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The First Year: 8 Month Milestones (page 2)

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Updated on May 30, 2012

Understands Language. Sure, your baby might not be ready to discuss politics with you, but that doesn't mean she won't voice her opinion in other ways. Eight month old babies are starting to vocalize more and more, and those sounds will eventually evolve into actual understandable language in the future.

  • Encourage your baby to communicate by showing pleasure when she squeals, or makes silly noises. Making them back to her will probably net you a gummy grin as she gets a chance to hear what she sounds like.
  • Read board books with pictures of common stuff. Chances are your baby will be able to point out the "kitty," "spoon," or "baby" when you're paging through during reading time. She should also be able to point out her eyes, nose, and other body parts. Just point out your own as you rattle off the names; she's bound to pick it up.

Develops Preferences. When your little one is learning more and more each day, it's no wonder she's a total bundle of joy. Sure, she keeps you hopping, but her silly faces, happy disposition, and complete mischief will probably keep you laughing as well.

  • Pay attention to what your little one prefers. She'll start to play favorites with toys, snacks, and even types of activities. That way, you'll already know what keeps her happiest and will be prepped and ready to head off tantrums and crying jags.
  • Keep your baby stimulated throughout the day. Even the happiest infant gets bored while looking at the same four walls, and you'll probably find that a bored baby equals a testy tot. Going for walks around your neighborhood, checking out a local library or museum, or even signing up for a baby class are all perfect ways to keep a perma-smile on her face.

Possible Sleep Issues. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that babies were most likely to have their sleep schedules interrupted during periods of rapid growth and development. The "eight month sleep regression" is a common complaint among parents. It's when your little one reverts to newborn sleep habits. It's frustrating, but it's a sign that your babe is working hard at her development.

  • Reevaluate your baby's sleep patterns during the day. If she's undergoing a sleep regression, it might help to move naps around so that they're farther from bedtime.
  • Start sleep training again, if it seems appropriate. Sometimes, older babies wake out of habit, rather than actually having a need. That means it's a great time to practice going into her room and talking to her in a soothing voice, but leaving her in her crib so she realizes that you won't take her out to play.

As always, keep a close eye on your growing babe and talk to your pediatrician anytime you have concerns. By now, you'll be meeting with your doc every few months, so it's smart to keep a notebook handy with any questions you might have since the last appointment. Armed with the right information and an assuring word to quell concerns, you can focus on keeping your mischievous monkey out of trouble.

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