When we say 8-month sleep schedule, we use the word “schedule” lightly. Even super sleepers may find themselves rocking the boat at the 8-month mark.
Your baby is discovering that there is so much to experience in the world—and that it’s best to do so awake.
The aim is to find some sort of balance between discovery and dozing while alleviating crankiness for mama and baby alike.
Before we go any further, listen up: there’s no one way to do this*. You’re not going to get a PASS or FAIL mark for your work here.
All babies are different, so if your little one doesn’t fit snugly into a cookie cutter 8 month old baby sleep schedule, that’s fine. Provided they (and you) are healthy, you’re likely on the right track.
Let’s dive in.
In this article 📝
- How to get 8 month old on sleep schedule
- How much sleep does an 8-month-old need?
- 8-month-old nap schedule
- What time should an 8-month-old go to bed?
How to get 8 month old on sleep schedule
Somewhere between three and six months, your baby may have fallen into a relatively regular sleep pattern of naps and nighttime sleep.
Then, just when you think you can take your foot off the gas, they appear to break the patterns they had formed. What the..?
This could have to do with a little thing called sleep regression.
Even if you’ve had a pretty good snoozer on your hands (and are the envy of mamas the world over), things may suddenly change.
The period between seven and 10 months can prove to add some extra challenges. There is so much happening at this time.
Add to this that the second half of their first year may also come with a degree of separation anxiety.
They hate being away from you and may freak out if you’re not near. Don’t worry—this is normal and should pass.
If they’re not wanting to go down for naps, are particularly fussy at bedtime, or have trouble falling asleep at night, it may be a sign that they are going through a sleep regression.
This may last anywhere from two to four weeks. Be assured—this tunnel is not eternal and there is light at the end of it.
How much sleep does an 8-month-old need?
So how much should an 8-month-old sleep?
Experts advise that an 8-month-old daily schedule should include 14 hours of sleep.
This can be very loosely divided into 11 hours of nighttime sleep and three hours of napping in the day.
8-month-old nap schedule
How many naps should my 8-month-old take?
The general idea is to start decreasing naptime and increasing the time they sleep at night.
It may require some trial and error to hit the sweet spot. By 8 months old, you can aim for two (rather than three) naps a day.
Particularly if your baby is going through a sleep regression, you want to turn yourself into something of a detective to get them into a routine again.
If you start to notice that they are ready for sleep, jump in and try to make it happen. In one of parenting’s fun little ironies, if they are overtired, they may have trouble sleeping.
Some signs that your baby needs a nap? Crying, eye rubbing, ear pulling, finger sucking, frowning.
Sometimes knowing the difference between exhaustion and hunger can be a challenge.
If you’re not sure, offer a feed. If they only take a little and are still fussy, try the napping option.
Aim for as regular a sleep schedule as you can—both in terms of timelines as well as the choreography of your bedtime routine.
This may look something like bath, dinner, bed, book, song, sleep. Rinse. Repeat.
What time should an 8-month-old go to bed?
There are no shoulds here.
The demands of your work schedule, your access to support structures, and the ins and outs of your family routines will all have a bearing on what time your little one lays down their head.
That being said, it’s sometimes nice to have a blueprint to work from. So, a very rough sample 8-month-old sleep schedule may look something like:
- 6:00am: Rise and (maybe) shine.
- 9:00am: Nap for about an hour.
- 1:00pm: Nap for about two hours.
- 6:00pm: Head to sleep for the night.
Again, we cannot stress enough that this is super rough and that there are so many factors that go into your baby’s 8-month-old sleep schedule.
The race to get to sleep is a race of one competitor—with you as an expert coach.
How do I get my 8-month-old to sleep through the night?
Here are some handy tips that may help you through:
- Try to stick to your routine as much as possible. Of course, easier said than done. Do what you can.
- Put them in their beds when they are drowsy but not overtired. As far as possible, try to get them to figure out the job of falling asleep on their own. If they cry, see if you can soothe them without picking them up. (We know this can be distressing. Your instincts are strong. Do what you think is right in the moment.)
- Warm up to being apart. Because separation anxiety is real, it’s a good idea to get them used to the idea throughout the day. Short bouts apart will teach them you’re coming back.
- If you’ve sleep trained before, you can sleep train again. If a sleep regression has gotten in the way of the schedule you have put in place, try the same sleep training method again. Chances are, it will be easier the second time round.
If you are concerned about your baby’s sleep habits, check in with your health provider.
Sleep trouble can be a sign that something else is up. If your baby seems particularly lethargic, it’s worth checking in with your doctor.
Good luck, mama. This is not an exact science, and it can be a super stressful time. Be kind to yourself.
Check-in with your Peanut community. Chat with other mamas. You don’t have to do it alone.
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