You have an 8 week old baby, which means your baby is now at the two month mark.
Where did the time go? It might already feel like a lifetime ago since you gave birth as you’ve watched your baby grow over the first few weeks.
Your baby continues to grow rapidly. She might have jumps in weight gain, or growth spurts, in length or head circumference, at different times.
She’s also starting to make intentional sounds – grunts and maybe even her first cooing sounds. This is the start of the beautiful baby babble phase. Help her language development by talking to her and waiting for her to respond.
Your little one loves to be close to you, and watches whatever you do; this all helps your baby’s rapid development.
Baby’s development at 8 weeks
Her cheeks are plumping up as she’s been building up her mouth and jaw muscles with all that feeding. Her eyes might still be the slate blue color of most newborns, or they might already be changing to her genetic eye color. Her hair could either be growing in length or falling out.
These things are all normal and part of the fetus-to-infant transition. Genetics will play a big role in everything – from how your baby looks to how she grows.
As long as she follows her own path, compared with other babies she will be as individual and unique now as she will be in kindergarten.
Wonder week | Leap 2
Is week 8 a wonder week?
If your 8 week old baby was born on her due date, she’ll be experiencing the second ‘wonder week’.
Leap 2 is all about the world of patterns. Just like during the first leap, which happened at around five weeks, you’ll notice the trademark three Cs: clinginess, crankiness, and crying. It’s what you can expect during this and all future leaps your baby reaches.
You can read more about this stage of baby’s development in our article Wonder Week 8| The World of Patterns (Leap 2)
What can I expect from my 2 month old baby?
Your 8 week old baby will be very interested in patterns in her environment – from the slats of your blinds to the ceiling tiles in the doctor’s office. You’ll see her studying everything thoughtfully as she takes in patterns in all aspects of her life.
8 week old baby milestones
Your baby’s social skills are developing, too. Your little one might have been smiling for a few weeks now, and will be busy showing off her smile to you and other family members. You might even have noticed her showing her gummy grin to strangers.
Some little ones take a little longer than two months to smile –sometimes up to 12 weeks – but once they’ve started they won’t want to stop.
As the muscles in the body begin to develop, your baby will also be busy kicking and waving her arms and legs – for fun and to help her discover more about her world.
While her brain is processing all these new concepts, she will probably feed more frequently, wake easily and quickly become overwhelmed at times. She is working hard at wiring up her brain and needs your support to handle the changes.
Can babies teeth at 8 weeks?
You might be wondering, When Do Babies Start Teething? Although most babies cut their first teeth around 6-8 months of age, it is possible for them to be showing signs of teething as early as two months.
Normal signs of teething include:
- Irritability and increased crying
- Red or inflamed gums
- Broken sleep
- Rash around the mouth
- Increased biting
How far can my 8 week old see?
In the first 6 months, your baby’s vision will develop rapidly. By 8 weeks your baby’s vision will be nearly fully formed. She’ll see objects and people up to 18 inches away, meaning your baby will be able to see your face clearly when she’s feeding in your arms. She’ll also be able to track and follow movements close to her.
Infants born prematurely might need a little longer before they are able to focus clearly on your face – but don’t worry, they’ll soon catch up.
Can a 2 month old see color?
It’s unclear exactly how much color vision babies have at this stage, but research shows that between 2 and 4 months they begin to perceive more and more colors. The first primary color they’ll see will be red.
Feeding your 8 week old baby
If a return to paid work is on your mind, you might be thinking about introducing a teat and bottle feed to your baby, if you haven’t already. This might feel more of a concern if you’re currently exclusively breastfeeding.
It’s usually easiest to introduce a bottle before the 12-week mark, as older babies can be reluctant to accept the alternative.
Once breastfeeding is well established, there’s less likelihood of Nipple Confusion. Breastfeeding works differently from sucking on a teat, so many infants don’t automatically know what to do with a bottle.
Because a baby associates her mother with breastfeeding, it usually works best if another family member first offers the bottle. Choose a time when she is calm, alert, and happy – after or between breastfeeds is often best. It’s hard to learn something new when you are tired and hungry.
Holding her in a different position to the way she lies at the breast might help your baby accept the bottle. Let her take the teat when it touches her lips, rather than push it into her mouth; this can stop her pushing it out with her tongue.
You can find more tips for introducing a bottle to your breastfed baby in our article Why Some Breastfed Babies Refuse The Bottle And What To Do About It.
8 week old baby sleeping
Your little one might surprise you with some longer stretches of night time sleep. On the other hand, she might still be waking often for feeds. Both are typical of babies at this stage. In terms of development, sleeping through the night is still not likely at this age, but random long sleeps can happen. Enjoy them if they do!
Night and day are still unknown concepts for your baby, but you can help her learn the difference. You can find out more in our article Baby Has Night And Day Mixed Up? 4 Tips To Help.
Everyone will have an opinion on your baby’s night-time patterns. Family, friends, other moms, doctors, and even complete strangers, will ask: ‘Is she a good baby? Does she sleep well?’ This strange measure of infant acceptability continues to haunt new parents as much as it did in the past, and you’ll find yourself bombarded with advice to help you ‘fix’ your baby’s sleep habits. This can be overwhelming and even make you doubt your own mind and your parenting instincts.
Research on ‘sleeping through’
Keep in mind that the yardstick of ‘sleeping through’, which is often quoted, is based on research done back in 1957. You should also know that ‘sleeping through’ was defined as not disturbing parents between midnight and 5 am. A five-hour stretch of sleep is not something most parents would consider to be ‘all night’!
This was also a temporary situation; half of the babies returned to waking more frequently and were no longer classed as ‘sleeping through’. Ironically, 30% of the babies studied did not sleep for as long as five hours in the first place.
Given the parenting practices of the 1950s, most of the babies were formula-fed and already supplemented with cereal and other solids. They would sleep in a separate room from their parents and were left to cry if they woke. All in all, the science behind this often-quoted study is not very useful to parents today. Find out more in our article,Baby Sleep Myths | 4 Big Myths Busted.
Play and development
As her vision continues to develop, your 8 week old baby will become more interested in a range of colors and shapes. She’ll enjoy looking up at mobiles and toys suspended above her, and will make very early attempts at hand eye coordination, by trying to bat them with her hands. Arm movements will be broad and barely controlled, but you’ll see determination in her eyes.
You can encourage this interest by providing a range of objects for her to look at. They don’t all need to come from the toy store. Everything –from utensils in your kitchen drawer to bright flowers in the garden – will entertain her for short periods of time when placed directly above her.
If you haven’t already started to read regularly to your baby, now is a great time to do so. Your 8 week old will enjoy hearing your voice, following the pattern of the words, and looking at the bright illustrations.
Most parents feel a bit silly when reading aloud to their babies, but they are an easy audience, with no expectations of how it should be done. More than anything, it’s such a beneficial, simple activity you can do for your baby
Motherhood comes with many unexpected things; judgment is one of them. Sometimes, the worst judgment comes from inside our own head. Worrying is another aspect of being a parent.
For some good advice, read 10 Things Parents Should Stop Worrying About – Now!