People call it the 8-month-old crisis, and rightly so. At 7 to 8 months, babies will become more aware of their surroundings. It may baffle you how your once eat-and-sleep machine becomes so hyperactive suddenly. But it is a phase of their lives when the little ones grow alert and sociable. They also tend to explore things around themselves. As the baby’s motor skills become established, their mobility also increases.
The 8th-month mark is a significant change for your baby. Their senses have developed, and their emotions and temperament are full-functioning. They begin to understand the things happening around them. And it is also the phase where babies learn about separation anxiety.
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Why are 8-month-olds so active?
There are many reasons why your little one gets physically active. And it is noticeable from the exhaustion that the parents may probably feel. Understandably, the tiredness of the caregiver is doubled by this time as the baby gets a little bit busy.
Your baby’s sleeping habit has changed as well as his feeding schedule. It is also exciting to see your little one begins to get on his knees and hands to crawl. He will also start babbling indistinctively to the joy of every parent.
1. Babies have developed their senses
By the time your baby is three months old, his vision starts to get better. And when he reaches eight months, it is already fully developed. He can now see not just the flutter of colors but also all types of shapes, patterns, and people’s faces. He can also start to distinguish familiar faces from strangers.
His sense of taste and hearing are also fully established. He learns to differentiate the food he loves from what he does not. Babies can now also recognize familiar voices even without seeing them.
With this heightened level of senses, your little one begins to get accustomed to the world around him. He will struggle to grasp all that is happening and becomes overly excited over many things.
2. Improved motor skills
All babies tend to get hyperactive once they start to become more mobile. There will be lots of scooting, squirming, jumping for joy, and protesting that will happen. You should expect babies to start crawling or pull themselves up to stand.
Lack of exercise and activity during this age will result in an overly active infant. So, give your child a chance to play and make use of those little muscles. It will let them release their pent-up energy and practice their newly-learned skill.
3. A change in sleeping habit
Gone are the days when it is tempting to rouse the newborn infant up for a glimpse of their smile. By eight months old, their sleeping schedule has already changed. They will likely spend more time awake during the day and sleep through the night.
Your baby’s naptime gets shorter as his playtime begins to lengthen. Some babies may experience sleep regression during this time. It is normal and often just a result of teething pain or separation anxiety.
Overtired, sleepless, and stressed babies will have trouble sleeping and may become hyperactive. Thus, parents need to learn how to break the cycle of an overtired baby to give the child (and themselves) more shut-eye.
4. Babies develop their temperament
Babies have an innate temperament that comes with them the day they are born. But no, temperament does not embody the child’s personality. It is just his reaction to the world that is also dependent on how adults approach them.
Infants will adjust to their environment as they grow older. So, don’t be surprised when your seemingly happy and social little one begins to become a crier and a little shy. These things are normal, and kids will learn to embrace their feelings.
At eight-month-old, your baby’s biggest fear is separation from you and the people he grows to love. It is both adorable and annoying trying to leave the house in a cacophony of an infant scream.
Dealing with a hyperactive infant
Aside from keeping the baby physically healthy, it is also the parents’ responsibility to reinforce positive parenting. Your mobile infant may be hard to tame for now, but they will soon outgrow this phase.
What you need right now are some tips for handling your energetic, anxious, and dynamic little one.
1. Talk to your baby
Eight months is the time when your baby begins his language development. You will notice that they will engage in a conversation in babbling sounds. Do not just ignore your baby; talk to him in a clear and expressive voice while emphasizing each word.
Your interaction will not only calm your infant. It will also help him learn and gain more understanding of his language.
2. Spend time with your baby
No matter how shy, infants always revel in their parents’ attention. Even if your child seems to be playing content by himself, take some time to spend playtime with him. It will help build your child’s emotional and social skills.
3. Childproof your home
When a hyperactive infant takes over the home, safety should always come first. Water, heat, toxic substances are some elements that parents should be wary about. You should also anticipate some slipping, bumping, or falling as the child gets his way around.
Make sure to keep your house child safe to avoid untoward accidents from happening. Choking hazards are also a potential threat to child safety. So, get down on your knees and scour the house from these items.
4. Do not overtire your baby
Babies do not sleep well when tired – it is the other way around. Play with your baby only when he is alert and active.
If you think he is tired, do not delay putting the child in bed. The short window of time he spends awake while tired may mess up his sleep habit.
When hyperactivity becomes a concern
Babies develop differently and may not arrive at the same milestone at a given age range.
An energetic child does not necessarily mean that he has ADHD. A baby who is not doing things like children his age does not mean developmental delay.
However, if you noticed these warning signs in your child, it is best to talk to your doctor:
- Does not make eye contact or follow moving objects
- Does not recognize parents by sight or voice
- No response to loud sounds
- No other facial expression
- Unable to hold head or lift half the body off the floor when lying down
- Unable to roll
How do I calm my 8-month-old baby?
Infants need a lot of reassurances like some gentle talking, rocking, and cuddling. Whatever they are going through, whatever tantrums they are throwing, fighting fire with fire will not help. So, do not match your child’s tantrums with your yelling. A quiet talk and pat sometimes save the day.
How do I prevent my baby from becoming overtired?
Early bedtime routine, shorter awake window time, and keeping the baby well-fed will stop the cycle of overtiredness. You can learn more about baby overtiredness in this post.
Can babies start teething at eight months?
The teething age range is different in every baby. Some may begin at six months or earlier, while others may not start at ten. Anytime around eight months of age, your baby can teeth and become extra fussy.
Hyperactivity is just another phase in an infant’s life that he will outgrow. The hyper-energy is due to some minor issues that bring a major impact on his development. Parents should recognize that they are a part of their children’s activity.
So, while you can, take some time to spend with your growing little one. Children grow up fast these days, and you no sooner walk that same infant to his first day of school.