Your Baby: Week Eight

Breastfeeding Goals

Woman caressing her baby at the cradle
Bambu Productions/Iconica/Getty Images

How long do you plan on breastfeeding?

It is not something that breastfeeding moms commonly think about, but having a plan or goal for breastfeeding can be helpful.

For example, setting a goal for how long you want to breastfeed can help ensure that you won't stop early if you begin to have problems, as you get help and advice to keep going until you meet your goal.

Deciding how long you want to breastfeed can also help you anticipate any breastfeeding issues that may come up such as:

  • breastfeeding in public
  • going back to work
  • what to do when your baby gets teeth and bites for the first time

And when considering how long to set your goal, remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."

Help Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goal

Whether your breastfeeding goal is two weeks, two months, or two years, if you are having trouble meeting that goal and your baby seems to be weaning before you are ready, then you should get help.

This help might come from other moms who have breastfed their children, a pediatrician who is supportive of breastfeeding, and/or a lactation consultant.

Feeding Schedules

A baby drinking from a bottle.
A baby drinking from a bottle.. Photo: George Doyle / Getty Images

Understanding your baby's feeding schedule is fairly easy at eight weeks. After all, your baby isn't ready for cereal, vegetables, or fruits. And he certainly isn't ready for finger foods or table foods.

That means that at this age, your baby's diet will consist of either breast milk, or if your baby is not breastfeeding, an iron-fortified infant formula.

The main thing that confuses parents is how much and how often to feed their baby.

Amount of Feedings

Things are a little easier for breastfeeding mothers. Since they don't usually have to think about how much to feed their baby, they can just think about how often to nurse.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in the book Your Baby's First Year, says, "most babies are satisfied with 3 to 4 ounces per feeding during the first month, and increase that amount by 1 ounce per month until reach 8 ounces." For a two-month-old, that means that your baby will probably be drinking about 4 to 5 ounces at a time.

The AAP provides another guideline suggesting that "on average, your baby should take in about 2 1/2 ounces of formula a day for every pound of body weight." So for an average two-month-old boy who weighs 12 pounds, that would be about 30 ounces a day.

Keep in mind that these are still averages, so some babies require more or less at each feeding and on each day. If your baby seems satisfied between feedings and is gaining weight normally, then he is likely eating enough.

When to Feed Your Baby

In general, you should still feed your baby when she is hungry, but she has likely moved on to her own regular schedule by now.

At this age, most babies are eating about every 2 to 4 hours, with perhaps one longer stretch of 4 to 6 hours at when they are sleeping. This usually translates into about 7 to 9 feedings a day.

Sleep Schedules

A baby that is actually
A baby that is actually "sleeping like a baby.". Photo © Jill Lang

Is your baby sleeping through the night yet? Should she be?

It kind of depends on your definition of "through the night," but most two-month-olds are still waking up at least once in the middle of the night to eat. In fact, many still wake up twice to eat. Once after a longer stretch of 4 to 6 hours, and then again after 3 or 4 hours.

Some two-month-old babies will make it from about 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. or 6 a.m., and their parents will consider that as sleeping "through the night." For most babies, though, it will be at least another month or two before they are truly sleeping all night or 10 or 11 hours without waking up for a feeding.

To help your baby develop good nighttime sleep habits, it can help to:

  • try to put your baby to bed while she is sleepy but not fully asleep. Still, that doesn't mean that you should leave her to cry alone in her bed if she won't fall asleep on her own at this age. The main goal is that your baby doesn't learn to associate falling asleep with being nursed or rocked since you want her to eventually get to sleep on her own. This habit can take weeks or months to learn, and may be something that you have to work towards in your baby's first few months.
  • put your baby to sleep before she gets overtired.
  • make sure that you aren't letting your two-month-old sleep too much during the day, keeping in mind that the average two-month-old sleeps about 7 or 8 hours during the day in 3 separate naps and 8 or 9 hours overnight.
  • set realistic expectations for your baby, keeping in mind that some two-month-olds eat every 3 hours at night, especially if they still eat every 2 to 3 hours during the day.

Talk to your pediatrician if you think that your baby isn't sleeping as well as she should be.

Baby Product Safety - Bumbo Baby Seat

It is important to support your baby as she learns to sit in her Bumbo Baby Seat.
It is important to support your baby as she learns to sit in her Bumbo Baby Seat until she has good head control.. Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD

By eight weeks, your baby is likely getting tired of simply lying around all the time.

Now that she has better neck and head control, she is likely to want to be in a more upright position for some or much of the day. You may notice this as your baby gets bored or fussy when trying to place her in a position where she is just lying down, like in a car seat, glider, or crib. Instead of lying down all of the time, your baby is going to want to start sitting up more often.

At this point, many parents begin to use a swing or bouncer to keep their baby entertained. While kids enjoy these baby products, since they still put pressure on your child's head, they can still put your baby at risk for developing a flat head.

Other baby products that your baby may enjoy at this age, and which can help keep your baby in an upright position and off her head, include a:

  • seat, such as a Bumbo
  • wrap sling
  • baby carrier

Parents often think of using a wrap sling in the horizontal, newborn carry position. Keep in mind that you can also use your wrap sling in a snuggle hold position to keep your baby facing you in an upright position. And once your newborn is three to six months old, you can switch to a kangaroo-type position to hold your baby upright and facing forward.

Bumbo Baby Seat Safety

Unlike a wrap sling or baby carrier, the Bumbo Baby Seat doesn't include anything to help support your baby's head. That makes it important to continue to support your baby's head while she is in the Bumbo Baby Seat or wait until she has good enough head control to sit in the seat without help.

Parents should also be mindful of the Bumbo warning label and never leave their child unattended or place their baby in a Bumbo on a raised surface, such as a table, desk, or countertop. And remember that the Bumbo is "designed for floor level use only."

Back to Sleep Reminder

Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, as the name implies, is a scary thing.

Fortunately, the rates of SIDS have gone down as parents have been educated that putting a baby to sleep on her back greatly reduces her risk of SIDS.

You wouldn't think that parents would need a reminder to reduce their baby's risk of SIDS. However, you would be surprised at how many parents put their babies to sleep on their stomach simply because they think it helps them sleep better.

Some good reminders include:

Facts About SIDS

The risk of SIDS, begins at about one month, being rare in newborns. It then increases until it reaches a peak when your baby is two to three months of age. That makes it especially important to take every precaution you can to reduce your babies risk of SIDS now that your baby is eight weeks old.

In addition to putting your baby to sleep on her back, and not her side or stomach, other measures to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS include:

  • Always putting your baby to sleep on a firm crib mattress that is covered by a sheet, without any soft objects, loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed toys in the crib.
  • Having your baby sleep in a separate bassinet, crib, or cradle that is close to your bed in the same bedroom, but not in your bed.
  • Giving your baby a pacifier, especially now that your baby is more than a month old, but only offer the pacifier at sleep times, and don't reinsert it once your baby falls asleep.
  • Not exposing your baby to secondhand smoke.
  • Preventing your baby from getting overheated when she is sleeping.
  • Making sure that all caregivers are aware of these recommendations.

Childhood Infections

By the time a baby is eight weeks old, he is likely to be out of the house more often and may even be in daycare already. That means he may already be at risk for many common childhood infections.

Recognizing the symptoms of these illnesses can help prepare you if baby gets sick.


While RSV may just cause a cold in older children, it can cause a serious infection in younger children. These children, including premature babies, can develop bronchiolitis, which is associated with inflammation in the lungs, wheezing and difficulty breathing.


Infants with croup typically wake up in the middle of the night with a cough that sounds like a barking seal and have noisy breathing and a hoarse cry.


Roseola is a common viral infection that causes a high fever for several days. After the fever breaks, a rash breaks out all over your baby's body.

Whooping Cough

Infants with whooping cough or pertussis can have coughing fits that can make it difficult for them to breath.

Unfortunately, infants are still at risk for whooping cough infections from adults who may have a lingering cough that could be caused by an undiagnosed case of pertussis. And while there is a pertussis vaccine, your baby isn't protected until after he gets his third dose when he is about six months old.


Rotavirus is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Your baby can get the new rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, when he is two, four, and six months old to help decrease his chances of getting sick with rotavirus.

Ear Infections

Common ear infection symptoms can include ear pain, fever, fussiness, tugging on the ears, ear drainage, all of which are usually accompanied by a cold.

Week Eight Q&A - Weeks vs. Months

Q. When do you stop describing your baby's age in weeks and start using months? For example, should I say that my baby is eight weeks or two months old?

In general, most parents use weeks until it becomes too confusing.

For example, people usually know exactly what you mean when you say that your baby is six, eight, or even 10 weeks old. It gets a little confusing when you say that your baby is 14, 18, or 20 weeks old, though.

However, using weeks versus months is really just a personal preference.

Keep in mind that your pediatrician may use weeks until your baby is two to three months old. Using weeks allows your pediatrician to be more precise in choosing medical therapies when your baby is sick.

Week Eight Medical Issues - Hair Loss

Surprisingly, babies very often lose their hair, also known as alopecia.

Even those who were born with a full head of hair may find that it is either getting thinner and falling out all over. Other babies just get a bald spot in the back of their head.

This hair loss in babies is usually normal and the hair will quickly grow back.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is the medical term that explains common baby hair loss. A baby's hair often enters a resting state that causes it to easily fall out. This also often happens to older children and adults after a serious illness like a severe infection, high fever or major surgery.

Once your baby's hair enters a growth cycle again, the older, resting hairs are pushed out, making it seem like your baby is losing her hair.

Friction Alopecia

Another way that babies lose their hair is when they lie in the same position, especially flat on their back. These babies often rub the back of their head in their bed, car seat or swing. The friction of rubbing their head against these surfaces causes the hair to come out, creating small bald spots on the back of a baby's head.

Fortunately, these bald spots quickly fill in with hair once the baby is sitting up, rolling over, and spending less time on her back.

Two Month Well Child Check

A baby getting the oral RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine at her two month well child check-up.
A baby getting the oral RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine at her two month well child check-up.. Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD

You will be making frequent visits to your pediatrician during the first year of your child's life to closely monitor his growth and development. These typically include visits at two, four, six, nine, and twelve months.

To get the most of these visits, write down any questions you may have for your pediatrician before the visit so that you don't forget them. This Infant Well Child Checklist can also help you prepare for your baby's checkups.

At the two-month checkup, you can expect:

  • A complete physical exam with special attention to your baby's hips to check for developmental hip dysplasia
  • An examination of your infant's growth and development
  • A review of feeding and sleep schedules
  • Measurement of his height, weight, and head circumference
  • Counseling for injury prevention
  • Immunizations: DTaP, HepB, Hib, IPV, Prevnar, RotaTeq

The next checkup with your pediatrician will be when your infant is four months old.

More Useful Resources:


American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk.

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. The Changing Concept of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. PEDIATRICS Vol. 116 No. 5 November 2005, pp. 1245-1255.

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