Are you ready to learn all about the needs and development of your 8-month-old baby?! You have come to the right place. I have written an extensive guide for you including what to expect when it comes to developmental milestones, sleep, breastfeeding, and even how to best play with your 8-month-old baby to encourage brain development and growth! My guide is backed not only by experience but more importantly by research!
Important Note: I do extensive research when writing these posts. I synthesize my research using many academic and reliable sources as well as my own personal experience. I fact check using the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA). I also consult the following reference books both for making decisions on raising my daughter and writing these posts:
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth (Hands down best sleep training book I’ve read!)
- The Complete and Authoritative Guide: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child–Birth to Age 5 from the American Academy of Pediatrics
- What to Expect: The First Year (3rd Edition) by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
If you are interested in researching and learning, in depth, about your 8-month-old baby I highly recommend buying the above books or checking them out from your local library! They will be a must-have resource for the coming months!
8 Month Old Milestones
- Make raspberry sound
- Smile when interacting
- Babble when happy
- Mouth objects to explore
- Turn head in the direction of a familiar voice
- Bear weight on legs when held in standing position (don’t let go! Baby still needs your support)
- Roll from tummy to back and back to tummy
- Pick up objects using a fist
- Look for dropped objects
*If you are concerned about your baby missing milestones be sure to talk with your pediatrician.
Sleep Milestones for an 8-Month-Old
- Total sleep in 24 hour period: 12-14 hours
- Nighttime sleep: 8.5-10.5 hrs
- Daytime sleep: 2-3 naps for a total of 3-4 hours
- Early bedtime between 6pm-7pm
*These are averages. Remember your baby might sleep a little more or a little less. You should always talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned.
Because your little one can hold more food in their growing belly chances are they can sleep for longer periods of time. You are looking at at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep at a time! Many babies are even sleeping through the night at this point!
Make sure your little one is going to be between 6 and 7 pm. Read my tips to establish a rock solid bedtime ritual
Don’t worry too much if your baby is still waking up once at night! You can nurse your baby when they wake up and put them directly back to bed. After that, your baby should sleep through till the morning!
At this time you can also start to not nurse in the middle of the night. Instead, you would go in and comfort your baby but don’t offer your breast. This is called night weaning.
For reference sake, I personally did not night wean. I let my daughter do it herself. She slept through the night from 4 months until 8 months. At 8 months she started waking up again once in the night.
This is when I went back to work full time and I honestly think she was looking for a little more love, affection, and comfort. With this in mind, I continued to nurse her when she woke up and she did this until about 9.5 months and then she dropped the night feed on her own.
Do what feels right for you and your baby.
This is how a nighttime schedule could look for you.
6:30 Bathtime, books
6:45 breastfeed or bottle
7:00 Put baby to bed
2-3am middle of the night feed (don’t wake
7 am Morning Wake up
Don’t forget! Babies should always be placed on their back to sleep. Remember “Back is Best” Placing your baby to sleep on their back reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) tremendously.
Because your baby can now roll over on their own they might roll themselves onto their stomach at night. Don’t panic! You can leave your baby on their tummy but when you initially put them down always start him on his back.
I love sleep sacks for night time! For those of you that don’t know a sleep sack is basically a wearable sleeping bag! So cozy! I really liked this transitional sleep sack swaddle for when I was transitioning my daughter away from being swaddled. After she got used to the sleep sack I moved to this one and also this one!
A note on napping: Your baby should be napping for 1 hour- 1.5 hours at this point. If you are still struggling with the 45-minute nap then try Reading this post by The Practically Perfect Baby to get your baby napping longer. I started using their method at four months and never looked back. (Not sponsored or an affiliate, just obsessed with their method)
Breastfeeding and Introducing Solids to your 8-month-old baby
As your baby is able to consolidate breastfeeding sessions you will probably be looking at nursing about 4 times over a 24 hour period. Most babies will consume around 4-6 oz per feeding for a total of 16-24 oz.
The amount your child wants to breastfeed will slowly begin to diminish as they start eating solid food! At this point, your baby should be eating 3 meals a day with 1 snack.
Take your cues from your baby on how much they want to breastfeed!
A sample 8-Month-old breastfeeding and solid food schedule could look like this:
7 am: Wake up and Nurse
8 am Breakfast
9 am: Nurse and nap
10:30 am Wake up from Nap
11:30 am lunch
1:00 pm Nurse and Nap
2:30 pm Wake up
3:30 pm snack
5:30 pm dinner
6:45 pm Nurse
7:00 pm Bedtime
2 am/3 am: Middle of the night Nurse if baby wakes up
Your baby should be eating lots of delicious solid food! If you are just getting started or want more information I have written several posts that will tell you almost everything you need to know! In these posts, I also have a link for a Free Solid Food Introduction Checklist!
How to Play with your 8-month-old baby
- Talk to your baby all day long! This starts developing their language skills
- Sing and Dance
- Read books
- Peek A Boo
- Patty Cake (helps to develop her memory!)
- Mimic sounds back to her to show the process of talking
- Hug and snuggle often to show your baby affection and to build a sense of security!
- Tummy time! You should continue doing LOTS of tummy time! Your baby can roll over now so she might not stay on her tummy for long!
- Play with baby blocks and soft toys to stimulate hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
- Help her stack blocks
- Play with musical toys like small horns and xylophones
- Be sure to spend time playing on the floor with your baby every day!
Appropriate Toys for your 8-Month-Old
- Stacking toys
- Cups and pails
- Bath toys that hold water and float
- Large dolls and puppets
- Vehicle toys (no small removable parts)
- Balls of all sizes (none small enough to choke on)
- push/ pull toys
- Musical toys
- These freezable teethers will be a lifesaver! Teething can start as early as 3 months so you might want to have those on hand!
- Textured toys that make sounds or play music
- Jumpers–These can be great as your baby is getting really interested in starting to stand. Use caution when using these because spending too much time in a jumper or bouncer can injuries to bones and joints that haven’t fully developed yet. If you are short on space (or money) you can always grab a doorway jumper! Be sure that you have correctly installed the jumper before use!
Helpful Tips for Baby’s 8th Month
Guess what?!?! You can definitely be doing some gentle sleep training!!! This is an exciting milestone to reach! Read to see how you can establish a rock solid bedtime ritual and survive sleep training!
If you are headed back to work after your maternity leave check out my tips and tricks for returning to work after maternity leave.
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