One of the most important things for new parents aside from making sure their babies are well fed and healthy is ensuring that they and the baby get enough sleep. This is why as early as is possible, parents implement a sleep routine which helps the baby and pretty much everybody at home gets a good rest. Nonetheless, no matter how effective your routine is, there will be hitches and pitfalls along the way, one of which is the regression period.
8 months old sleep regression: what to expect
Sleep regression is a period that involves poor or sparse sleep in a baby that until that moment had great sleep. The baby will exhibit crankiness, strongly oppose bedtime and naptime, and wake up more frequently at night.
The important thing to note about sleep regression is that although it is common among children, it does not happen to all babies. Some children do not experience regression while those that do usually get over it within four to six weeks. Regression usually occurs due to development in your baby such as sitting up, crawling, language skills, and being able to participate more during playtime. It could also be due to the baby’s ability to stay awake much longer during the day, which then affects how long he can stay asleep at nighttime.
Can I sleep train my 8 months old?
For sure you can! Sleep training usually starts when your baby is four to five months old. You begin by having a routine that you don’t change up as you go. Once you have a pattern, you commit to it. So that by the time your baby is eight months old, you’ll already have a working sleep routine in a place that you’re both accustomed to.
How much sleep should my 8 months old get?
No matter what happens while your baby experiences regression, ensure that he continues to get an average of the required sleep for eight-month-olds. That’s 12 to 15 hours while some babies may sleep for 10 to 12 hours. This can include an hour, or two of nap spread out during the day.
8 months old sleeping schedule
6 am – WAKE TIME; Bath, massage.
7:30 am – BREAKFAST; Solids and breastmilk or formula.
8:30 – 9:15 am – FLOOR TIME; Playtime, finger painting, crawling and walking practice.
9:15 – 10:15 am – SLEEP; First nap of the day (1 hour).
10:30 – 11:30 am – LUNCH; Solids (fruits, rice cereals)
11:45 – 1:00 pm – AFTERNOON NAP.
1:15 pm – LIGHT MEAL; Breastfeed or baby formula.
2:00 – 3:30 pm – PLAYTIME; Toys, songs and word practice.
4:00 – 5:00 pm – DINNER; Solids, cereals, and fruits.
5:00 – 6:00 pm – BEDTIME ROUTINE; Bath, massage, read a book or sing a song.
6:00 – 6:30 pm – BREASTFEED.
7:00 pm – BEDTIME.
Baby sleeping tips for 8 – Months olds
After knowing all the above, your pressing concern will, of course, be what to do about it, how do you get your eight months old to go back to sleep. The following baby sleeping tips for 8 – months olds may come in handy:
Stick to your routine
You don’t need to change your entire routine to accommodate this new phase in your baby’s life, especially since it will soon pass. The best you can do is to stick to whatever routine you already have in place but know that it will seem less effective than it has been. It will take longer for the baby to settle down and may even wake up as soon as you lay him down in the crib.
Ensure that there are no distractions
At eight months of age, your baby is very alert and assimilates at a faster rate, which means certain things that weren’t distracting before will be now. Take out all distracting noises, make sure the room is dimly lit, remove excessive toys from the crib and make sure the baby’s diaper is dry. Sing a soft lullaby to settle the baby down if he gets too fussy, rub your hand up and down the baby’s back and you can rock him back and forth to soothe him.
Teach your baby to self-soothe
Now because your baby is growing up and maybe dealing with sleep regression, teaching how to self soothe is very important. This is because your baby will wake up more often than he used to and you want to ensure that they feel cared for while also encouraging independence. When your baby cries:
- Do not rush into the room, go in calmly
- Don’t always pick up the baby and if you do, lay him back down when calm
- Don’t put the lights on when you get into your baby’s room, you don’t want to make him even more alert
- Avoid eye contact. This helps to let the baby know that it isn’t playtime yet and that he needs to get back to sleep.
Some parents worry about separation anxiety and whether or not it will have a long-lasting effect on their children. The answer is, while some babies are more anxious than others, anxiety can be mitigated by keeping your baby close and responding quickly even if you don’t pick him up.
It can get very frustrating when your baby who has been sleeping just fine becomes a problematic sleeper. The stress of doing your sleep routine for longer only to get a less effective result than before can make the process even more challenging. Try as much as you can to stay calm and patient throughout this time, consult your doctor to rule out any other issues such as teething or a fever. Don’t let your baby pick up on your frustrations, which will only make it harder for him to fall back to sleep.
Don’t start anything new
The sleep deprivation and the stress of almost starting your sleep training routine from scratch are truthfully daunting. It pushes some parents to adopt new techniques and sleep habits you may not need outside of the regression period. This is problematic for two reasons: first, because introducing babies to something new when they are learning and going through something new isn’t productive, and second, continuing with your initial routine after the regression period can prove very difficult after switching things up. Just stick to the stuff you and your baby know and are used to. It may not work as effectively, but it will work.
A good bedtime is the first step to success
Don’t be among those who subscribe quickly to the idea that making the baby more tired translates to having a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t always work this way, sometimes if we get too tired we stay awake longer because we are emotionally exhausted and can’t shut our minds off. This also happens in babies, just get a bedtime that is not too far into the night and still has the baby tired and ready for bed.
Above are Baby Sleeping Tips for Eight – Months olds. These steps will allow you and your family to have a moderately stress free time when your baby experiences sleep regression or just grows into a very active eight-month-old.