When you're a parent, it can sometimes feel like you're taking two steps forward and three steps back - especially when it comes to the common sleep regressions.
When a baby fights sleep, not only do you lose out on your own sleep, but it can also feel like you aren't making progress the way you want to. This is true of all regressions but especially the 8-month-old sleep regression, which is what we’re here to talk about today.
Don't worry - sleep regression at 8 months is completely normal, and can be managed with the right techniques, products, and sleep training. We’ll cover the 8-month sleep regression signs and offer tips on getting your child back on track!
Is there an 8-month sleep regression?
First things first - is there an 8-month sleep regression, or is something else going on? Yes - it's common for most babies to experience sleep regressions every few months as they grow and develop.
Stages of Sleep Regression and Developmental Milestones
Mastering rolling over
Taking first steps, walking
Saying first words
Molars & Canine Teeth
However, every baby is unique, and you might find that yours has the 8 month regression at 7 or 9 months instead, or even skips it altogether!
The good news is that the 8-month sleep regression is nothing to worry about, and is experienced by many parents - even though it might be troublesome at the time! Most of the time, the reasons for this sleep regression are nothing too serious, and the sleep regression is just a result of your baby’s development.
How long does 8-month sleep regression last?
Most sleep regressions seldom last any longer than a few weeks, as the reasons behind them tend to be temporary phases too. One way to get it under control faster is through sleep training - setting consistent sleep habits can work wonders for a baby's sleep.
8-month sleep regression signs and behaviors to watch out for
The 8-month sleep regression signs aren’t much different from all the other signs of sleep regression. These behaviors can be tough to handle, especially if your baby has been sleeping peacefully for the past couple of months! Some 8-month sleep regression signs include:
- Resisting naps
- Waking up more often through night sleep
- Being crankier during awake time
- Falling asleep more during the day and less at night
- Fighting sleep when put in their crib
- Crying more when put to bed or crying in sleep
Once you notice the 8-month sleep regression signs you’ll want to act fast to nip it in the bud quickly. But, what causes the 8-month-old sleep regression in the first place?
What causes 8-month-old sleep regression?
At the eight month mark, your baby will likely have hit some major milestones, from language development to crawling and pulling themselves along.
Their sleep patterns are no exception to these changes, and usually, an 8-month-old will need more awake time between periods of sleep than they did previously.
Additionally, there is a range of other common reasons why your baby might be having trouble falling asleep that hit around this age.
Baby separation anxiety is perfectly natural for your baby to develop, and is a reflection of the bond you have formed, but can sometimes be a barrier when you want them to fall asleep independently.
Increased mobility (and practicing their new skills at bedtime!)
Your baby learning how to get up and move around is an exciting time, but sometimes that excitement runs into bedtime, leading to a sleep regression.
Teething pain and discomfort
Though none of us remember what it was like to have our first teeth coming through, it's safe to say that it isn't a fun time for your baby - especially when they (and you) would rather be sleeping. You can help by implementing our tips on how to help teething baby sleep.
Overstimulation due to better environmental awareness
Sleep regressions are usually associated with milestones, and the 8 month sleep regression is no exception - a greater understanding of their environment will make your baby naturally curious, and can lead to overstimulation if they find that their sleep space has a little too much going on.
Talking at night
Talking is another milestone commonly associated with sleep regressions - baby babbles are adorable, but might be keeping the whole family up if they're being practiced at nighttime.
As you can tell, this is a period of significant change for the baby, and any one of these situations can easily lead to trouble sleeping!
How to face the 8-month-old sleep regression head-on
It might seem tough right now, but don't worry. There are many solutions that can lessen the impact of the 8-month old sleep regression, and help your baby sleep soundly again.
The work that you've put into a newborn bedtime routine you've already established isn't for nothing - your baby will likely remember and settle into them again with a little sleep training!
Here are just a few solutions that you can try out to improve baby's sleep (and your own in the process):
Avoid creating certain associations
When you're trying to get a fussy baby to sleep, it can be easy to fall into routines such as rocking your baby to sleep or remaining right next to them as they fall asleep.
But this might have the opposite effect in the long run, and worsen the separation anxiety that is keeping them up in the first place.
Instead, you can practice having some short moments away from your baby while they're playing or snoozing so they gradually get used to the idea that they're safe even when you aren't in view.
Create a soothing atmosphere in their room
It's hard for anybody to sleep in a room that isn't dark and quiet, let alone a baby who's only just getting used to the big world around them! Creating a calm atmosphere in your baby's room can make a huge difference when it comes to bedtime.
Try keeping loud noises, glowing screens, and bright lights to a minimum in the nursery, and maybe try products like a soft nightlight or even a white noise machine if you live in a busy city.
If your baby's nighttime sleep is disrupted by dawn breaking and light coming into the room, you could consider curtains that block out more light.
Can you sleep train during 8 month regression?
Wondering when to start sleep training - or more specifically, can you sleep train during 8 month regression? Yes - if you haven't started to sleep train your baby already, now could be a good time to start, as laying a foundation for consistent sleep is valuable for toddler sleep patterns later on.
Whatever method you decide on, though, a consistent newborn bedtime routine is vital to reducing sleep disruptions like the 8 month sleep regression.
Our range of gently weighted sleepwear is perfect for establishing a new sleep training routine and helping your baby fall asleep independently. After all, the importance of how to dress baby for sleep cannot be taken lightly.
- Weighted swaddle
- Zipper swaddle
- Transitional swaddle
- Weighted sleep sack
- Winter sleep sack
- Bamboo fabric swaddle
- Bamboo fabric sleep sack
From the best baby pajamas to the best sleep sack for winter, the best transitional sleep sack, the best transition swaddle, the best swaddle for preemie, and the best swaddle for summer, all the best baby sleepwear is just a click away at Nested Bean. Shop today and see how our products help baby sleep better!
Ask friends and family for help
As rewarding as parenthood can be, we know that it definitely isn't easy. The 8-month-old sleep regression can be difficult to manage, particularly as it often leads to you becoming as sleep-deprived and cranky as your little one!
Don't be afraid to ask your friends and loved ones for help during this time, whether that means getting your partner to take over a feed or having a friend watch the baby while you take a quick nap!
Make sure your child is sleeping enough
Making sure that your little one is getting the amount of sleep they need is vital, even when they're struggling with sleep regression.
So, what is the typical 8 month old sleep schedule? At 8 months old, babies sleep for between 11 and 15 hours in the day, comprised of both naps and nighttime sleep.
Your baby will be able to sleep for longer stretches at this age, so you could have a sleep schedule with 2 naps that are 90 minutes long and 10 hours of nighttime sleep, for example.
Tips on handling the 8-month-old sleep regression from experts
“Establishing a sleep schedule and sticking rigidly to it is valuable for you and baby at any age, but especially during periods of sleep regression.
There are many you can give a try - such as the Ferber method - but it's most important to use the technique that works best for you and your baby.” - Manasi, Nested Bean Founder
'Before you put your child to bed (for naps or at bedtime), make sure the five-minute period before they are put to bed is very calm and relaxing.
No throwing your toddler in the air… or watching TV… or tickle fights in the five minutes immediately before bed. This will help settle them into sleep easier.' - Lindsay Lewis Sleep Solutions
'A weighted sleep sack can be a good option for babies who are fussier and may need some added comfort. I certainly wish I had these products to try out with my son when he struggled with sleep!' - Nicole Johnson, The Baby Sleep Site Founder
'It’s been a rough year as Oliver has had so much trouble sleeping every since the initial sleep regression.
Now that he’s finally sleeping and I’m getting a little more rest, I can’t imagine anything disrupting it! The Nested Bean Zen Sack™ is so comforting to him and I’m glad he’ll be able to have that comfort for another year before he weans off of it. ' - All Things Lovely
Wrapping up our guide to the 8-month sleep regression signs, tips, and more
In conclusion, the 8-month-old sleep regression is a challenging but manageable phase in your baby's development. By understanding the 8 month sleep regression signs, causes, and implementing consistent sleep training techniques, you can help your little one—and yourself—get back to restful nights.
Remember, creating a soothing environment and avoiding sleep crutches are key. If you need extra support, Nested Bean's gently weighted sleepwear is designed to comfort your baby and promote independent sleep.
Learn more about the world of newborn sleep in our blog with tips on how to put a baby to sleep fast or how to get baby to nap longer, how to get baby to sleep through the night, how to swaddle a baby, when to stop using sleep sack, newborn sleep cycle chart, how to transition out of swaddle, when do toddlers stop napping, and more.
Embrace the journey with the right tools and remember, this too shall pass. Shop with Nested Bean today to find the perfect infant sleep aid for your growing baby and reclaim those peaceful nights!