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Baby Development at 8 Weeks

author image Chris Kinsey
Chris Kinsey works as an editor for a medical publisher and has experience dealing with many topics, ranging from athlete's foot to cancer and brain injury. Kinsey has a great deal of freelance experience writing for sports and parenting magazines as well. Kinsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California University of Pennsylvania.
Baby Development at 8 Weeks
At eight weeks, your baby is taking a few significant steps forward. Photo Credit baby image by Dron from Fotolia.com

By the time your baby is 8 weeks old, you are likely still trying to keep up with all the changes to date. During the first year, babies change and develop so quickly, it seems as though it is happening before your very eyes. By week 8, there are a few changes you should be starting to notice.


According to Pregnancy Calendars, your baby should gain between one and four pounds, and grow one to two inches by week 8. His neck is getting stronger, and he should be able to lift his head about 45 degrees. Give him tummy time every day so he can practice. He's also smiling non-stop, and discovering the many things he can hold small toys and rattles.


Many babies at around 8 weeks can distinguish mommy's and daddy's voices, according to the experts at BabyCenter. Try to notice how she looks to see where certain noises are coming from, and really starts to focus on you when you speak. She'll also become much more vocal herself with the coos and gurgles.

BabyCenter also points out that your baby will become interested in more complex shapes and colors. They suggest showing her --- and letting her touch --- a wider variety of objects like stuffed animals and plastic or wooden kitchen utensils.

She's also beginning to store memories, according to BabyCenter. She'll begin to anticipate certain events when given a clue. For example, she may get excited when she sees a bottle because she knows she is about to be fed.

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8-Week Well Visit

This is an important check-up. He'll get weighed and measured to make sure he is growing at a healthy rate. His vision and hearing also will be checked. The doctor will examine your little one from head to toe to make sure he's healthy and hitting the appropriate developmental milestones. Your doctor also will screen for common health issues, like diaper rash and baby acne. Make sure you write down your questions for the doctor so you do not forget any.

This is also the visit where your baby may get multiple shots for the first time, according to Babies Online. He will most likely get a total of eight vaccines -- some are combined into one shot. If you have concerns about any of the vaccines, talk to your pediatrician first.

Expert Insight

BabyCenter notes that this is the time when your baby's hearing starts to noticeably develop. To help protect your baby's hearing, try keeping things out of her ears, including cotton swabs. You can prevent ear infections by making sure she is healthy and staying on top of any ailments when you suspect one.

According to Parents Magazine, you can also try to stimulate hearing development by exposing her to new sounds like different types of music or wind chimes. Also, talk to her as much as possible.


BabyCenter encourages parents to realize that not all babies develop at the same rate. Try not to be overly concerned if your baby is not yet displaying some of these "milestones," or if he sometimes looks away while you are talking to him. Experts do, however, encourage you to tell the pediatrician if your baby does not seem to respond to your voice at all or doesn't startle at sounds around him.

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