Mother and Baby

8 Week Old Baby Development

Baby development week 8

What can you expect when your baby is eight weeks old? 

Yes, it has already been almost two months since you gave birth! As your baby reaches this milestone, we’re sure you have plenty of questions about their development. Here’s what to expect as your baby reaches this milestone.

How should an 8-week-old baby be developing physically?

By two months old your baby will have grown about two inches and their brain is on the way to that milestone too. All the growing and maturing will be taking a toll on their body, which means fat pads may be forming in their cheeks as their muscles get used to feeding.

Changes in your baby’s hair are also a real possibility, whether they were born with some and it’s falling out or born without and it’s growing. You may even see them develop their natural eye colour, as oppose to the blue most babies are born with.

Your baby is discovering her arms and legs now, which means lots of reaching and kicking. As she tests her new reflexes, the movements may appear a bit jagged at first, but by the end of week eight they should seem more co-ordinated and controlled.

How much should an 8-week old baby weigh?

Your baby will likely have gained between 2-3 pounds since they were born, but every baby is different. If you haven’t been weighing them frequently, the two-month mark is a good time to try, although they should have been weighed at their 6-week doctor check-up.

How should an 8-week-old baby be cognitively developing?

Your baby will have started to realise how fun it is to smile, and will likely be showing their gums to everyone now, whether it’s you, your siblings or strangers in the street. They are starting to notice differences between people, and so you may find them staring intently at people with glasses or stranger haircuts.

Since they’re more alert for longer and can focus further now, they’ll be fixated on different colours and patterns. Your baby's hearing should also be improving, and they will soon be able to distinguish between different voices.

Being around lots of people will help your baby’s social skills, especially if they have family members who can play gently with them. However, don’t overstimulate them and ensure they get some peace and quiet too.

What jabs should an 8-week-old baby have?

It’s finally time for that first immunisation appointment! Don’t worry, we have some great tips to ease your fears and make the appointment as stress-free as possible for the both of you. 

In this first appointment, your baby will receive their first dose of the 5-in-1 injection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Hib (haemophilus influenza type B).

Then, they’ll get their PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) which fights pneumococcal infections, Rotavirus vaccine (which is a common cause of diarrhoea and sickness) and Meningococcal Group B which protects against things like meningitis and septicaemia.

They will receive these vaccinations either by injection or for rotavirus orally (a liquid dropped into their mouth). The injections are given in their upper thigh, one injection for each leg. Despite sounding traumatic, it should only take a few seconds.

If your baby has a cough or cold the immunisations can still go ahead, however if they have a fever, diarrhoea or are very unwell the vaccinations may be postponed.

One particularly likely scenario is that your baby may get a fever from the meningitis B vaccine. The nurse giving the immunisations may advise you to give them infant paracetamol afterwards.

How much should an 8-week-old baby be sleeping?

While your baby is still likely to be waking up in the middle of the night, they should be starting to sleep in solid blocks of 5-6 hours at night. Their daytime naps should be less frequent but longer, which is useful if you do want them to sleep through the night.

By two months, babies sleep an average of 11-15 hours per day, notably less than the 18 hours they slept in those first precious few weeks. If you’re having trouble establishing a routine, check out our best advice and find the sleeping routine for you. 

How much should an 8-week-old baby be eating?

As your baby nears two months old, they will likely have gained about three pounds, which means all that feeding has been paying off. They will continue to have growth spurts and need more food, but they’re still in control of how much they should and shouldn’t eat so it’s important to continue to follow their lead. A good guideline is 150-200ml per kilo of their weight. If you’ve started expressing, you can keep a better track of how much your baby is eating. However, if you’re mainly breastfeeding, our best advice is to follow your baby’s lead.  

8-week-old baby crying: Dealing with colic

If your baby is suffering from colic, a condition that affects up to half of young infants, you’ll have noticed a sudden onset of excessive crying. Although it can be distressing to deal with, there are some things you can do to help.  

How much should an 8-week-old baby be pooing?

Now that your baby has grown about two inches and gained about three pounds, they’ve surely been feeding a lot, and therefore pooing a lot. However, if you’re worried your baby’s nappy changes are not regular enough, remember that between one and ten poos per day is still normal. If they’re going less than three times a week, and are clearly in pain while filling their nappy, they may have constipation and should be taken to a doctor.

Milestones of an 8-week-old baby

  • New motor skills: Your baby is discovering all of their new motor skills. Kicking and punching (the air, of course), grasping and grabbing, pushing and rolling – her arms and legs will be in for some exercise this week. They’re unlikely to be rolling onto their front just yet, but keep an eye on them if they are on elevated surfaces as they will be trying to test those rolling skills.
  • Immunisations: Your baby is off for her first jabs! Check out our advice above on how to handle this scary step.
  • Drooling: Your baby may not be teething yet, but their saliva glands are surely developing, which means you’ll be met with a lot of drool this week!

What problems should parents of an 8-week-old baby be aware of?

  • Crying: The two-month mark is a difficult time for both you and your baby. All of the growing, both physically and cognitively is likely making them tired and frustrated. With that comes what feels like a lot of crying. However, we have some great advice on how to soothe a crying baby here. 

  • Postnatal Depression: Are you overwhelmed by guilt or feelings of failure? Do you feel like everything could go wrong and it’s all your fault? You may be experiencing postnatal depression. It’s very normal, with one in ten women suffering. It’s important to understand the signs and have a chat to your GP if you recognise any of the symptoms mentioned. 

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