Parenting

Your 8 Week Old Baby

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8 week old baby
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You officially have an 8 week old baby!

Look how far you’ve come: Give yourself a round of applause!

Two months ago, you walked through your front door with a busted vag (or a sewn-up abdomen) and a tiny nugget of new person. Look how far you’ve come! Stop for a second and give yourself a round of applause. You may be constantly sleep deprived and sporting near-perpetual milk or spit-up stains, but you’ve made it through the first two months and are adjusting to your new normal. WIN.

The two-month mark is a good time to remind yourself that baby developmental guidelines are just that: guidelines. It’s hard not to compare your baby to others, especially when it seems like every other infant you know is practically the reincarnation of Einstein (at least according to their parents). Babies all grow and develop at different rates, and that is completely and totally and perfectly okay. So feel free to tell that sancti-mommy in your circle of friends to piss off when she “innocently” asks if you’re worried that your baby hasn’t yet laughed/rolled over/memorized the complete works of Shakespeare.

Also, it’s okay to not love every bit of parenthood. Between recovering from pregnancy and birth and navigating life with a newborn, you’re on your second month of operating on your lowest reserves. Give yourself permission to admit that it sucks at times. Rest assured, it’s great training for the toddler years.

Your 8 Week Old Baby’s Development & Growth Milestones

At the two month mark, your baby may be smiling, cooing, and straight up melting your heart. They’re still an eating, shitting, sleeping blob, except now they’re smiling at you so you don’t mind changing diapers as much. By the 8 week mark, most babies begin to smile at people, track with their eyes, hold their head up, and have all sorts of cooing and gurgling conversations with you. Join in the fun by chatting back.

Your 8 Week Old Baby’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones

In addition to being a little chatter box, your baby may be getting a bit more mobile these days. She’s kicking her legs a lot more, and starting to change positions when she’s on the floor — and though she hasn’t rolled over yet, the time is coming, so be especially careful these days about leaving her unattended on any elevated surfaces like a changing table or bed.

Promote hearing, vision, and cognitive development by talking to your baby, saying their name, offering brightly colored infant toys, and laying them on a gym with a mirror and toys. Your little one should also be turning their heads towards sounds, attempting to lift their body when laying on their belly, and bringing hands to their mouth as a soothing mechanism.

Not sure what to say? You don’t have to rely on just baby books during your chats. The beauty of having an 8 week old is they have no idea what you’re saying, so as long as you speak with an expressive voice and make eye contact you can be reading the newspaper, your Twitter feed, or a dinner recipe.

Your 8 Week Old Baby’s Health

At the 8 week mark, you will take your baby to the pediatrician for their two month well-visit where your little bean will be measured head to toe — literally. The doctor will also measure the circumference of your little one’s head to make sure she is growing at the appropriate rate for her.

Per the CDC, this is also when your baby will receive the following set of immunizations:

Monitor your tot closely for any vaccine-related symptoms beyond discomfort and fussiness for the first few days after shots and reach out to your pediatrician if your baby spikes a fever.

This article was originally published in 2015.

Read More:

25 Reasons Babies Are Easier Than Toddlers

Your 9 Week Old Baby

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