8 months old 

While many babies are crawling at this point, there’s no reason to be alarmed if Baby isn’t – there are so many brand new skills babies have to learn during the first year, and some babies prioritize other things over crawling. Babies who are late to crawl often haven’t been working on building up gross motor skills because they’re more interested in focusing on learning to talk, or on fine motor skills, or being the first baby on the block to learn how to take off his own diaper. You never know what Baby’s interests are going to be – maybe he doesn’t think crawling is that interesting yet, but he’ll get there.

Whether Baby has begun to crawl or scoot or not yet, it’s a good idea to re-visit whatever babyproofing measures you’ve taken to make sure they’re still up to snuff. Most babies are able to pull themselves to standing positions sometime between 9 and 12 months, so it’s a good idea to secure any cords or other objects that he might use to try to pull up. And even while he is sticking to crawling, it can be helpful to get on his level – think like a baby! If there’s any rooms or areas of your home that you don’t want Baby to get into, block them off. The same goes for cabinets – Baby is on ground level, so if you keep any dangerous chemicals beneath the sink or elsewhere low, they might be right in his line of sight. Make sure that everything you don’t want him getting into is totally secured.

Baby’s grasp is growing up right along with him – by this point, there’s a good chance that he either has mastered the pincer grasp, or is well on his way. This opens up a whole new world for him in terms of solid foods – purees are interesting, but they’re not nearly as much like a game as picking up each individual pea or piece of cereal and deciding whether or not to try and bring it up to his lips.

Baby is probably a ways away from being able to eat efficiently with silverware, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t curious about it. If Baby’s curiosity has him grabbing at the spoon enough that it makes feeding him tricky, handing him a spoon of his own to hold could keep him busy long enough to get him fed. More than that, though, giving him his own spoon to hold can help him get comfortable with eating utensils, which could help to give him a head start working on his table manners. And who knows? If he sees you feeding yourself with a fork and spoon now and then, he might follow your lead and give it a try!

Milestones

  • Reaches for toys: Can you believe that Baby is getting old enough to play with real toys? Around this time, you might start to notice him reaching his little hands out for a toy he wants. He might then use his hands in a raking fashion to bring the toy closer.
  • May sleep 11-13 hours a night: Baby might not sleep so much again until he is a teenager, but many babies around this time are up to 11-13 hours of sleep a night, in addition to about two naps during the day.
  • Sits unsupported: At last! Baby has been working on this one for a while, and for good reason – sitting up on his own opens the door for many other areas of milestones and development, like going in the big bath, and playing all sorts of fun games, among others.

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