Overcoming The 8 Month Sleep Regression To Sweet Dreams

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 05/30/23 •  Sleep / Sleep Regressions

Almost every child will experience a sleep regression at some point during the first few years of their life. One of the first your baby may encounter is the 8 month sleep regression.

Here is everything you need to know about the 8 month sleep regression as well as top tips for how to survive it with your sanity and routines intact.

What Is The 8 Month Sleep Regression?

Causes Of The 8 Month Sleep Regression

There is not always one clear reason why your baby may be experiencing a sleep regression but at 8 months old there is a lot going on in your baby’s world that can cause sleep disruption.

Check out these causes of the 8 month sleep regression and see if you can identify any that may have occurred in your baby’s life recently:

Causes Of 8 Month Sleep Regression
  1. They are going through a nap transition phase. At this age, your baby will be able to stay awake for longer periods of time and may need less sleep during the day. Most 8 months old babies sleep between 12-16 hours in a 24 hour period with the bulk taken at night and the rest over in 2-3 daytime naps. However, transitioning from the 3 naps to 2 naps a day can trigger an 8 month sleep regression as you try to balance the correct amount of daytime sleep with nighttime sleep.
  2. They are reaching big physical milestones, mental leaps and emotional development milestones. From learning to crawl, beginning to pull to stand and teething… the extra brain and body activity will require more sleep.
  3. You have changed baby’s environment. Moving house, going on holiday, or visiting family overnight can all trigger a sleep regression in your little one.
  4. Baby’s daily routine has changed. Any major changes in routine could also upset an established 8 month sleep schedule such as starting daycare, parents returning to work or the primary caregiver changing.
  5. Your baby is experiencing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety will make it difficult for your baby to fall asleep and can cause them to become distressed when they wake up in the night and discover you’re not with them.

Is My Baby Really Going Through An 8 Month Sleep Regression?

If your 7-9 month old baby has been sleeping through the night most of the time but now their sleep habits have suddenly changed… Then it is more than likely they are going through an 8 month sleep regression. 

8 Month Sleep Regression Signs

The signs to identify whether your baby is going through an 8 month sleep regression or not are:

If you answered yes to these questions, then most likely your baby is experiencing an 8 month sleep regression.

But don’t worry, there is a lot you can do to get through this tricky phase without losing your routines and sanity…

Tips To Get Through The 8 Month Sleep Regression

Having worked with many families over the years, I have tried and tested many techniques to help parents and babies get through sleep regressions as quickly and painlessly as possible.


I’m not going to sugarcoat this.

Getting through a sleep regression is tough.

And I know that you’re so exhausted you can barely think straight right now…

I also know that the last thing you want to do is lose any more sleep either…

But you need to persevere with your previously established routines and stick to your guns.

Because by sticking it out now, your baby will go back to their previous sleep routines much quicker and you won’t have to undo any bad sleep habits down the line once they have got through the regression.

Think of it like this: short-term pain for long-term gain.

Trust me. It will be worth it.

So let’s get into my top tips to help you survive the 8 month old sleep regression:

9 Tips To Survive The 8 Month Sleep Regression

1. Have A Healthy And Regular Bedtime Routine

If you have not established a consistent bedtime routine now is 100% the time to do so.

Having healthy sleep habits will make it easier for you to cope when your baby decides to fight sleep.

And by making it clear to your little one that the end of the day is marked by lowering the energy levels, getting into a cosy bedroom and following the same routine will give them all the right signals that bedtime is on the way.

2. Stick To Established Routines

I cannot stress how much maintaining baby’s healthy daily routines will help to keep you sane and keep baby’s healthy development on track.

I know life gets in the way sometimes, but by being super vigilant about awake times, nap times, meal times and bedtimes during a sleep regression you will make your life so much easier.

So, if you have to cancel a few plans over the coming weeks to ensure you’re at home for naps and bedtime, trust me it will be worth it in the long run.

3. Keep Nighttime Interactions Low Key

If your little one wakes at night then it’s super important to keep your interactions low-key. Have the lights down low and do not chat with them.

A night light is a great investment for these nighttime interactions as it stops you from having to turn on a light when visiting them at night.

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  • The star projector is static without motion (however, this is ideal for very young babies and toddlers).
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4. Know How Much Sleep Your 8 Month Old Needs

The average 8 month old needs 12-16 hours of sleep in any 24 hour period, taking 9-12 hours at night and the rest in 2-3 naps during the day.

Use this knowledge to calculate how long your baby needs to nap for in the morning and afternoon. The aim isn’t to have the perfect 8 month old sleep schedule, but to ensure your baby does not get overtired.

5. Allow Your Baby Plenty Of Time To Practice New Skills

If your baby is starting to crawl and pull themselves to stand, it is important to give them plenty of opportunities to practice these new skills.

They will no longer want to be left in a baby activity centre for long periods of time. They will want to be off and exploring and refining their newfound mobility!

This will also help your 8 month old expel built-up energy making them more likely to sleep deeper.

6. Teach Your Baby To Self Settle

If you have not done so already, try and teach your baby to self-settle.

Allow them to spend time in their cribs while they are awake and put them down when they are not fully asleep.

If your baby wakes in the night do not rush in straight away as they may re-settle themselves after a few minutes.

If you’d like to learn more about teaching your baby to self-settle, I have made a quick video explaining it in more detail below.

7. Make Sure Your Little One Is Having Age-Appropriate Naps

One of the main causes of an 8-month sleep regression is nap transitioning. 

If your baby is showing signs of not wanting to go down for the late morning nap or the afternoon nap then it is time to switch to 2 naps.

Drop the late-morning nap and stick with a mid-morning nap and an afternoon nap.

8. Watch For Sleep Cues

As your baby is developing physically, cognitively and emotionally as well as adjusting to a new nap routine, they will easily become overtired.

Watch for sleep cues such as staring off into space, yawning, rubbing eyes, and droopy eyelids and act accordingly ESPECIALLY for daytime naps to avoid having an overtired baby.

9. Minimise Sleep Distractions

Sleep distractions can be anything from dogs barking, post arriving, dropping a plastic tub on the floor or changes to their surroundings.

Your little one needs to be sleeping in a calm, dimly lit room especially when they’re going through an 8 month sleep regression.

Some parents like to use a white noise machine and I am a huge advocate of them.

White noise machines will help to ensure that any sudden changes in noise will have less of an impact on your sleeping baby… Meaning you don’t have to panic if you accidentally drop the TV remote! As well as create a healthy sleep association for your baby to sleep with as they grow and travel.

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How Will I Know When The 8 Month Sleep Regression Is Over?

You will know that your little one’s 8 month sleep regression is over when they have settled back into a healthy nighttime sleep and 2 daytime naps routine.

It may seem like it will never end… But I promise you it will.

Once you come out of the 8 month sleep regression, your daily routine should look something like this:

8 Month Old Sleep Schedule Sample

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

How Can You Care For Yourself During An 8 Month Sleep Regression?

Sleep regressions are tough for your baby and equally as tough on you as the parent.

An 8 month sleep regression can be very disheartening for parents who have worked hard to establish healthy sleep habits in their little one… but keep in mind that this is just a temporary phase. 

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are finding it tough to be consistent with sleep routines and nap times, just hang in there knowing that this is a passing phase.

Just remember to try and take a break if you can, by letting a close family member or friend look after your baby occasionally. 

And if you are feeling very tired, then put your little one somewhere safe, such as a playpen or crib, and make yourself a cup of tea and have a 5-minute break.

You will be a better parent when you go back after doing this.

Frequently Asked Questions About The 8 Month Sleep Regression

Want to learn more about the 8 month sleep regression? Here are the answers to the most common questions:

Can You Do Sleep Training When Your Baby Is Going Through An 8 Month Sleep Regression?

I would NOT recommend doing any sleep training during an 8 month sleep regression unless the regression transfers into a permanent change in sleeping habits.

There is too much going on to change more of your baby’s environment, so just follow the tips I have outlined above and you should get through the regression without undoing your hard work of creating healthy sleep habits.

How To Handle Minor Sleep Regressions That Come With Teething

Your baby may be experiencing a minor 8 month sleep regression due to teething. This interruption to their normal sleep pattern should last no longer than 8 days in total.

Read these posts to help you get through a teething blip without losing any sleep:

When Should Parents Talk To A Doctor About The 8 Month Sleep Regression?

There are some occasions when you may feel the need to seek medical advice in connection with your baby experiencing a change in their normal sleep patterns… especially if the 8 month sleep regression is associated with any of the following:

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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