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SEVEN- TO EIGHT MONTH TYPICAL DEVELOPMENT CHECKLIST (©Diane Bahr) Place a check mark next to the characteristics you see in your seven- to eight- month-old baby

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Typical 7- to 8- Month-Old Baby

YES   NO  
Integrates involuntary suckling reflex (seems to be disappearing 6-12 months)        
Is integrating gag reflex (now found on back ⅓ of the tongue secondary to appropriate feeding & mouthing experiences; 6-9 months)        
Controls the transverse (side) tongue reflex (6-8 months)        
Controls the phasic (up-down) bite reflex (5-9 months)        
Uses increasing diagonal rotary jaw movement (6-11 months)        
Rests tongue in the roof of the closed mouth to help maintain palate shape        
Integrates grasp reflex (seems to disappear around 8-months)        
Uses mirror neurons in feeding making it important for care-providers to participate & demonstrate (eating & drinking are social/interactive activities)        
Gets bottom 2 front teeth (central incisors) between 6 & 10 months        
Gets top 2 front teeth (central incisors) between 8 & 12 months; removes food from bottom lip with top front teeth        
Begins to get teeth with appropriate biting & chewing experiences        
Has closed mouth & easy nose breathing during sleep & when mouth is inactive/empty        
Rests tongue in the roof of the closed mouth to help maintain palate shape        
Is free of tethered oral tissues (tongue, lip, &/or cheek ties)        
Sucks liquid from breast &/or bottle with up-down tongue & jaw movement        
Increases suck, swallow, breathe sequences on the breast &/or bottle (different on breast than bottle)        
Learns to manage appropriate food & liquid textures; relies less on breastfeeding & bottle-feeding over time        
Drinks from an open cup (held by care-provider) with wide jaw movements at first; cup placed on lips, but not into lip corners (5-7 months)        
Drinks 1 to 3 sucks from open cup with improved jaw control (6-8 months)        
Uses up-down tongue movement during open cup-drinking around 8 months        
Learns to drink from a straw with straw placed only on lips (6-12 months)        
Uses continuous, consecutive sucks (3 or more) during proper straw-drinking (6-12 months)        
Looks at the spoon & holds mouth still prior to taking food from the spoon (6-7 months)        
Moves upper lip forward & downward to remove food from the spoon (6-8 months)        
Moves lower lip inward after food removed from spoon (6-12 months)        
Begins to close lips during swallowing around 8 months        
Can pick up food pieces with a fist & hold a soft baby cookie/cracker to eat it (6-8 months)        
Can pass a piece of food from one hand to the other (8-9 months)        
Uses jaw movements matching shape & size of the food when taking bites & chewing (6+ months)        
Tightens lips & cheeks to keep food in place during chewing on side where food is placed (6+ months)        
Moves lips with chewing (6-9 months)        
Moves lips inward slightly when food remains on them; moves lip corner & cheek inward on the side of chewing (8-11 months)        
Moves upper lip forward & downward during chewing (8-12 months)        
Uses lips & cheeks to control & move food (8-18 months)        
Uses up-down biting & chewing/munching on a soft cookie (6-9 months) & on a hard cookie (6-19 months)        
Uses diagonal rotary chewing on the side where food is placed (6-9 months)        
Controls biting on a soft cookie (7-12 months)        
Moves tongue up & down with the jaw, but begins moving tongue toward small pieces of food on the side gums with a rolling &/or shifting motion (6-9 months)        
Begins to move the tongue independently from the jaw during sucking (7-11 months); transfers food from center of tongue to both sides of mouth (7-12 months)        

6-8 Month Foods/Liquids (unless advised otherwise by pediatrician, dietician, etc.)
Milled, blended, or well-mashed vegetables & fruits (well-cooked with small, soft lumps)        
Wheat-free soft cookies, biscuits, & crackers; teething biscuits        
Cooked rice (sticky)        
Sips of water, formula, or breast milk from an open- &/or straw-cup (lips only on cup rim/straw)        
Breast milk or formula from breast or bottle, allowing baby to self-limit        

BODY DEVELOPMENT (Typical 7- to 8- Month Old)
When on the Stomach (Typical 7-Month Old)        
Can easily bear & shift weight to reach/grasp toy frequently rolling to the side to play with or bring toy to mouth        
Uses a radial-palmer & inferior scissors grasp (fingers & thumb increasingly work together)        
Pushes with both arms to pivot/move body in a circle; plays with leg movement        
Uses visual, vestibular (head position in space), tactile/touch, & proprioceptive (awareness in muscles & joints) sensory systems for lateral/side weight shifting        
Can steady/stabilize shoulders & trunk/core while making needed body adjusts for activities        

When on the Stomach (Typical 8-Month Old) Usually moves immediately to hands/knees, crawling, &/or sitting; does not seem to like being on the back (making diaper change a challenge)

When Sitting (Typical 7-Month-Old) Prefers sitting position to being on back
Pulls self to sitting using shoulder, trunk/core, abdominal, hip, arm, & leg muscles        
Sits independently with trunk/core & hip/pelvic control        
Reaches with one or both hands for toys or objects        
Shakes, bangs, examines, & moves objects from hand-to-hand        
Rotates trunk/core following head movement (weight shifted to side of head turn); eventual reaching to the side        
Moves from sitting to quadruped (on hands and knees for crawling)        

When Sitting (Typical 8-Month-Old)
Varies sitting positions (e.g., ring/circle, long leg, side-sitting)        
Is most stable when ring/circle sitting; uses hands to hold, explore, & mouth objects (can hold objects in each hand & bang them together)        
Turns/rotates body toward toys or people via leg & trunk/core adjustments (reaching is led by head turning)        
Grasps objects using radial-digital grasp with thumb & finger tips, as well as scissor grasp with thumb & side of curled index finger        
Handles & explores shape, size, texture, & color of toys; moves toys from hand-to-hand; drops toys intentionally        
May begin finger/hand-feeding with appropriate & safe foods        
Moves from sitting to reciprocal crawling (movement of opposite arms and legs while rotating core/trunk), & moves from crawling to sitting        

When in Quadruped (on hands & knees) Typical 7-Month-Old
Rocks front, back, & side-to-side with movement & control first initiated by the arms        
Develops increasing lateral (side-side) & diagonal (from one shoulder to other hip) weight shifting with improving body & pelvic/hip control        
Uses vestibular (head position in space), visual, tactile/touch, & proprioceptive (awareness in muscles & joints) systems in quadruped        
May push up into bear-standing using shoulder girdle stability/steadiness) & leg mobility/movement (on hands & feet with hips up)        
May use primitive creeping (arms move baby forward with stomach on a surface); not all babies creep        
Crawls on hands & knees with stomach lifted using lateral, diagonal, & rotational (combination of lateral & diagonal) movements in the body        
Reaches for & carries toys in hand when crawling (hand control developing)        

When Crawling Typical 8-Month-Old
Crawls reciprocally with alternating movements in arms & legs guided by weight shifts, as well as diagonal, rotary, & opposing movements (counter-rotation) in the trunk/core        
Carries appropriate small objects in one hand when crawling        

When Pulling to Stand & Cruising Typical 7-month Old
Lifts hands to furniture, pulls up to kneeling, half-kneeling, & standing        
Looks at or reaches for toys with one hand while holding onto furniture with the other hand        
Cruises along furniture with side-to-side weight shift, but cannot lower self to floor without falling or sitting        
Places full weight on legs when hands held (using trunk/core & hip control)        
May make stepping motions if chest supported        

When Pulling to Stand from Crawling Typical 8-Month-Old
Uses arm lifting, strength, & control as legs assist & adjust when pulling with arms to stand        

When Kneeling Typical 8-Month-Old
Flexes/bends hips initially; will use back & abdominal/stomach muscles in this process over time        

When Half-Kneeling Typical 8-Month-Old
Shifts weight in trunk/core & hips for legs to move separately (dissociation) Can pull to stand from half-kneeling & use arms/hands for reaching/grasping        

When Climbing Typical 8-Month Old
Alternates weight shift from side-to-side to explore environment & unique surfaces (e.g., climbing up-stairs with supervision)        

When Standing Typical 8-Month-Old
Likes to move & cruise, as well as reach, grasp, explore, & handle toys        
Shifts weight & rotates trunk/core, as well as hips/pelvis to the side baby is facing; aligns shoulders with hips (hip muscles dynamically stabilize/steady pelvis & legs)        
Can stand while holding care provider’s fingers/hands; baby’s arms are positioned upward        

When Cruising Typical 8-Month-Old
Uses hip & leg muscles, but initially elevates & fixes/stiffens shoulders        
Rotates head, trunk/core, & hips to the side the baby is facing; shoulders & hips are aligned        
Shifts weight from side-to-side using reciprocal/opposite leg & arm movements representing diagonal trunk control (from one shoulder to other hip)        
Produces immature stepping movements with hands held by care provider; baby’s arms are positioned upward        

Primary References

•Bahr, D. (2018). Feed your baby and toddler right: Early eating and drinking skills encourage the best development. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons.
•Bahr, D. C., & Hillis, A. E. (2001). Neurological and anatomical bases. In D. C. Bahr Oral motor assessment and treatment: Ages and stages (pp. 1-41). USA: Pearson College Division.
•Bly, L. (1994). Motor skills acquisition in the first year: An illustrated guide to normal development. USA: Psychological Corp.
•Feldenkrais, M. (1972). Awareness through movement (Vol. 1977). New York: Harper and Row.
•Morris, S. E., & Klein, M. D. (2000). Pre-Feeding skills: A comprehensive resource for mealtime development. (2nd ed.) . San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skill Builders.
•Neuro Restart (2019). Primitive reflexes. Retrieved from
•Vulpe, S. G. (1994). Vulpe assessment battery-revised: Developmental assessment, performance analysis, individualized programming for the atypical child. East Aurora, NY: Slosson Educational Publications.