Its really hard to know what to do, I know that. I have questioned myself to death SO many times. While its true you dont want her to start to learn to manipulate people with her cries she is still quite young and you dont always know whats causing it at this age. If you know exactly what had upset her, like say you took something away from her or you put her in the playpen and she didnt want to be, then at least you know what she is upset about.
I kind of take the approach of "if is not an inconvenience to you or your family" then go ahead. What they need to learn is that you will love them and will be there to comfort them, etc but also that the whole world and family do not revolve around them. If you have the time to hold her, then hold her. But she also has to learn that if you are right in the middle of say loading the dishwasher, you wont drop everything just to hold her ( unless of course she is hurt or something). Know what I mean. And always talk to her and tell her what you are doing and why. They understand so much more so much earlier than you think! Just tell her, Mommy is busy right now, Mommy can hold you in a few minutes,etc.
At 8 months though when in doubt I would err on the side of comforting. They cant talk and you dont know forsure what it upsetting her. SHe is still in the age of needing to learn that the world and her family are a place where she can trust and get love and support and she is not yet cognitively at a point of being able to think through and manipulte with crying. Now after about 18 months, its another story. That is around the time when they try full force to see just how much then can minipulate you and just how much it takes to get you to give in and do what they want. Thats the point at which you have to be really carefuly not to give in and not to ever let them think crying and tantruming is going to work in getting them their way.
Good luck. I am sure you are a great Mommy and doing a great job!
Will 2-6-00 ( PE at 35 weeks)
Elizabeth 7-3-01 ( NO PE)
#3 EDD 10-25-04 Its a girl! So far so good!
Proud Aunt to Ethan born 27 weeks (March 8th) weighing 1lb 8 ounces! Our little fighter!
Now 4 pounds 9 ounces and home!!