are immaculately dressed, their homes beautiful and they’re preparing delicious meals every night! #blessed #ugh #lies

It is almost impossible to stop comparing yourself with others but you have to remember that what you’re seeing is their highlights reel – the best seconds of their day. The rest of their day probably looks a lot like yours, which had some awesome moments too. There’s no such thing as perfection and there is no such thing as the perfect parent. We are all just trying to do our best with what we have.

3 things to do when your baby is 8 months old

Please note: All babies are different, these are generic guides and aren’t a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider.

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