Things Most Babies Do By 6-8 Months
This is a complete guide for CDC’s baby development milestone for 6-8 months old babies. If your baby is below 6 months old, check out my previous article.
The original author of the baby development list is the CDC [source]. We expand it by guiding you on how you can help your baby achieve each of the milestones. This is what we learned in college and applied to our boy when he was 6-8 months old.
We make a development milestone checklist, and whenever our baby achieves the milestone, we check it off, he has done it! Our baby didn’t do all these things the moment he hit 6 months, some he did at the end of 8 months which is perfectly ok. The development list is split among 4 main categories (black) with its subcategory (blue). Consult your baby’s pediatrician if he is has not achieved the milestones by the end of 8 months, it may be nothing, some babies develop slower and everything is perfectly fine, but if there’s something wrong, early detection can help a lot.
Social / Emotional
Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger
Your baby may cry when meeting strangers, or even family members who he doesn’t meet often. This behavior is normal; don’t force him to get familiar with people he is uncomfortable with. This is a time where he needs a sense of security and trusts that his parents can give him that.
To help him open up to specific people, such as his grandparents, show him their photos and tell them who they are as often as possible. If you want him to play with them, be around with your baby until he gets comfortable with the other person.
Another way is to bring him to places with many people such as shopping malls or gardens so that he can get a bit more comfortable with strangers. For myself, I also bring baby Nathan to church, and he is more comfortable now than before.
Likes to play with others, especially parents
Your baby will start to seek your attention and wants you to play with him. Set aside some time, starting with 10 minutes every day just to play with him. Give him your full attention, set aside the mobile phone and any other distraction. Peekaboo, talking, or playing toys together are excellent ways to bond with your baby. Sensorial toys are an excellent option. You can make them yourself too, I’ve written an article to guide you.
Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy
Whether you are angry or happy with him, he would be able to respond to you. You will notice that he will smile back at you when you smile at him, or even when you are stern with him, he will respond with a smile. The important thing here is he is responding to you, not how he should be responding back.
Likes to look at self in a mirror
Bring him in front of a mirror, you’ll notice that he will smile, and may even try to touch the reflection. This is an exciting thing for them, and if you like to take selfies with your baby, this is an excellent way to make him smile to the camera 😀
Language / Communication
Responds to sounds by making sounds
Make sounds to him, like buh buh buh, he will respond with making baby sounds. He may not be able to copy your sound, but he will respond with his own sound. If he is having difficulties in this area, you can use reciprocal play. When he smiles, you smile back, when he makes a sound, you copy him.
Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah”, “eh”, “oh”) and likes taking turns with parents while making sounds
Read colorful picture books to your child every day. Praise him when he babbles and “reads” too. This point is identical to the point above.
Responds to own name
He will look to you when you call his name. It’s better if you always call him by his name, and not baby, baby boy, baby girl. This will help him recognize his name. Truth be told, I call my boy “baby boy”, “Nathan boy” and all kinds of names, and he still recognizes his own name.
Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
Your baby will make sounds to express his mood. Learn to read his mood by the sound he is making. If you’re doing something that makes him happy, keep doing it. If he is upset, take a break and comfort your baby.
Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m”, “b”)
As your baby makes sounds, say simple words with those sounds. For example, if he says “bah”, you say “bottle”.
Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving)
Looks around at things nearby
As your baby looks around, you can point to it and talk about it. For example, if he looks at a fan, points to it and describes it to him: “the fan cools us”, “the fan is spinning”, “the fan is so high up”.
Brings things to mouth
It’s common for babies at this age to bring things to their mouth, it’s a way to explore the things around them, so make sure it is clean! Some babies may also go into teething around this age, for them, this is going to be a lot more common.
Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach
Put some toys near your baby so that he can reach for them or kick his feet. This development should come naturally, especially if he has passed the previous development milestones.
Begins to pass things from one hand to the other
You can help your baby reach this milestone by giving him his toy in his left hand and bring his right hand to take the toy from the left hand.
Movement / Physical Development
Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front)
At 4-5 months, he can only roll from front to back, at 6-8 months he should also be able to roll from back to front. You can put toys beside him to encourage him to roll. Don’t be shy to give your baby a little help in the beginning by helping him roll.
Begins to sit without support
Hold your baby up while he sits and put pillows behind him in case he falls. In the beginning, your baby may only be able to sit for a few seconds, as time goes on, he will be able to sit for longer times until he can sit for as long as he wants. Always make sure he has a pillow to catch him as he falls back, you may not always be ready to catch him.
When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce
To clarify, your baby cannot stand on his own yet. This is about you holding him in a standing position, and as you hold him he will exert strength and you can feel him trying to stand up. This is an important development for him, but don’t make him stand like this for long periods as he is not ready yet. When he is ready to stand he will hold onto something to pull himself up.
Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward
Your baby is developing the ability to crawl, and sometimes he will move backward in a sitting position or on his tummy. He cannot crawl at this age yet, so don’t be worry about it.