I usually take it to mean sometime in that month - but I don't know if that's actuall what they mean.
Did you know Einstein didn't talk till he was 4?!
Here's an article from the Guardian - a mum talking about her late speaking boy. It's got a bit of an anti-expert tone - I'm certainly not meaning to put you off seeking advice at all, as if there is something wrong it's best looked at, but I thought you might find it reassuring anyway.
I queried my son's lack of babbling at 11 months with the HV, who advised a wait and see approach. He said his first word at 14 months (again slightly later than the "typical"), but now, at 21 months, I would say he has around 100 words and is using two-word sentences. His pronounciation is dreadful tho! Anyway I would really advise you to not worry! Easier said than done though, I know.
Mine (twins) didn't say anything meaningful at all until they were about 17mo. By that point I was frantic and had them assessed by speech and language people, who deemed them to be fine. They are now 2.2 and still only use 3 word sentences occasionally, mostly it's one word with an expression or gesture. Please try not to worry. 8m is very early.
i blame this concern on those bloody milestone charts. throw it out it only causes worry anyway. DS1 never said a word until he was 3 years old and now theres no stopping him. DS2 talked from 8 months. Both same gene pool and upbringing.who knows.
Is your baby very active? My DD was/is good speeh wise but her gross motor skills development was pretty slow.
She said her firs word (pointed at the dog and said 'dog') at just less than 9 months but didn't crawl until 11.5 months.
I've heard that if they're concentrating on one thing they're often slower at another.
DD is 13 months now and has lots of words: yes, no, nice, look, wow, dog, mama, dada, duck, but she only started pulling up to stand last week.
You little one is probably doing really well in another area and 8 months is far to early to worry about this stuff anyway. I've just checked and have a video of the day DD first babbled properly (dadadada) and she was almost exactly 8 months old. I doubt vry much you have anything to worry about.