Just think about how many times your baby’s sleep has changed since you brought him home. I know sometimes it feels like you’re working too hard to establish a sleep schedule.
At 8 months, your baby is growing out of the waking windows for a 3-nap schedule. As a result, many infants will transition to a 2-nap schedule around this time.
When these sleep changes occur, expect sleep disturbances. Because your baby goes through different sleep schedules for longer periods of time.
Don’t worry this is only temporary. You can encourage healthy sleep habits by creating a consistent routine and meeting their needs for food, laughing, and bonding during the day.
Let’s find out what you can expect from an 8 month sleep schedule.
How much can an 8 month old sleep?
According to the AASM study, and our recommendation infants from 4-12 months should get 12-16 hours of sleep over 24 hours. An 8 month old sleep schedule should include 14 hours of total sleep in a day unless your baby suffers from 8 month sleep regression.
It breaks down to 11-12 hours of nighttime sleep for your baby and 2-3 hours of afternoon naps. Most babies need 2.25-3.5 hours to stay awake between sleeping periods at the 8 month mark.
Also read: 6 Month Old Sleep Schedule
What causes 8 month old sleep problems?
Although 8 month olds can sleep through the night, there are some rough patches that your baby may hit. Some snags in normal sleep can occur due to the following:
Babies in the 8-10 month range can be prone to sleep regression as they try to master new skills like pulling up, crawling, and saying their first words.
Growing teeth can trigger pain and night wakings with other symptoms, such as rashes on the chin and cheek, drooling, ear pulling, and cheek rubbing.
Not being able to fall asleep on their own
At the 8 month old mark, your baby does not need to rock to sleep, but old habits are hard to remove as they may be used to it. Also, if they are amid separation anxiety, your baby may protest when you put them down.
Wanting something to eat at night
Your 8 month old does not need to eat in the middle of the night. But if they are used to a 3 am feed, they may not want to break the habit.
Traveling, sickness, and other major changes to their routine can impact your baby’s sleep. But once everything becomes a habit, the sleep problems will reduce as well.
All you need to know about Is your baby fighting sleep
Sleeping fact for 8 month old babies
Let’s take a look at some sleep schedule facts for 8 month old babies:
- 8 month old baby sleeps for 12-15 hours a day. This includes daytime naps and is completely normal.
- Most babies sleep through the night from 6 months.
- It is not uncommon for 8 month olds to wake up during the night or early waking up in the morning.
- Sleep schedules vary among babies, so at 8 months, most infants are processing the consolidating sleep training and better sleep for longer stretches.
- 8 month olds have a notable increase in their cognitive and physical abilities.
- At 8 months of age, babies start teething and can roll over, crawl, and sit up on their own. Their environmental awareness increases and they may have stronger emotional reactions.
Also read: When Do Babies Start Crawling?
Sample 8 month old sleep schedule
Here is an 8 month old sleep schedule example that you can follow for your baby:
- Morning rise – 7 am
- First nap – 9:45 am – 11:15 am (1.5-hour nap) – 2.75 hours of awake time before 1st nap
- Second nap – 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm (1.5-hour nap) – 3.25 hours of awake time before a 2nd nap
- Get ready for bed – at 6:30 pm.
- Sleep – 7:30 pm – 3.5 hours of staying awake time before the earlier bedtime
How long should 8 month old naps last?
For your 8 month old sleep schedule, aim to get an average of 3 hours of daytime sleeping broken into 2-3 naps. Ideally, the first 2 naps should be at least 60 minutes long. If your baby learns to take 3 naps, the last one should be a short one – 30-45 minutes.
Read more: How to put a baby to sleep in 40 seconds
How many naps can my 8 month old take?
Most of the 8 month old babies take around 2-3 naps a day. Once your baby reaches this stage, it is common to have either 2 or 3 naps daily. Also, one nap should last between 2.25 – 3.5 hours of awake time. If you have nap times scheduled as per awake window, then try moving to the ‘by-the-clock’ flexible schedule for your 8 month old sleep schedule of your baby. This is when naps and bedtime are kept simultaneously every day. This helps make your child’s schedule and yours more consistent.
3 – nap schedule:
- Wake up time for your baby – 7:00 am
- Baby 1st Nap – 9:15 am to 10:30 am (Around 1.25 hours nap) – 2.25 hours of wake time before the 1st nap
- Baby 2nd Nap – 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm (1.25-hour nap) – 2.5 hours of awake time prior to the 2nd nap
- Baby 3rd Nap – 4:45 pm – 5:15 pm – (30-minute nap) – 2.5 hours of awake time prior to the 3rd nap
- Bedtime – 7: 00 pm
- Sleeping time – 8:00 pm – 2.75 hours of awake time before bedtime
2 – nap schedule:
- Wake up – 7:00 am
- Baby 1st Nap – 9:45 am – 11:15 am (1.5-hour nap) – 2.75 hours of awake time before the 1st nap
- Baby 2nd nap – 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm (1.5-hour nap) – 3.25 hours of awake time before the 2nd nap
- Bedtime – 6:30 pm
- Sleep time – 7:30 pm – 3.5 hours of awake time before bedtime
8 month old sleep cues tips
Your 8 month old baby needs good sleep. But settling them for daytime sleep cues or even nighttime sleep can be difficult. So, here are some tips to help your child fall asleep and plan their sleep schedules:
1. Set a predictable bedtime routine
Your 8 month old baby’s sleep routine needs to include a final feeding, bath, and relaxation like reading, singing, listening to circadian rhythm, and snuggling to help fall asleep. This is done to help wind your baby down and send them a smart signal that now it is the perfect time for sleep. It will also help you manage your sleep schedule and for them to self-soothe as well.
2. Fulfill your baby’s requirements when awake
Your baby will try to adapt to a new sleep schedule. So, before that happens, ensure their basic emotional and physical needs are met. For 8 month olds, this means they need to be fed, played with and kept clean during their waking hours to ensure they are happy and healthy.
3. Make sure that they get enough sleep
If your baby is overtired, they will have a harder time settling down, causing sleep train issues that can lead to separation anxiety. Make sure your baby’s bedtime is early so she can get the right shut-eye she needs, even during her daytime sleep.
4. Help them understand the difference between night and day
Even at 8 months, babies struggle to differentiate between night and day. Expose them to sunlight first thing in the morning, and keep the house noisy during the day to highlight that daytime is perfect for fun. But once the sun sets, ensure your baby understands it is time for sleeping. Keep some activities to indicate that it is night and time to get ready to sleep, like bath time and a massage. These indicators will help your baby understand that it is time to sleep.
5. Keep your baby from sleeping too much
Babies need a lot of sleep. But there is something like too much sleep. Cap your babies to sleep for four hours during the day. This will help them develop healthy sleep habits better at night and give them sleep training as well.
6. Limit the on-the-go naps
Your baby will get occasional naps better if she has a comfortable and consistent place to sleep. Also, if your baby gets enough sleep during the day, it will help them sleep better at night. It is fine for babies to have an occasional nap in a stroller, but do not make it a habit.
7. Be consistent
Your 8 month old baby’s sleep will be prone to disturbances. Responding to their sudden wake-ups with verbal reassurances or a pat on the back is fine. But try avoiding things that she may see as a nighttime or bedtime activity, like taking her out of her crib and playing with them. These habits will be tough to break. Let themselves soothe to fall back asleep.
So, most 8 month old sleep schedules for babies are made-up to nap right through the night time. They may hit occasional rough patches or have disrupted sleep schedules.
These can be due to reasons such as 8 month sleep regression, separation anxiety, teething, wanting night feedings, waking up at dawn, and other disruptions like travel, change in routine, or illnesses. So, stay consistent regarding bedtime routines and a nap schedule for your baby to fall asleep.
1. What time should my 8 month old sleep?
At 8 months old, you should plan your baby’s bedtime to be within 2.75 – 3.5 hours after waking up from their last nap. Babies can take 3 naps a day with shorter wake windows, but babies who take 2 naps a day will have longer waking times. Plan for a bedtime that is 12-14 hours post-waking-up time. But it should be at least 6:00 pm.
2. How many naps should my 8 month old take?
Most of the 8 month old babies take 2-3 naps a day. It is common for babies and young parents to choose the one that suits them the best. You should expect your baby to want a nap after 2.25 – 3.5 hours post-awake times. This amount of awake time is shorter in the morning and lengthens as the overall daytime progresses.
3. How much night-time sleep can an 8 month old baby get?
Studies on infant sleep show that 90 percent of babies can sleep through the night at 6 months of age. Most 8 month old babies can sleep for a full 11-12 hours at night. But pediatrics suggest that some babies need an overnight feed, so offer them a dream feed between 3:00 am to 5:00 am.