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8 month old sleep schedule, sleep schedule for 8 month old

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8-Month Sleep Cycle and 8 Month Old Sleep Schedule

First Year Sleep

Your baby’s sleep cycle is undergoing some big changes at 8 months old, and so is their 8 month old sleep schedule. The 8-month-old sleep regression is one that usually shows up between 8 and 10 months old.  This is a time when babies are actively learning new skills, such as crawling, pulling up, and trying to take a few steps.  During this time of rapid developmental growth, this sleep bump in the road may show itself in various ways.  Here are the top ways to know if your baby is indeed experiencing the 8 month sleep regression:

  1. Disruptions to baby’s normal nighttime sleep routine
  2. Frequent night wakings
  3. Difficulty settling down for naps
  4. Refusing to take naps
  5. Taking shorter naps

Circadian Rhythms

Babies have their internal clocks, or circadian rhythms that dictate their hours of sleep, wake windows, and awake times. At this age, the baby is getting 12-16 hours of sleep per day, including a stretch of 9 to 12 hours each night. Baby is most likely going down to bed between 6:30 pm and 8 pm. At this age, babies may be fussy during their natural bedtime as they go through multiple developmental milestones.

Here are three tips to help align your baby with their natural circadian rhythm:

  1. Aim for an early bedtime
  2. Allow baby the opportunity to fall asleep independently
  3. Aim for a consistent bedtime routine

Top Products to Help Sleep Regression

1. White Noise

baby white noise, white noise for babies, sound of white noise

The Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Sound Machine is a great device for your baby! It comes with three natural sounds with volume control that is light and portable for babies.  The signature sound is the ambient sound of rushing air. In addition, it includes a soothing night light that allows for better sleep.

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2. Sleep Sack

baby sleep sack, baby sleep sacks, sleep sack for baby

The 100% Cotton Halo Sleep Sack is a dream come true for parents of 8-month-olds. This sleep sack is available in a variety of colors and patterns for boys and girls.  It is a wearable blanket that has a convenient 2-way zipper for easier diaper changes.  The sleeveless design will reduce any risk of overheating and keep the baby feeling comfortable all night long.  I would recommend using them for naps as well and buying a couple so you can switch them out while one sleepsack is being washed and/or dirty.

3. Warm Bath

baby bath seat, bath seat baby, baby bath tub seat

By 8 months, your baby is sitting up and would enjoy sitting in this Summer My Bath Seat for Sit-Up Baby Bathing.  This bath seat is placed right into your standard rectangular tub 21″ to 24″ wide.  Your baby will have so much fun playing with his toys in the warm water as he is being washed.  When your baby is allowed the independence to explore their bathtub toys and enjoy themselves, they will be much more relaxed and ready for bed.

4. Bedtime Story

bedtime books for babies, goodnight moon, goodnight moon full book, book goodnight moon

Start getting into the habit of reading your baby a soothing bedtime story before bed.  A good book that my boys always loved (and still do) is the Goodnight Moon board book. It has simple drawings and bright colors. This is truly a classic baby book.  Try to start reading the book in a normal voice and gradually get quieter.  Your calm quiet voice may be just the thing to put the baby right to sleep.

8 Month Old Sample Schedule

Your baby is unique and their needs are also unique.  Finding the right sleep schedule is highly individualized. However, here is a general idea of what your 8 month old baby’s sleep schedule may look like:

  • Wake up time at 7 am
  • First daytime feed (breast or bottle) shortly after wake-up time
  • First solids about 1 hour after feeding at 8 am
  • Second daytime feed (breast or bottle) at 9 am
  • First Nap (1 hour long) at 9:30 am
  • Third daytime feed (breast or bottle) shortly after wake-up time
  • Second solids at 12 pm
  • Second Baby Nap (2 hours long) at 1 pm
  • Fourth daytime feed (breast or bottle) shortly after wake-up time
  • Third solids at 5 pm
  • Bedtime routine (bath, pajamas, and reading a book) at 6:15 pm
  • Fifth daytime feed (breast or bottle) at 6:45 pm
  • Time to go to sleep at 7 pm

Sample Sleep Schedules for 8-Month-Old Babies

Here are some sample sleep schedules for your 8-month-old that may include a third nap.  It will be a helpful guide for you to pick one and try it out.  Feel free to download your free sample sleep schedule or pin it on Pinterest to come back to later.

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8-Month-Old Baby Developmental Milestones

Your 8 month old baby is going through some pretty impressive developmental milestones.  It may be exciting for parents to see all the new things their baby is now capable of doing.

Developmental Milestones

  • Sits on their own
  • Responds to speech by saying sounds
  • Pincer grasp
  • Understanding basic words and phrases
  • Passing objects from one hand to the other
  • Relying more on eating solid foods

Sleep Problems for 8 Month Olds

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety may be common at eight months old.  A baby may notice they are alone in their crib and panic when mom or dad is no longer in the room.  This is often a cause for concern for parents; however, it is actually a natural reaction for a baby this age as they become more aware of their surroundings. 

Sleep Training Method

If you have tried the cry-it-out method of sleep training, your baby will most likely be crying a lot as they are left to sleep alone.  This can be distressing for babies, as any new change to their routine can be.  Try checking on the baby frequently and staying outside the door in between to see if it helps.  A gentle touch may be the reassurance baby needs to go to sleep on their own.  This method of checking and consoling the baby is known as the Ferber Classic Sleep Training Method. Other popular and well-known methods of sleep training are the fade-it-out method, pick up-put down gentle sleep training method, and the chair modern-day sleep training method.

Feet of Sleeping Baby 

Short Naps in Your 8 Month Old Sleep Schedule

If your baby is only taking 30 or 40-minute naps during the day (or even shorter than that), you may be wondering if it’s possible to extend those naps.  The most common reason for these short naps is your baby is overtired and there has been too much time between naps.  Try putting the baby down for a nap while they are still awake, and with less wake time in between naps.  Make sure the room is at the right temperature and you have the white noise machine on.  Sometimes it just takes a couple of small adjustments to make a big difference to a baby’s comfort level.

Early Morning Wakings

Early morning wakings would fall into the category of babies waking up for their day between 4 am and 6 am.  The most common reasons for early morning wakings are sunlight entering the room, a bedtime that is too late, or too much sleep during the day.  

New-Parent Misconception

If you are a first-time parent, you most likely have created ideas in your head about your baby’s sleep. Sometimes it can be hard for new parents to change their mindset and adapt it to the current situation.  For example, the phrase “never wake a sleeping baby” is one that most people have heard.  However, there are valid reasons why youtually want to wake a sleeping baby that will ultimately promote good sleeping habits.  For example, a baby may be woken up if their nap is getting too long, it’s been too long since their last feed, or the nap is getting too close to bedtime. 

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Top Advice for Sleep Regression

Even though the 8 month sleep regression may seem like it will last forever, every baby eventually grows out of it in a matter of weeks.  The best thing you can do for your baby is provide a loving bedtime routine that is consistent and calming.  Here are some additional tips:

  • Night wakings – Be prepared for your baby to wake up more frequently during the night due to hunger as they go through a growth spurt.
  • White noise – Use a white noise machine during nap times and bedtime.
  • Nap transition – At this age, your baby will most likely be taking two longer naps and may or may not be taking one additional shorter late afternoon nap.
  • 12-16 hours of sleep – In 24 hours, your 8-month-old should be getting a total of 12 to 16 hours of sleep according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Baby in White and Gray Stripe Onesie Sleeping on Stroller

My Thoughts on 8 Month Old Sleep Schedule

The 8 month old sleep regression can be tough. Therefore, finding and sticking to a sleep schedule for your baby may seem impossible.  By trying out a sleep schedule and tweaking it to fit your own needs, you will find that your baby will most likely respond well to the consistency of a steady routine.  At 8 months old, the baby can be sleeping from 9 to 12-hour stretches at night, with 2 or 3 naps during the day.  Having a consistent bedtime routine is very important for a baby’s mind and body to understand that it is now time for bed.

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