Parents who agree on how to bring up their child(ren) are likely to have children who are able to relate to others, achieve at school, and are confident, but making decisions and keeping to them is not always easy. Sometimes one of you needs to make a quick decision without talking to your partner. Changing or making unilateral decisions can be frustrating for the other partner.
Co-parenting is about making joint decisions so that from day one your baby gets the same message from both of you and as your baby grows he will know that you are consistent and reliable in the way you help him. Children from positive co-parenting families are less likely to become confused from mixed messages.
At 8 months old your baby is becoming more mobile and will be exploring the environment. Making the home safe will help baby to explore safely and will be a pleasurable experiences for all of you. Making decisions such as what you leave in baby’s reach and what you move, checking plugs/cables are not available to little fingers is important so that baby doesn’t get mixed messages about what he can and shouldn’t touch.
If he isn’t already doing so you baby will soon be pulling himself up to stand – check that furniture is sturdy and won’t fall on top of baby. No sooner is baby standing aided but he will then take that step to independent standing so making sure that furniture is secure is important for his safety.
Moving furniture around will take the two of you deciding what is best for the rooms and for your baby’s safety. Baby’s mobility also means that he may want to eat on the move so deciding whether that is ok or whether you want to have all meals at a table or in the kitchen is another decision for both of you. You may also find that baby doesn’t show much interest in food because exploring is so much more fun but his nutrition is important as well.
To get him interested in food and to get him used to being at the dining table to eat you could breastfeed there during the day. Having some healthy finger foods which you can eat whilst breastfeeding may help interest your baby in eating solids as well.
The kitchen is an area where babies like to explore. Have one cupboard where you keep plastic items for him to play with and secure the other cupboard doors, especially those with chemical products and breakables. Be sure to keep any medications out of his reach.
As your baby grows and becomes steadier at standing and moving around you will be able to move furniture back to its original place – think of it as spring cleaning in stages. Cupboard doors may need to stay closed to him for longer. You should keep your decisions flexible so that they can be changed to meet baby’s developing needs as your family grows.
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