Playing with Your Eight-Month-Old Baby

by Pregnancy.org Staff

Your eight-month-old baby is rapidly learning about her world. How can you help? You can help her by talking, singing and playing with her. Tell her what to expect, and then follow through with what you have told her. Watch her face for raised eyebrows, grins and upset looks. Cheer her on as she plays. Make the game easier if she seems frustrated.

Mirror Play

love that baby in the mirrorRemember how your baby used to play with the baby in the mirror? That reflection was just another intriguing object, maybe a little magical. Now that she is becoming aware of her own personhood, she might touch her face and watch the baby in the mirror do the same, or tug at her hair, expecting the mirror baby to mimic.

Look in the mirror together and talk about what you see. Here is Mommy's nose. Here is Sara's nose. Let her do the touching while you do the labeling.

Make faces. Can she make a similar one? Play peek-a-boo as you move in and out of the reflection.

Let's Make Noise

Most babies love causing noise. Offer a wooden spoon and a pan. If he seems puzzled, show him how to hit the pan to make a noise.

Put a little rice in a small, see-through plastic container. Secure the lid firmly. Shake it roll it toward him. For a different sound try beans or beads.

Crinkle some tissue paper and place in a small bag. Offer it to your curious baby. He will grab it and be surprised by the crunch.

You will find many safe noise makers around the house. Experiment!

Roll Play

reach for ballA soft ball, a toy car... and someone to roll it back and forth. Roll a little to the left sometimes; a little to the right another time. See if he'll try to roll it back. It's the recipe for a happy, giggly baby.

If he's a crawler, he may love to chase a small, soft ball, pick it up in one hand and bring it back. Be enthusiastic when he catches up to it. He might not understand your words, but he will know that you are sharing his excitement at his accomplishment.

Make It Happen

Oh the power! Oh the amazement! At a mere flick of the wrist she can make the room light up or turn pitch black! Push a button and she hears music! Babies love controlling their environment. Be aware that loud noises can be frightening, so turning the on a loud appliance like the vacuum or garbage disposal could be scary.

Toys with levers, switches and panels are favorites at this age, as are push to activate sound toys.

Where's That Scarf

peekabooRaid your top drawer and pull out a brightly colored silk scarf. In your hands, you're holding a world of fun! Here's a few games you and baby can play with that scarf:

  • Crumple it up in your fist and ask, "Where's the scarf?" Open your hand, exclaiming brightly, "Oh! There it is!"
  • Stuff it into a paper towel roll and pull out a tip. See if he'll grasp the end and pull. If not show him how inches of scarf fit in that tiny tube. It is almost as fun as pulling all the kleenex out of the box.
  • Play peek-a-boo behind the scarf.
  • Make it into a hat and show him his reflection in the mirror. Play hat on, hat off (You put the hat on; he takes it off and grins. Repeat).
  • Toss it over a toy (or part way over a toy) and encourage him to hunt for his lost toy.

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