Nothing is more important to new parents than a restful night’s sleep. Assuming this is the case, you’ve taken great pains to devise a nap and bedtime schedule that works for everyone in the household.
Sleeping through the night as an infant is more common by the time your baby is 8 months old (ideally!) (with one or two wakings at the most). You may still be fatigued, but you’ve probably come to believe that the restless nights of the newborn period are behind you at this point.
Babies tend to go through a sleep regression around the age of 8 months. Sleep regressions can be frightening and can have a detrimental impact on everyone’s sleep.
The good news is that this decline will not endure indefinitely! Continue reading to learn more about this hiccup and how to get a good night’s sleep for everyone in your home.
What is the 8 month sleep regression?
At around 7 to 10 months, a regression known as the 8-month sleep regression begins. Temporary sleep disturbances and more frequent nighttime awakenings are the hallmarks of this phase (with time spent awake at night often lasting for long periods).
You may notice that your 8-month-old isn’t sleeping as well as he or she used to, or that your usual bedtime procedures don’t yield the same effects. After just 5 to 10 minutes of rocking, a baby who is regularly rocked and held to sleep may no longer fall asleep. Alternatively, a baby who normally goes asleep on his or her own will abruptly protest if he or she is placed in the cot while awake.
Why does the 8 month regression happen?
Some of the reasons for these shifts include:
1. Growing out of the 3-nap wake windows
By the time your kid is 7 months old, he or she will begin to require longer stretches of uninterrupted sleep in order to fall asleep. This causes many newborns to reject and/or skip the third nap of the day (despite our best efforts!), resulting in an overtired state that causes them to go to sleep. Even infants who have successfully made the transition to two naps per day may initially have difficulty sustaining an extended period of awake time.
In turn, being overtired can lead to trouble falling asleep at night and a restless night’s sleep. It’s not the best place to sleep!
2. Separation anxiety
As a child grows, he or she will experience feelings of separation anxiety. When you leave your infant alone, it can be difficult for him or her to go asleep. Children who are separated from their parents, whether permanently or temporarily, experience times of separation anxiety, regardless of where they are raised: at home or in a facility away from home. When children reach this age, it’s not uncommon for them to feel anxious about being apart from their parents, especially at bedtime.
3. Greater mobility
As soon as your baby is able to sit up on their own, or even stand on their own, it’s a huge joy to watch. These milestones can also make a baby less satisfied to fall asleep comfortably in their crib as they reach these points. You’ve undoubtedly already observed how much more fun it may be for them to practice their new motor skills in the middle of the night or right before bed.
At this age, teething is also a frequent occurrence, and it can cause varied degrees of discomfort. If your 8-month-old infant is a night owl, teething may be to blame. Having an erupting tooth might make it difficult for a newborn to sleep.
How long does the 8 month sleep regression last?
Keep in mind that no matter what is affecting your child’s sleep, it’s all temporary. However, sleep regressions normally last between two and six weeks, so your 8-month-old will ultimately adjust to a nap schedule of two naps, get over their separation anxiety, adjust to their increased mobility, and those pesky teeth will begin to erupt.
When does it start?
Starting approximately 7 to 9 months old, this regression can impair a baby’s slumber. There are many 8-month-old sleep regression symptoms, including difficulty falling asleep and more frequent nighttime awakenings.
When does it end?
When it comes to sleep regressions, babies who are at least 10 months old should be over them. Many parents find that after their baby gets used to longer wake times and can make it to bed without being overtired, their child’s sleep improves.
Signs your baby is going through the 8-month sleep regression
Signs of a sleep regression include, but are not limited to the following:
- Crankiness. If your baby is cranky because she isn’t getting enough sleep, adhere to your regular schedule and keep in mind that babies this age need 12 to 16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period (often 9 or 10 to 12 hours at night), including naps in the middle of the day.
- Increased nighttime awakenings. A sudden increase in the number of times your “excellent sleeper” wakes up at night may indicate that she’s going through her latest sleep regression.
- Sleep disturbances, including difficulty getting to sleep. Is it becoming increasingly difficult to get your baby to sleep, and does she wake up frequently during the night? Perhaps the 8-month sleep regression is responsible.
- Clinginess. During the 8-month sleep regression, your baby may be more agitated when you’re away from her, as well as more clingy when you’re around.
- More sleep during the day. Normal for a baby who isn’t sleeping as well as she used to is to play catch up during the day (watch for a longer daytime nap).
My 8 month old won’t nap: Does the 8 month regression affect naps?
If your baby has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep during naptime, you are not alone. Short or missing naps are possible because of this. Typically, a baby takes three naps during the course of one day, and two naps the following day. There may be a few weeks where your baby alternates between the 3- and 2-nap patterns as they learn to tolerate being awake for extended periods of time. This is perfectly normal!
6 tips to handle 8 month old sleep regression like an expert
When you’re up at 3 a.m. looking up this topic on Google, 2 to 6 weeks of sleep deprivation undoubtedly seems like an eternity. To help you and your family cope with sleep regression, here are some useful hints. However, keep in mind that this is a temporary phase that will pass in due course.
1. Offer additional comfort as needed.
If your infant is having problems falling asleep, you may want to provide some extra comfort. But be mindful that if you begin a new pattern with parental assistance, this can evolve into new, enduring habits that can have a detrimental impact on sleep once the phase is finished..
As an example, you might consider patting or rocking your infant a little longer during their bedtime routine in order to assist them fall asleep. In addition to the sleep regression, if you start rocking or patting them all the way to sleep, this can evolve into a new habit that can create sleep disruptions aside from the regression itself.
2. Follow age-appropriate wake windows.
Reduce overnight awakenings by getting your kid to bed before they are overtired. In between naps, your baby may require 2 – 3.5 hours of awake time, depending on his or her age and the time of day.
3. Consider sleep training.
Maintaining and/or strengthening one’s ability to sleep on one’s own can lessen the influence of regressions on one’s sleep. Your baby’s sleep, especially if they’re in the middle of a sleep regression around 8 months, may benefit from your assistance in helping them learn to fall asleep on their own. Ferber or “cry it out” methods are often discouraged by our staff. This is a more sophisticated technique to sleep training because it includes gradually weaning away from helping your child fall asleep.
4. Don’t rush to drop the third nap.
A 3-nap schedule every few days can help your infant “reset” rather than completely removing the third nap at the first sign of nap resistance. This can help with the transition to a two-nap routine. The third nap can be discontinued if your kid is 8 to 9 months old and is able to stay awake for longer periods of time without assistance from you.
5. Offer practice time for new skills.
If your baby has recently become more mobile, it’s likely that they’ll want to put their newfound abilities to the test while they’re supposed to be sleeping. During waking hours, offer your infant lots of opportunities to practice sitting and standing so that the transition to the crib is less stressful.
6. Give your baby space to wind down.
At nap and nighttime, even if you provide additional time for practice, odds are that your baby will continue to play despite your best efforts. This is a frequent and appropriate behavior for children of all ages. It’s best to give your infant some alone time to wind down if they’re playing instead of napping. It’s better to wait a few minutes between putting your baby down and trying to get them back to sleep than to keep trying and having them wake right back up again.
8 month sleep regression FAQ
Q: Is the 8 month sleep regression a myth?
Sleep regression after eight months is a real phenomenon. When a baby is 8 months old, he or she is likely to begin experiencing new sleep difficulties.
Q: Do all babies have sleep regressions at 8 months?
Each baby’s 8-month sleep regression experience is unique, and some babies never experience it at all! At this age, the ability of a baby to sleep properly depends on a variety of things, including their schedule and whether or not they have developed strong independent sleeping skills. A sleep regression isn’t always to blame if your 8-month-old baby isn’t sleeping through the night.
Q: Can the 8 month sleep regression start early?
In fact, it is quite usual for babies to begin resisting and/or missing naps around the 7-month mark. These sleep issues can lead to more difficulties getting to sleep at night and altered sleep patterns during the day.
Q: Do 7 month, 9 month or 10 month sleep regressions exist as well?
The 8-month sleep regression includes any new sleep problems that arise between the ages of 7 and 10 months.
Q: Why is my 8 month old baby not sleeping?
What’s the state of your 8-month-sleep? old’s Has he or she been waking up in the night crying? There could be a lot of reasons for this. Teething, conquering milestones, a shift in schedule, hunger, or a parent-led sleep association are the most prevalent causes of sleep disturbances at this age. At this age, many babies do best sleeping with 1 or 2 night feedings.
Q: 8 month old baby won’t sleep unless held. What should I do?
Your infant can develop a new manner of falling asleep with practice and patience. Most of the time, we suggest a gradual transition away from rocking your infant to sleep. Changing your bedtime can be the simplest and most effective way to improve your sleep habits.
Q: My 8 month old baby never had a sleep regression. Is this normal?
Yes! When it comes to a baby’s sleep schedule, there is a wide range of what is considered typical. Some babies’ sleep does not degrade between the ages of 7 and 10 months; instead, it stays the same. Of course, this isn’t the case for all 8-month-olds.
Q: Why is my 8 month old baby so fussy at sleep times?
Babies can be fussy for a variety of reasons when it comes to nap time or sleep. It’s usual for a newborn to become agitated due to overtiredness and teething. Eating and fussiness can both be exacerbated during periods of rapid growth.