How to tackle the 8 month sleep regression

How to tackle the 8 month sleep regression

Ah, baby sleep. One minute you're patting yourself on the back for finally getting your youngster into a successful sleeping routine and then the next, you're scratching your head and wondering what on earth has happened to your slumbering angel.

Stumped? Our resident baby sleep expert Hannah Love is on hand to give us some top advice about the 8 month sleep regression.

What is the 8-month sleep regression?

We're guessing you're here because your eight-month-old is kicking up a fuss when it comes to sleep. They may be experiencing sleep regression which, put simply, is when a baby’s sleep worsens.

Sleep regression can happen at any time with both babies and toddlers. They can come along with teething, illness and changes in situations like going on holiday or moving rooms.

However, there are certain periods in a baby’s life where regressions are more common and between seven and nine months is one of those often documented.

Why does the 8-month sleep regression happen?

Sleep regressions around this age are common due to a number of factors:

Transition through naps: often this is the age where awake windows increase and babies transition from three to two naps. This can cause issues with settling for naps, not being tired enough or being too tired at bedtime.

Teething and illness: teething is common at this age so, therefore, sleep regressions are also common too. Babies also often start nursery, coming home with illness after illness. Teething and illness are things that can cause sleep regressions at any age but they are more common between seven and nine months

Being more mobile: Babies start to sit, stand, cruise and crawl between these ages. All of these developmental leaps can cause sleep regressions - your baby practices their new skills at bedtime or in the middle of the night which prevents them from settling to sleep. It is also important to note that babies need less sleep when learning so if your baby is practising their new skills, you may need to increase their awake windows, often considerably.

 How to handle the 8-month sleep regression.

• To get through the 8-month sleep regression, you should aim to teach your baby to go to sleep independently for naps and bedtime, self settling at naps is especially vital for good overnight sleep.

• Ensure no milk for one hour before naps and 30 mins before bed.

• If due to pain, offer regular pain killers/ teething gel, while they are uncomfortable, baby might need extra help, but try and keep this to a minimum.

• If due to a routine change, developmental leap or nap transition then increase the awake windows and ensure lots of active play leading up to bed and nap times.

• Know this is just a stage and you and your baby will get through it, eight months is also a perfect time to ‘sleep train’ if you are yet to do that, babies can confidently eliminate nighttime milk and be encouraged to sleep through.

Meet the expert: Hannah Love is  our resident Sleep Expert here at Bloomsbury Mill. She is also the Parenting and Sleep Expert from Sleep Well With Hannah. Hannah offers a free sleep workshop that you can access through her Facebook community.