Your Baby Today

5-8 months

Your crawling 8-month-old

Your crawling 8-month-old

Take time to celebrate your baby's latest milestone: Crawling. And keep in mind that crawling means different things to different babies. One may be content to continue scooting along on her tummy. Another may navigate by walking on both hands and feet, her bottom pointed toward the sky. And yet another may be able to master a route using her hands and knees.


Milestones this month*

  • Your baby now can crawl or scoot on her stomach.

  • She can sit without support.

  • Baby can "rake" a small toy toward her on the floor and pick it up.

  • She can get into a sitting position from her stomach.

  • Baby can pull up to a standing position from a seated one.

  • She walks by holding onto furniture.

  • Baby can stand alone (for at least a few seconds).

  • She looks for dropped objects.

  • Baby shows unhappiness when you take something away.

  • She plays peekaboo.

  • Baby can say, "mama" or "dada."

  • She plays patty-cake and waves good-bye.

  • Baby understands the meaning of "no."
*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your 8-month-old hasn't yet reached these milestones, rest assured that she will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development, discuss them with her doctor.

Where the action is
Your baby's new mobility means that it's time to further baby proof your home.

Your baby will display an uncanny knack for finding any small item left lying on the furniture or floors -- and for putting it immediately in her mouth. Likewise, dropping her favorite items, picking them up, and putting them back in her mouth will be a favorite pastime. Remove any pacifier, bottle, toy, or food item that's been dropped before it finds its way back into your baby's open mouth.

A change in temperament
Just a few months ago, your baby was a social butterfly. But these days you may notice a change in her happy-go-lucky disposition, and ask yourself:

  • Why is she so afraid of everything?

  • Why do her surroundings seem to intimidate her?

  • Why does she sometimes howl in terror at the sight of even close family friends and caregivers?

Helping your baby find comfort in new surroundings
  • Hug and talk softly. Don't push your baby into situations with others if she's afraid. As you approach others, give baby little hugs and quietly tell her who's ahead. Alert the others to her anxieties, and ask them to move slowly. Suggest they talk to baby quietly and smile often, rather than pick her up or hug her. Remember -- even the sudden movements or loud laughter of others can panic her.

  • Accept separation anxiety, and move on. Your baby wants to be with you, so she may fall apart when you leave the room. Sometimes your baby even may lose control when her dad is left in charge. The good news is that most times, once you leave the room, your baby is just fine with another familiar face. If her separation anxiety is serious, you may have to limit your time away from your baby until she passes through this phase.

  • Let her find security. Now that your baby knows she's her own person and not a part of you, she may find that scary. She may attach herself to something else that brings her comfort -- a blanket, a pillow, a pacifier, or a doll -- something that doesn't walk away from her. Don't make an issue of it, but limit its use to the home or bedtime. And keep it clean, even if you have to throw it in the washer while your child is asleep. Don't allow her security object to be a bottle of milk or juice -- sucking on these liquids for long periods of time, especially during the night, can cause tooth decay.

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The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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