Is your baby on
the move yet? He may have figured out a unique form of scooting, or he may be
starting to crawl (or looking like he wants to). It's a trip the first time you
set your baby down, leave the room and come back to see him in a different
spot. Imagine how it feels from his perspective, to know that so much is within
reach! If you haven't already, it's time to take the glass vases off low
shelves and cover sharp corners—the more baby-proofed space your little one has
in which to move, the more exercise and safe experimenting he can do.
New foods are
opening up to your baby with each passing week. Within reason, you can start
thinking of your baby as eating what you eat (allergies and certain foods, like
honey and nuts, notwithstanding), but in mashed or diluted form. It makes sense
to expose your baby to lots of textures and flavors, and feed him whole, not
processed, foods. Eat with him—make him a version of what you're eating, sit
together at the table and chat while you experience the joy of shared meals.
Try not to show big praise or frustration with your baby over what he eats.
Instead of: "Oh
wow, you really don't like that food, do you?" (insert yucky face)
Try: "Oh, you
don't know that food yet, huh? It's a different flavor."
Board-certified infant feeding specialist Cynthia Epps shares some of the foods your baby
could be eating in the next couple of months:
asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, winter squash—steamed, pureed and
diluted with water.
buckwheat, quinoa, corn meal, millet, flax, brown rice, farina and amaranth may
be served individually, or as mixed whole grain cereals, breads, toast,
muffins, pasta (pureed or in small, soft, cooked pieces). Mixed whole-grain
infant cereals, and/or white or brown rice infant cereals may be mixed with
breast milk or formula to boost the iron absorption in each serving.
prepared Stage 2 baby foods. (Read the labels to avoid dairy and sugar.)
Even the best
sleepers will have an off day. You may have a carefully crafted sleep routine,
but what happens when you travel, your baby gets sick or she learns a new skill
that she's excited to practice at night? "Babies aren't robots; they're bound
to naturally have nights when sleep is disrupted," says "The Happy Sleeper" author
Heather Turgeon. This is why in her work with parents, Turgeon encourages them
not to think in terms of "sleep training."
sleepers come from families who don't think of good sleep as a one-time fix,
but as an overall philosophy that lasts through the years." The habits you set
up now, like an early bedtime, a good bedtime routine that ends with baby
falling asleep on her own and a sleep-friendly bedroom, says Turgeon, will last
through childhood and beyond.
A sample sleep schedule
for an 8-month-old taking 3 naps:
Wake: 6:00 a.m.
Nap: 8:00 a.m.
Nap: 12:30 p.m.
Nap: 3:00 p.m.
A sample sleep schedule
for an 8-month-old taking 2 naps:
Wake time: 6:30
Nap 1: 9:00 a.m.
Nap 2: 2:00 p.m.
Bedtime: 7 p.m.
We all know that
talking to your baby is important—the number and sophistication of words little
ones hear from us directly influences their verbal skills, social skills and
more. But here's a tip that parents don't hear as often: Listening to your baby
is just as important. It's tempting to jump in when your baby starts babbling
and finish her "sentences," but challenge yourself to truly listen. Yes, right
now it's mostly strings of repetitive syllables, but if your baby gets the
feeling you're paying attention to her unique contributions, she'll be
motivated to share more. Imagine how important that parenting skill will be as
The average baby
starts tocrawlaround 8 months.
Some babies findalternative ways of getting around(scooting or moving while sitting up).
Baby babblesare becoming more sophisticated and
adapting word-like sounds.