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Eight months is a busy and exciting age for parents and babies alike. Your little one is probably mobile for the first time, or well on her way. She’s understanding more and more about her surroundings and is absorbing language like a sponge. Having an eight-month-old is just fun, and the majority of kids are sleeping through the night at this age. So it seems especially unfair that eight months is another age when sleep regression often strikes.
The large amount of growth and development at eight months is exactly why many—but not all—babies experience sleep issues at this age. The eight-month sleep regression can be a challenge, but it’s normal and temporary. Read on to learn more about the eight-month sleep regression and gather tips for helping your baby through it.
When young children who were previously sleeping well suddenly experience sleep issues, it’s usually defined as sleep regression. Your baby may have been sleeping through the night for weeks and now he’s waking multiple times a night. Or perhaps he has trouble settling down for nap or bedtime. Maybe he’s gone from two-hour naps to only napping for thirty minutes. All of these are signs that sleep regression may be taking place.
Sleep regression tends to occur around specific ages, which we discuss in more detail in our comprehensive guide to sleep regression. That’s because sleep regression tends to be caused by changes in sleep patterns and developmental milestones that occur around certain ages. These developments are positive and are a signal that your child is growing, but they can also wreak havoc on your baby’s sleep.
Sleep regression is temporary and tends to last anywhere between two and six weeks, though every child is different. While it’s helpful to remember that sleep regression is normal and won’t last forever, it doesn’t mean that sleep regression is easy to get through. Sleep is important for the health of both parents and children, and sleep deprivation can lead to trouble with cognition and mood regulation. It’s vital to take care of your family during a time of sleep regression, and keep an eye on your own mental health. Get rest when you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Eight months is a time of big, exciting changes for young ones and their parents. Babies start to become mobile, with many children beginning to scoot, crawl, pull up or even cruise around this age. They’re also working on their fine motor skills and may be more interested in toys than ever before. And while your baby likely won’t say his first word for a few more months, he’s absorbing language and learning to categorize and identify.
In short, eight-month-olds are more stimulated than ever before, and that can lead to issues with sleep. It’s similar to how an adult might have trouble falling asleep after a busy day at work. Children around this age may simply have trouble settling down after crawling around and exploring all day. Or they’re more interested in practicing their new skills than in sleeping, so you may find your baby pulling up to stand in her crib when she’s supposed to be napping.
Separation anxiety can also come into play when it comes to sleep trouble around eight months. Babies develop object permanence at this age, meaning they understand that you exist even if they can’t see you. Your child may become upset when you leave the room at nap or bedtime and has learned that if he cries, you may come back.
Eight months is also a time when many babies drop their third nap, if they had one. It can take some time for your child to get used to two naps, and you might have an overtired little one at bedtime for a couple of weeks.
The eight-month sleep regression is fairly common, but doesn’t seem to impact as many kids as the four-month sleep regression. The timing is also less predictable than it is for the four-month regression and can hit anywhere between eight and ten months. Like other periods of sleep regression, the eight-month regression might last anywhere between two and six weeks, though there’s great variation. If you sense that your child’s sleep issues are more serious or you find yourself struggling greatly, it’s a good idea to reach out to your pediatrician.
The eight-month sleep regression can be difficult for both children and their parents. After all, your baby may have been sleeping through the night for a while, and you might have been on a somewhat predictable schedule. Below are tips to help you and your baby make it through the eight-month sleep regression as easily as possible.
Eight months is a fun age, but all of the developments that occur around this time can contribute to sleep regression. It can be helpful to understand exactly why your child is having trouble sleeping, which is why we outlined the changes that contribute to the eight-month sleep regression. We’ve also provided tips for how to help your baby through this phase and establish good sleep habits for the long-term.
The eight-month sleep regression hits many parents hard because they’re typically used to getting a full night’s sleep around this age. Your baby will likely be cranky, too, because of a lack of sleep. Sleep is important for your baby’s development and your own well-being, so do your best to get rest whenever you can, even if that means putting off some obligations or asking for help. And remember that like most events in early childhood, the eight-month sleep regression is temporary, and you’ll be back to your normal routine before you know it.
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