The eighth month of the newborn

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The eighth month of life can be more critical than the previous one because it is right now that the baby usually manifests the symptoms of separation anxiety, a feeling very close to the anguish that appears when the mother moves away and is fed by a vague but painful fear of losing it and never finding it again. In conjunction with separation anxiety, another new feeling emerges: the fear of strangers that the child expresses in a particularly eloquent way during any pediatric visits. Up to five six months, in fact, the child tends to let himself be handled by the pediatrician without protesting and, indeed, often gratifies him with smiles and satisfied gurgling. At eight months, however, he may cry desperately as soon as he sees him or immediately after feeling the touch of his hand. (Read the whole agenda of the baby, from 0 to 12 months)

In this article

  • All about separation anxiety
  • If he starts waking up again at night
  • How to administer the medicines
  • The types of toys 
  • It can happen ... flu and cough
  • What yes, what not

All about separation anxiety

Separation anxiety arises from the fear of being abandoned by the mother and generally appears around the eighth month of life. In some cases it may appear earlier, in others after. She always expresses herself with restlessness, difficulty falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, desperate cries when the mother too goes away only to reach another room. Here's what else you should know.

  • Separation anxiety can have various levels of intensity depending on the temperament of the child and the mother's ability to reassure him. In this last regard, it is important that on the one hand the mother is very affectionate with the child and she devotes herself to him completely whenever she can and on the other hand she shows herself serene in the face of any manifestation of discomfort. That is, the child must not acknowledge that the mother is frightened by her reactions, nor that she feels somehow guilty of what is happening to him, nor that she is irritated or, worse, angry.
  • The fear of being abandoned is a feeling that usually concerns the mother, but in some cases it can also develop towards the father. The eventuality is frequent especially in cases where the father has taken care of the little one every day since the first months of life, also taking care of his hygiene. Exactly as a mother must do, even the father must make the child feel his affection as much as possible, not only by spending time with him but also by caressing him, kissing him, hugging him. Physical contact is indeed an extraordinary tool of consolation.

  • In addition to handing the teddy bear to the child, for its function as a symbol of affection and maternal presence, when the mother moves away from him she can offer him a previously worn t-shirt, in which therefore there is his smell. The trick is particularly comforting and, therefore, reassuring for most children.

If he starts waking up again at night

It is precisely in this month that the baby can start waking up again at night, maybe screaming and crying. The eventuality is relatively common and is a direct consequence of separation anxiety which during the night sleep can become magnified, turning into very intense feelings of restlessness and apprehension. The child should absolutely not be allowed to cry, on the contrary it is necessary to run immediately and make him feel his presence through caresses and affectionate phrases whispered gently. Instead, we should avoid lifting him from the bed, to console him by leaving him lying down. However, if he continues to cry it is a must to pick him up until he calms down completely. If the only way to reassure him is to welcome him in the Latvian it may be appropriate to opt for this solution, especially if you have to go to work in the morning. Putting him to sleep in the bed at least until the critical period is exceeded is a choice not to make only if you are deeply opposed to this possibility and if you are unable to rest with the baby in bed. On the other hand, it is not worth giving up this option as a matter of principle, since it has never been shown that it is essential for the child's education to sleep in his own bed. In summary, the absolute priority should be to be able to rest at night, so the possibility of making room for the child in the Latvian is welcome, if this is the only strategy that allows you to do so.

How to administer the medicines

The need to give the child a medicine sooner or later arises. Feeling unsure of what to do or frankly worried is more than understandable until experience is gained. In fact, however, if you have correct information on how to proceed, everything can become very simple.

Medicines in syrup should be given with the spoon present in the package, which should be placed against the lower lip of the mouth, slightly inclined so that the child can suck in the liquid with the movement of the sucking. If you fail with the spoon, you can administer the syrup slowly with the pediatric syringe, without a needle, to be placed in the corner of the mouth. If the operation is still difficult, all that remains is to opt for the teat with reservoir, intended precisely for the administration of liquid medicines. If you need to carry out the aerosol you have to sit comfortably, pick him up and try to distract him with a fairy tale or a song while holding the mask close to his nose and mouth: this is the only way to make him breathe the nebulised substance. correctly. If you need to put eye drops you have to place the nozzle against the inner corner of the eye, after which you have to try to close the eyelids, and then massage them lightly. Finally, to insert a suppository you have to put the baby on his stomach, then he has to bend his knees to bring them close to the abdomen. After having introduced it, you have to gently bring your buttocks closer, keeping them close together for about a minute, in order to prevent the suppository from finding its way and being expelled.

Read also: Aerosol therapy and children

Toys, the various types

Toys are the most natural means of transport towards the playful dimension which is the one in which the child trains for life, engaging all his intellectual abilities and measuring himself with his abilities, which are refined precisely through play. Closed in the enchanted space of the game, where everything is possible (let's pretend we have a horse) where all the represented reality is at hand but, at the same time, where every single object can become something else for the magical exercise of the imagination , the child gains experience, tests himself, seeks and finds solutions, gets excited and defeats boredom. Toys help to make the most of the ideal gym that is play by promoting harmonious psychoemotional development. From the moment he learns to sit and grasp objects, it is therefore advisable to surround him with a reasonable number of toys, taking care to choose those suitable for the age according to what is written on the package. In general, the universe of toys can be divided into five main types according to the activity they suggest. Each type therefore corresponds to a particular playful activity and has its own "basic toy" that every child should have as he or she reaches the age to use it.

The 5 toys par excellence are the ball (movement, skill); the teddy bear and the like (affectivity, care); clothes and accessories for dressing up (fantasy, identification); swords or other toys to compete (simulation of conflicts, possibility to compete, attention to the rules); constructions and cubes to stack (elaboration of strategies, imagination, skills). The first booklets, sturdy and rich in illustrations, must also find their place among the toys. This is how the child is allowed to acquire that familiarity with books that will later lead him to learn and take advantage of the pleasure of reading. In the first year of life and, in particular, from six to eight months, the baby also begins to appreciate toys that emit sounds and noises, if activated by a button that he can manage himself.

It can happen ... cough or flu

The flu

Influenza is a syndrome, that is, a disease that manifests itself with a set of more or less mild symptoms depending on the aggressiveness of the virus involved. A virus that, like that of the cold, changes year after year making it impossible for the immune system to recognize it in time to defeat it before it causes the classic ailments. Among these the most common are colds, coughs, watery and red eyes, throat discomfort, fever, general malaise, aching of the bones, headache.

What to do: The flu has to run its course so there is nothing that can accelerate the healing that usually occurs 5-6 days after the onset of the ailments. Paracetamol should be used to lower fever and relieve malaise. The child must not get cold and must not be exposed to sudden changes in temperature. Every year a flu vaccine is prepared that the Ministry of Health reserves for children with particular health problems, who could face severe complications after contracting the flu.


Cough is a defense mechanism that serves to eliminate mucus from the respiratory tract that is produced when irritants (viruses, bacteria, smoke, exhaust gases) come into contact with the throat, bronchi or lungs (the latter occurrence is however very rare). It may initially be dry and then oily, or dry with hissing associated with labored breathing. In the first case it is almost always due to influenza or parainfluenza viruses and tends to disappear spontaneously without consequences. In the second case it can depend on viruses, bacteria or substances harmful to the respiratory tract and expresses hyperactivity of the bronchi. That is, it is due to a narrowing of the bronchi which respond excessively to the stimulus of irritating factors.

What to do: If there is wheezing and labored breathing, you should consult your pediatrician because it may be necessary to use a bronchodilator drug in spray (salbutamol) or, in the most important cases, cortisone. If it lasts for more than two weeks and is associated with the appearance of greenish mucus with an unpleasant smell, it may be necessary to use the antibiotic that must be prescribed by the pediatrician. A cough that has become greasy not associated with other symptoms of malaise can be controlled by often giving the baby a drink (not if he eats exclusively at the breast), avoiding letting him stay in environments with hot and dry air and possibly making him breathe water vapor, after hearing about the opinion of the pediatrician.

What yes and what no

What YES

If you have twins, each child should have their own toys, well divided into personalized baskets or boxes. This is also a way to help them achieve the inalienable goal of differentiating themselves, making themselves independent from each other. Given this, it is advisable that both twins have toys of the same type, made different by some particular. For example, everyone must have the ball, identical in size but different in color. The same goes for the dolls (each can have its own dress and hairstyle, different from the other), the teddy bear and so on.

thing NOT

The child should not be placed in front of the television, even if he shows that he is attracted to that box that emits sounds and images or even looks at the screen with interest, giving rise to the temptation to use it as a babysitter. This should be valid at least up to two years of life, a time when you can begin to propose some quality cartoons in very small doses. Instead, it is advisable to start reading the fairy tales right away, allowing him to leaf through the chosen book and linger to look at the figures.

Read also: Weaning, tips for the day and for the night


The newborn should ...

Being able to eat a piece of bread or a cookie by holding it firmly in your hand, without dropping it more than once or twice.

The newborn could ...

Exceptionally, he could actively play hide and seek, that is, not just laughing when the mother covers her face but making the gesture in turn, expecting her to laugh.

Read the whole agenda of the baby, from 0 to 12 months

(The child's diary was drafted with the advice of Leo Venturelli, family pediatrician, author of numerous publications on outpatient pediatrics and co-author of popular books for parents including A child is born; The great encyclopedia of the child; From 0 to 6 years, a guide for the family)

Questions and answers

What is separation anxiety? 

It is a feeling very close to the anguish that appears when the mother goes away and is fueled by a vague but painful fear of losing her and never finding her again.

Is it normal for a baby to wake up at night at eight months? 

Yes, it is precisely in this month that the child can start waking up again at night, perhaps screaming and crying.

  • newborn eighth month
  • newborn 8 month
  • child's agenda
  • drugs
  • toys
  • influence
  • cough
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