How Your Child Grows: 4 to 8 Months

Baby fat vs. lean and lanky: Is it just a phase?

Many parents consider these months the height of quintessential baby-ness: Your little bundle is plump and cuddly yet sturdy enough to begin sitting up and trying to crawl. She has a smile that melts, and she’s using it more and more.

Growth

Your baby continues to grow steadily each month. By 8 months she’ll be about two and a half times the size she was at birth. Typically, from 4 to 8 months babies gain between 1 pound and 1.5 pounds per month, and a total of two inches in length. (Keep in mind, however, that every baby develops at her own pace, and there’s a very wide range for what’s considered normal.) Her head will add more than an inch in circumference to accommodate her expanding brain. As your baby nears 8 months, the rate at which her body grows will slow slightly. (The most rapid growth occurs in the first six months.)

As your baby moves around more, she begins to add muscle weight. She’s also adding fat, and her bones are growing, as well. All of which will allow her to hit exciting milestones like rolling over and attempting to crawl or stand. Her body will begin to become more elongated toward the end of this period.

Appearance

At this stage, babies come in all shapes and sizes. Some babies have rolls of fat while others are already lean and lanky. Excess weight, and even obesity, can already become an issue to discuss; your baby’s doctor is the best judge of whether your baby is too heavy or too thin, or just right for her body type.

When your baby is around 6 or 7 months old, you may see something new when she grins: her two bottom front teeth, and soon afterward her two top front teeth will appear. (Most likely, you’ll have noticed the warning signs beforehand: When your baby cries and drools more than usual, you can be fairly certain that she’s beginning to teethe.) Sometimes, however, babies’ teeth come in top teeth first, followed by the bottom ones. Next come the first molars, then the eyeteeth.