Your 8-Month-Old Baby's Development and Milestones

8-month-old Baby:

Big Moves Ahead

Now that your baby has turned 8 months old, they’re more curious and active than ever before. Their muscles are getting stronger, their balance and coordination are improving, and they’re getting ready for crawling, cruising, and eventually walking. Here’s what you need to know about sleeping, feeding, health concerns, and more so you’ll be prepared during this exciting time of growth and development.

Baby Development Milestones

You’re about to see some big changes in your little one at 8 months old! If they haven’t started crawling already, they’re likely preparing to crawl and will be on the move before you know it. They may also be about to experience some changes in their sleep habits and may develop food preferences as their menu expands, so read on to learn more about all the developmental milestones that are happening during this eighth month.

Growth and Physical Development: Putting Their Best Foot Forward

By this time, your baby has likely more than doubled their birth weight. The average 8-month-old baby boy’s weight falls somewhere between 17.5 and 22 pounds; girls usually weigh about a half a pound less at this age. Keep in mind, though, that it’s normal for babies’ growth to slow down in the months leading up to the first birthday. At each checkup, your baby’s healthcare provider has been weighing and measuring your baby and using baby growth charts to make sure your little one is progressing well. You may want to learn more about how to read and interpret baby growth charts.

Have you taken a good look at your baby’s feet lately? You may have noticed that their feet and toes may point inward when your little one is lying on their back; once they take a step or two, the feet may point outward. Not to worry, as those foot positions will correct themselves in due time. During the 12- to 18-month period, hip ligaments tighten, and your child's feet are able to point forward when walking; by 24 months, most children are no longer pigeon-toed. Right now the soles of your baby’s feet are protected by a layer of fat that makes their feet appear flat. This fatty layer will also disappear in two to three years, and arches will begin to form.

Senses: New Experiences and Reactions

Improved hand-eye coordination is one of many 8-month-old baby milestones your little one may reach right about now. At this point, your baby is probably able to spot a toy across the room, go after it, and pick it up. They love to experience different textures, whether in their hand or in the foods they eat. Their hearing and early language skills are also improving, so make sure to talk with them as much as possible and describe all the sights you’re both seeing throughout the day.

Movement: Preparing to Crawl

An exciting 8-month-old baby milestone you might observe is that they’re sitting up on their own without support. Watch as your baby starts to lean forward to reach for and pick up objects with one hand! Right now, they’re working on strengthening the muscles they need for crawling, which usually starts somewhere between 7 and 10 months. Now that your little one is more mobile than ever, it’s even more important to keep a close eye on them, especially when changing them or during play time.

One way to help your baby get ready to crawl is by giving them tummy time. During tummy time, they’re in the perfect position to start crawling, and they’re learning how to push up onto their hands and knees. They may start by rocking back and forth before they’re able to propel themselves forward. You can even encourage them further by holding a toy or other object just beyond their reach.

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Cognitive Development: Playing With Words and Sounds

Your 8-month-old baby’s language and communication skills are continuing to develop, and you may find you understand each other a little better these days. In fact, what may have sounded like gurgles and babbles until recently can begin to sound like real syllables. Simple syllables like “ma” and “ba” start to form the basis for simple words, like mama and bye-bye. Your baby now understands more of your words, too! If you mention their favorite toy that’s across the room and they look in its direction, they’re understanding you. They’re likely starting to respond to their own name and the word “no,” too.

Your baby is also starting to understand object permanence, the concept that objects exist even when they’re out of sight. They’re becoming more curious and may start to search for items if you hide them. Playing games like peekaboo will be fun and will help your little one grasp this important concept.

Separation anxiety is not uncommon at this stage, and when your baby can't see you, they may become upset and cry. As your 8-month-old has little understanding of time, they can’t work out when or even if you’ll return. You may be able to help them through these periods of separation with a transitional object, like a security blanket or a special, always-by-their-side toy, which will help reassure and comfort them.

Tips and Activities for Supporting Your 8-Month-Old Baby’s Development

Wondering what “should” an 8-month-old be doing? Babies this age are curious, increasingly mobile, and eager to enjoy new experiences with you, so there are myriad ways to have fun together and to encourage their development. Here are a few things to do with an 8-month-old to support their progress:

  • Keep talking, reading, and singing. Introducing new sounds, syllables, and words during conversation, and as you read and sing to your baby, will encourage them to repeat what they hear and boost their language skills and cognitive development.

  • Play games. There are many baby games your 8-month-old will enjoy. Peekaboo is always a hit and can be played in various ways. For instance, you can take turns “finding” each other under a soft cloth. Patty-cake is another good one.

  • Get on their level. Plop down on the floor and play together. Try rolling a ball back and forth and watch as they get more skilled at this activity.

  • Offer a spoon. Your baby's fine motor skills are improving, so try handing them a spoon during mealtimes. They’ll get used to the feeling of the utensil in their hand, and it’s a great step toward feeding themselves.

  • Get creative with toys. Good choices for 8-month-old baby toys can be as simple as a cardboard box or a plastic container and a wooden spoon.

  • Have your baby meet others. Take your baby to the park, the playground, or to play dates or other social occasions to meet other parents and their children.

Feeding Your 8-Month-Old Baby

Wondering about how much “should” an 8-month-old eat? Your baby’s daily menu can include mashed or pureed solids (aka baby food) and soft table foods, which should provide at least half of your 8-month-old baby’s caloric needs. The other half should come from breast milk or formula. In total, babies need about 750 to 900 calories per day.

Your baby’s feeding schedule may include three main meals a day with about two snacks in between meals.

Your little one is starting to develop food preferences as their sense of taste and smell improve, so now is a great time to offer new foods, flavors, and textures. Don’t worry if they don’t take to a new flavor right away. Your baby may need repeated exposure to a new food, as many as 10 to 15 attempts over a few months, before they’ll eat it.

Thinking about what to feed an 8-month-old?Looking for food ideas?Now is the time to introduce your baby to foods with slightly coarser textures like yogurt, oatmeal, and mashed bananas, which will also help them work on their chewing skills whether they have one, two, or no teeth.You may even like to offer your 8-month-old finger foods to give them practice with self-feeding.

Here’s an example of a daily food menu for your 8-month-old baby including both baby food and breast milk or formula. It also gives you an idea of approximately how much to give your 8-month-old.

How Much Sleep Does an 8-Month-Old Baby Need?

By now, your 8-month-old baby may be sleeping about 9 to 12 hours at night and napping twice a day. Naps can last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. This might sound like a lot of snoozing but be prepared for some disruptions in your baby’s nap and sleep schedule around this time.

For some little ones, the onset of separation anxiety at this stage can lead to sleep regression, meaning your 8-month-old baby may sleep less than they used to, or they may wake in the night after previously being able to sleep through the night. Here are some tips to help your little one sleep more soundly:

  • If your baby has their own room or nursery, put them to bed with their bedroom door open. They may feel more comfortable if they can hear you and won’t feel completely closed off.

  • Allow thumb-sucking to comfort themselves.

  • Provide a transitional object like a small blanket or special toy to help them soothe themselves in your absence. This blankie or lovey will be something they’ve developed a particular attachment to, and it will remind them that everything is OK.

  • Offer a pat on the back and a few consoling words if they cry for you in the middle of the night.

If your baby does cry for you in the middle of the night, try not to turn on the bedroom light, rock them, or walk with them. And you’ll also want to avoid feeding them and taking them into your bed. All of these will make self-soothing more difficult in the future, because they’ll learn to associate bedtime with these acts and come to expect them as part of the bedtime routine every single night.

To learn more about your baby’s sleep, download the Smart Sleep Coach app by Pampers. Cocreated by pediatricians and sleep experts, this app can help you track your baby’s daytime and nighttime sleep and help you create a sleep schedule that works for your 8-month-old baby.

A Day in the Life of Your 8-Month-Old Baby

Every baby is different, but here’s a glimpse of what a typical daily schedule could look like with your 8-month-old baby.

Your Baby’s Health

All that wriggling and moving your baby has been doing is preparing them for some big steps, and it’s important to make sure your home is as safe as it can be for your little explorer. You may have already started babyproofing your home (if not, now is a great time to do it); keep in mind that your baby furniture and equipment need just as much attention as your electrical outlets and cabinet doors.

Safe Equipment

Falls are among the most common household accidents, so you’ll want to check your baby’s crib, changing table, high chair, and other equipment to make sure they meet safety standards and are assembled correctly. Here are some other tips to make sure these items are as safe as can be:


  • Make sure any vertical slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart to prevent your baby's head from becoming trapped between them.

  • The crib’s mattress should be the same size as the crib and fit tightly, with no more than a slight, two-finger gap between the mattress and the frame of the crib.

  • Set the mattress to the lowest level possible before your baby is able to stand on their own.

  • Keep the crib bare and free of crib bumpers, pillows, loose sheets, blankets, or stuffed animals in the crib to avoid suffocation or strangulation.

Changing table

  • Baby changing tables should have a two-inch guardrail on all four sides, and the top of the changing table pad should be concave to keep your baby from rolling off the table.

  • Always use the table’s safety strap but always keep a hand on your baby during changes, just to be safe.

  • Keep your supplies like diapers and wipes within easy reach of you, but out of your baby’s grasp.

High chair

  • Choose a chair with a wide base, and never place it so close to a counter or table that your baby could kick or push hard enough to tip the chair over.

  • Use all safety straps when your baby is sitting in the high chair.

  • Make sure any small parts on the chair (such as caps or plugs on chair tubing) are securely attached. These could become choking hazards if your baby is able to remove them.


  • Make sure the playpen’s enclosure is free of any tears, holes, or loose material.

  • If your baby is able to pull themselves up, remove any larger toys or objects from the playpen that they may be tempted to use to get high enough to climb out.

  • Regularly check the playpen for damage, including loose parts or bite marks from your teething baby.

Water Safety

Babies and small children can drown in only a few inches of water, so you’ll want to be especially careful in the bathroom, as well as outside if your home has a pool, pond, hot tub, or other small body of water.

Never leave your baby alone in the bath, or around any open containers of water (like buckets and watering cans) no matter how shallow. Also, keep toilets closed and use a lid lock to keep your baby out of the toilet bowl.

If you do have a swimming pool, install a four-sided fence with a self-locking gate around the entire area, and completely remove any pool covers before swimming. Make sure you have a safety ring and rope handy in case of emergency, as well as your phone. Many little ones love the water, and you can have tons of fun splashing around, but always give your baby your complete attention when you’re swimming and try to eliminate any distractions.

Items You Will Need This Month

Thinking of purchasing some much-needed baby gear this month? Here are some items that might come in handy:

  • Baby toys. At 8 months old, toys like large building blocks, squeeze toys, and balls of all sizes are good choices. Choose toys appropriate for your baby’s age.

  • Baby books. Reading to your baby is an important activity you don’t want to give up. Choose from among your favorite children’s books or get the latest bestseller.

  • Car seat. Your baby needs to ride in a safe, correctly installed car seat. Make sure that the car seat is suitable for your baby's age and size and that it hasn’t been recalled.

  • Diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream. It’s always a good idea to have plenty of diapers and wipes on hand. Plus, don’t forget the diaper rash cream.

  • Baby thermometer. Catching a cold or another illness is so easy for babies around this time, especially if they’re attending day care. Have a baby thermometer on hand so you can check your baby’s temperature whenever you suspect a fever.

  • Baby toothbrush. Your 8-month-old baby may have a couple of teeth by now, and daily brushing is important from the get-go. This is a good time to introduce a toothbrush so that they get used to the feeling of having their teeth brushed. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste.

Your Life as a Parent: Introducing a New Sitter and Handling Weaning

If you’re dealing with separation anxiety and you also happen to need a new sitter or caregiver at this time, you may need to take some additional steps to help prepare your little one for a new face. Here are a few tips for introducing your baby to a new caregiver:

  • Hold your baby while you and the sitter talk. Your little one will come to understand that this is a trusted person.

  • Let the sitter talk to your baby while you hold your baby to build confidence.

  • Place your baby on the floor with their favorite toys and invite the sitter to slowly come closer and engage with your baby in play.

  • Try to briefly leave the room, and, if all goes well, you will know that you can confidently leave your baby with your trusted caregiver.

If you’ve been breastfeeding, you may find that around the time when your baby is starting to sample different foods they may be less interested in breastfeeding. This is called natural weaning or infant-led weaning, and it’s perfectly fine to let your baby’s preferences take the lead. Continue to offer them new food options while still allowing them to breastfeed when they want.

Some mothers face pressure to wean their babies for a variety of reasons, including a lack of support and encouragement from family and friends, or even a lack of facilities for pumping and feeding at their workplaces. The decision to wean is an intensely personal one, but it’s still advised to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of your baby’s life and continuing to nurse while providing other foods for at least the first year. Consult your baby’s healthcare provider or a lactation consultant for advice on weaning.

As long as you’re confident your baby is getting all the nutrients they need, there is no need to feel any pressure to wean if the time doesn’t feel right for you and your baby.

Checklist for This Month

  • Now that your baby is becoming more mobile, babyproof your home using our babyproofing guide if you haven’t already.

  • Your baby is almost 9 months old! Wow—time flies! Download our special milestone cards to share this special moment with family and friends.

  • Learn about what’s ahead for you and your little one when they’re 9 months old by reading a little about what’s to come.

  • Get the Pampers Rewards app. You can earn rewards points to help you with everyday baby-related purchases.

  • For even more information, sign up to get our regular emails:

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.