Eight Months

Explore, Inspect and Manipulate- After all the motor progress of the last 2 months, is should not be surprising that a lot of mental and sensory development takes place in the eighth month. Most babies can sit fairly well and have their hands free to handle objects. This is a favorite activity, Baby will hold something in the hand and turn it around, put it in the other hand and (yes, still) in the mouth. It is as if he is looking at things from all sides to see how they change from different perspectives. He will also search for something that is hidden if he watches as you hide it. He begins to attempt to solve simple problems, like getting a toy a little out of reach using another toy or pulling on the cloth. At this age, babies become very attached to parents and may express fear at strangers (The so-called Stranger Anxiety). This is a good thing. Baby is establishing his security which will enable more risky exploration with confidence in the years to come. Advise people who are not in daily contact not to “rush” baby but to sit back and talk with you, as you hold baby, and soon baby will reach out to them. This is hard for grandparents who are visiting from afar and frequently choose this age to do so. At around this time, babies are developing the learning styles that will serve them all their lives.

MILESTONES  (Milestones are averages and, at best, rough guidelines. Half of babies will achieve milestones earlier than noted and half will reach them later. As babies get older, they become more diverse in their development and milestones become less reliable. )

How your 8 month old moves:
1. Can sit alone for long periods and can free hands
2. Most babies have some method of moving around, some crawl on tummy, some creep on hands and knees and some move forward in a sitting position. Still perfecting this skill
3. Most can get from tummy to sitting by self now.
4. Love to be in standing position but need to be supported. Some can stand at furniture. Still unable to get down easily so need to have environment arranged so as not to be hurt. (e.g. Move the big coffee table next to the couch and put a rug there so if baby stands at couch she won’t fall and hit her head.

How your 8 month old uses hands:
1. Begins to use thumb and fingers, particularly index and middle finger, to handle small objects
2. Can turn hand in all directions while holding objects
3. Still needs to focus to reach and grasp object
4. Tries to pick up small objects (like a small piece of cereal) by scraping fingers over object (“raking”), can obtain object.
5. Releasing objects from hand is still awkward. May drop objects into large container but has trouble releasing small objects.

Your 8 month old’s senses
1. Crawling, creeping or hitching really help in the development of internal awareness of arms and hands and will help improve accuracy of reach.
2. Very focused on understanding space and shape and relationship between objects.

Thinking and Learning
1. Developing learning style and practicing learning techniques for future use
2. Begins to solve simple problems (see paragraph above).
3. Begins to understand things that happen outside of self, for example, hearing the refrigerator door open leads to food preparation and soon eating. 
4. Begins to have some time concepts. Can remember recent past activities or events.
5. Beginning of concept of object permanence, will search for an object if he watches while it is hidden.
6. Begins to understand concept of one and more than one, 
7. Plays with same object for longer time with focus.

8 month old language skills:
1. Responds to own name.
2. Listens and responds in a consistent way to familiar sounds, as door opening, neighbor’s dog barking, car driving up.
3. May understand the word “NO” or at least, the intonation but may not obey. May stop on hearing “NO” and look but, then will continue with activity.
4. Begins to understand a few simple words and will listen for them.
5. Will use many two syllable expressions such as mama, dada, baba, but does not attach meaning to them.
6. Uses intonation consistent with mother tongue.  Shouts and vocalizes pleasure.

Social skills at 8 months:
1. Very attached to primary caretakers, follows, cries when caretaker leaves, can be comforted by parents voice.
2. May react with fear to unfamiliar people or those that are seen infrequently (the pediatrician, for example). If in care of parents, will warm up to an unfamiliar person that parents respond to positively and that does not approach baby until baby reaches out. 
3. Does not like to be confined.
4. Begins to understand what she wants and what she does not want. Will work to get something wanted and will push away something unwanted (including food).
5. Seems to have mental model of face. Enjoys seeing variations of facial expressions.
6. Likes looking in mirror at self, will pat image and smile at self in mirror.

1. Place toys on sofa so baby can play with them while standing at sofa.
2. Shape sorters can be introduced. Baby will not place shapes into appropriate holes but will manipulate the different shape pieces in hands and mouth. May place shaped in open container and take them out.
3. Baby needs a large play space because he will want to move around during play. 
4. “Chase the ball” a good game with a large beach ball in a small space so baby can reach the ball successfully. A beach ball will move again if baby touches it. 

Sensory, thinking and learning
1. Variety of toys and objects that can be held in hands should be provided.
2. Play “get the toy”. Place toy on a towel a little out of reach of baby so she can pull it to get it.
3. With supervision, offer pull toys that make noise or move as they are being pulled toward baby.
4. Arrange a low drawer of cupboard in Kitchen that can be for baby. Fill it with plastic ware and no glass. Baby lock other drawers but allow baby to play in this one. Plasic storage containers and measuring cup sets will provide hours of play.
5. You can make a container toy by using an empty small cardboard oatmeal container, an empty clean frozen juice container or Pringle chips container and an empty toilet paper roll. Take the lids off the first two.  If using a Pringle container cut it so it is a little shorter than the oatmeal container. Cover each with a different color or pattern of fabric or stick on shelf paper so that they are interesting. These can be nested, one inside the other or can be used to try to put other objects into. The different sizes will help with learning about size relationships.  The hollow toilet paper roll can also be used as a “spyglass” and to make sounds echo through it. A kitchen paper towel roll can be used in this way as well.
6. If possible, offer a variety of play spaces, the living room, the back yard, on a blanket at the park or the beach, for example. 

Language and Social
1. Say the name of favorite objects often, when they are given to baby.
2. Also label familiar sounds from another room like the telephone or the door. 
3. Spend time playing in front of the mirror. 
4. When you and baby are talking, you can duck out of sight behind the couch or below the crib line and then pop back up and say “peek-a-boo” or “cha” or some other phrase.  If baby enjoys the game, you can play it in different situations.  You can also hide your face behind a cloth and drop the cloth to say “peek-a-boo”.  Continue talking while you are hidden, for example, saying “Where’s Mommy” etc.  You can add “hide the baby” in a month or two.
5. You can start singing some silly songs that include actions. and example of the is The Frog Song: Words and actions below:

Gagoon went the little green frog one day
Gagoon went the little green frog
Gagoon went the little green frog one day
And his eyes went ga-ga-goon (put hands near eyes and open eyes wide each time you say Gagoon)

Mm mm went…..
And his tongue went mm mm mm (After each mm mm mm, put tongue out and wiggle it around, this encourages baby to move tongue for later speech)

No comments:

Post a Comment