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At eight months of age, the words that best describe your baby are “curious” and “energetic.” Your little one is on the move and exploring everything, from new foods to every nook and cranny of your home. Your little one is also starting to understand the world around him or herself in new and different ways — and may be hilariously imitating it, like “talking” on your phone or pretending to drive along in the car.

Physical development

Your baby’s eighth month and beyond can bring about major physical developments, including crawling, “cruising” on furniture, and (soon!) walking.

In addition to these milestones, your baby is likely also sitting up without any extra help from you. Other physical milestones may include:

  • Transferring objects from one hand to the other
  • Holding onto and drinking out of a sippy cup
  • Banging objects together
  • Attempting to pick up any objects within reach

Babyproofing the house

Hopefully by now, you’re well on your way to creating a baby-safe environment — but as your baby’s abilities change, it’s always good to double check. Now that your little one is almost crawling, here are some things to look for:

  • Electrical outlets, which will require outlet covers or sliding panels
  • Cabinets, which can be protected with cabinet locks
  • Stairs, which can be protected with baby gates
  • Sharp edges of tables, which can be protected with corner guards

If your baby is already pulling up and cruising, make sure to check these areas especially well, and make the following changes:

  • Toilets — use a lid-lock to keep your baby from drowning in the toilet water
  • Any furniture that could easily topple over onto your baby — make sure the furniture is secured to the wall with a tether
  • Bathtubs — purchase a soft faucet cover to protect your baby’s head from a hard faucet

If your baby is walking early, here are some areas of concern:

  • Drawers, which can be protected with cabinet drawer latches
  • Doorknobs, which can be covered with doorknob locks to keep your baby from getting into rooms you do not want him or her in
  • Fireplaces, which can be covered with a protective cover/gate

You’ll also want to place any medications in a locked drawer or high and out of reach of your little one. Taking your own “crawling expedition” and crawling around your home to identify any potential hazards on the floor or higher is a good way to visualize what can be a hazard.

Your baby’s sleep habits

At eight months, your baby likely can sleep through the night. However, emotionally, that doesn’t mean he or she is ready to actually sleep alone all night. Separation anxiety can be an issue at nighttime, and some babies will awaken in the middle of the night, crying for company. Overall, you can expect that your baby will be sleeping about 14 hours a day at this age, including nap times.

Maintaining a regular sleep routine can help your baby (and you) get enough rest at night to be happy and healthy. If your child is having difficulty with separation anxiety, soothe him or her by reassuring your baby. Your baby also may wake up frequently due to teething pain. If your baby wakes up during the middle of the night, you can simply soothe and encourage him or her to go back to sleep instead of feeding or spending prolonged amounts of time with your baby (providing a dirty diaper isn’t the cause for the waking episode).

Curious about sleep coaching? Learn more with Bundoo Sleep Expert, Kim West.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, July 2019

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