8-Month-Second Week (35 weeks)
How your baby’s growing
Your baby’s now exploring objects by shaking them, banging them, dropping them and throwing them before falling back on the tried-and-tested method of gumming them. The idea that you do something to an object is beginning to emerge (using a comb to tidy her hair), so an activity centre with lots of things your baby can bang, poke, twist, squeeze, shake, drop and open will fascinate her.
Your baby will also be fascinated with toys that have specific functions, such as phones. If she can’t hold it up to her ear herself, do it for her and pretend to have a conversation. Over the next few months, she’ll start to use objects for their intended purposes – brushing her hair, drinking from a cup and babbling on her play phone.
How your life’s changing
It’s completely natural for your baby to start showing signs of separation anxiety when you leave him in the care of others. In fact, it’s a sign of normal, healthy development. Not that knowing this makes it any easier on you to see your baby in distress.
To help the two of you weather the goodbye blues:
- Say goodbye in an affectionate but matter-of-fact way. Try not to draw out farewells or let yourself get emotional in response to your baby’s crying.
- Stay away once you say goodbye. Resist the temptation to turn back and check if he’s OK. This will only make things more difficult for you both.
- If it will make you feel better, call when you get to where you’re going. Chances are he stopped crying straight after you left and got diverted by an activity.
- Spend some special time together when you pick up your baby.
- Read the signals and trust your instincts. Does your baby react the same way when your partner does the drop-off? If not, perhaps getting him to do the dropping off is a better alternative. Does he seem unhappy when you pick him up? It’s unlikely – but possible – that your baby and the babysitter or carer may just not be a good “fit”.
Quick tip: Teething and the older baby
“If your baby is on solids and is fed up with using plastic teething toys, try pieces of frozen fruit such as banana or apple. The cold, delicious fruit is a comfort to sore gums!” — Charu