Ready to sleep train your 8 month old? Is your 8 month old trying to pull an all-nighter? Not taking naps? This a extremally common and fixable! Making sure that your 8-month-old gets sufficient and restful sleep is crucial for their overall well-being and development. Sleep training your 8 month old can play a vital role in establishing healthy sleep habits for your little one, such as independent sleep skills and being able to self soothe. Effective sleep training falls greatly on the parent, as you need to be consistent, and that can be super difficult when you are exhausted or frustrated. Keep reading for 5 tips specifically tailored for 8-month-olds to help you navigate through the challenges and achieve those restful nights you’ve been longing for.
Understanding your baby’s sleep patterns at 8 months
At 8 months old, your baby needs around 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, including naps. 8 month old babies should be taking 2 naps per day, 1-3 hours in length and should have a bedtime between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm. Their sleep patterns are becoming more consolidated, with longer periods of nighttime sleep and fewer nighttime awakenings. However, it’s important to note that every child is unique, and individual sleep needs may vary.
Tips for Sleep Training your 8 month old
1. Have a consistent nap and bedtime routine
Consistency is key when it comes to sleep training! I cannot stress that enough! Establishing a consistent sleep routine helps your baby’s body and mind recognize when it’s time to sleep, promoting a smoother transition into sleep. A bedtime routine could include activities such as a warm bath, reading a book, and cuddling. By following the same routine every night and at naptime, your baby will start associating these activities with sleep, signaling their brain to wind down and prepare for rest.
2. Have a consistent wake up time
This one you may not like… but I assure you it will make a big difference in your baby’s overall sleep. Waking them up at the same time every day sets their “circadian rhythm” or “body clock”. This allows for their body to get into a set routine and be prepared for sleep at the same time every day. I love to recommend a 7:00 am wakeup for most babies 8 months old. Also make sure that you are following the appropriate awake window for your baby’s age.
3. Creating a sleep-friendly environment
A sleep-friendly environment can greatly contribute to your baby’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Ensure that the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Consider using blackout curtains to block out any external light sources. White noise machines or fans can help drown out any background noises that may disturb your baby’s sleep. Additionally, make sure your baby’s crib or sleeping area is safe and free from any hazards.
4. Work on sleep props/sleep associations
It will be beneficial for your 8 month old baby if you start to work on moving away from any “sleep prop” associations that they may have. Feeding to sleep and rocking to sleep are just two examples of “sleep props”. A tip to move away from the “feed to sleep” association is to use the Wake-Eat -Play- Sleep Pattern.
5. Awake and not drowsy
Make sure that you are putting your little one down awake and not drowsy. This will help them learn independent sleep skills that will last into adulthood!
Dealing with sleep regressions and common challenges with your 8 month old
Sleep Regressions or what I like to call “progressions” are common at various stages of your baby’s development, including around 8 months old. These “progressions” may disrupt their previously established sleep patterns, causing frustration for both you and your little one. During these periods, it’s important to remain patient and consistent with your sleep training approach. Trust that your baby will eventually adapt and return to better sleep habits.
At 8 months old, there are certain sleep challenges that you may encounter while sleep training. Separation anxiety can make it difficult for your baby to fall asleep, as they may become more clingy and anxious when separated from you. Spend one on one time with them in the hour leading up to bedtime to help fill up their “attachment bank”. Additionally, teething discomfort can also disrupt sleep. Provide appropriate teething remedies and comfort to alleviate any discomfort your baby may be experiencing.
Celebrating restful nights with your well-rested 8-month-old
If you find yourself in need of additional guidance and support during your sleep training journey, there are resources available to assist you. Parenting books, sleep apps and of course Certified Sleep Consultants, such as myself, specifically focus on sleep training and can provide valuable insights and advice. Remember, you are not alone, and seeking support can make the process smoother for both you and your baby.
By implementing these effective sleep tips for your 8-month-old, you are paving the way for restful nights and a well-rested baby. Understanding your baby’s sleep needs, establishing consistent routines and creating a sleep-friendly environment will contribute to a positive sleep experience for your little one. Remember, sleep training is a journey, and setbacks may occur along the way. Stay patient, be consistent, and celebrate the small victories as you guide your 8-month-old towards healthy sleep habits and a well-rested future.
Looking for more guidance and step by step support on how to sleep train your 8 month old today? Book a complimentary Free Child Sleep Assessment Call With Me, so we chat about what is going on with your 8 month old’s sleep. Sign up for my Getting Started Guide and Newsletter to keep receiving monthly sleep and parenting tips!