How To Beat the 8 Month Sleep Regression

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8 month baby playing sleep regressionWatching your 8 month old grow and interact more with the world is truly miraculous. Each week it seems like she’s capable of new things and developing at lightning speed!

She’s becoming more mobile, experimenting with the world of food and doing her best to communicate. All this development is a parent’s pride, but if your 8 month old won’t sleep you may feel too exhausted to keep up with it.

That’s because development in one area (like mobility) often leads to a temporary regression in another area (like sleep.) Your baby’s body and brain are working in overdrive and it’s hard for her to relax long enough to have restful sleep.

My friends, you’ve entered the world of the 8 month sleep regression. Pour yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) and let me explain what it is, what causes it and how you can survive it.

Even if your baby isn’t showing all the signs of the 8 month old sleep regression, the tips in this article will show you how to get your 8 month old sleeping great.

This post may contain affiliate links.


What is the 8 month sleep regression?


Sleep regressions are sudden disruptions in your baby’s sleep that coincide with development. As your baby learns new skills (like crawling, pulling to stand or speaking) it’s normal for another part of his development to regress temporarily. We often see sleep regress when baby is mastering a new skill.

This regression is often called the 8-10 month sleep regression because it can happen anytime during this age range. 


8 month sleep regression signs

  • Baby won’t nap
  • Waking at night
  • Fighting bedtime
  • Hungrier
  • Baby is more fussy, restless or clingy

Sleep regressions are sudden and temporary. You can expect your baby’s sleep to be disrupted for 1-2 weeks. Any sleep problems lasting longer than 2 weeks are probably due to habit.

Here’s an example. The 8 month old sleep regression makes your baby wake up 4 times at night (rather than his usual 1 waking.) Tactics that used to help him fall back asleep (like rubbing his back for a few minutes) don’t work anymore. He now can only settle by being fed. But 4 weeks later, you’re still up feeding your baby 4 times during the night.

It’s safe to say the regression has passed and your baby’s new habit is waking to be fed 4 times a night. That’s ok, we’ve all been there. My tips on surviving the 8-10 month old sleep regression below will show you how to get baby sleeping well again.


8 month sleep regression causes


Physical milestones

8, 9 and 10 months is an age of rapid development for your baby. Your baby’s gross motor skills are improving by the minute! She can now sit up with no support, crawl and pull up to stand. (And if not, she will SOON so watch out!)

Her fine motor skills are advancing too. She’s practicing the pincer grasp by picking up small objects with her thumb and index or middle finger. This is also a sign of improved hand-eye coordination.


Mental development

Your baby’s mental development is also advancing as he starts communicating with you more each day. He may love looking at himself in the mirror. And he now recognizes familiar faces versus strangers.

He responds to his name and might even answer back with some babbling. His eyesight is getting clearer, so he can spot an object across the room and point at it.


Separation anxiety

Object permanence develops around this age which can lead to separation anxiety. Your baby has just realized that objects (or people) still exist even when she can’t see them.

This can cause her to get distressed and cry when you leave the room or drop her at daycare. It’s heartbreaking for most parents, but it’s a normal and temporary phase of development.

With all of this development happening, it’s no wonder your 8 month old won’t sleep. It’s hard for her to relax and sleep well when she’d rather practice standing, crawling, or babbling. Plus, separation anxiety may make it harder for you to leave the room when she’s falling asleep.  

I don’t believe in “formal” sleep training during a sleep regression. Making big changes to your baby’s sleep routine during a period of increased fussiness and restlessness is a recipe for disaster! That being said, there are steps you can take to improve your baby’s sleep during this regression. (You’ll find these steps below.)


What you can expect from your 8 month old’s sleep



  • 2 – 3 naps daily
  • Awake times between naps should be 2-3 hours
  • Baby will drop the 3rd nap between 6-9 months
  • 2-3 hours total daytime sleep each day



  • 6:30 – 8 pm is ideal for this age
  • Try to keep bedtime within a 15 minute range every night. (Ex: baby is always asleep between 7-7:15 pm everyday.)


Night feeds

  • Most 8 month olds can sleep 10-12 hours without needing to feed. Others need 1 night feed.
  • Ask your doctor if your baby is ready for night weaning.


Night sleep

  • 11 – 12 hours


Total sleep in 24 hours

  • 13 – 15 hours

*If you think the 3rd nap is interfering with night sleep, consider transitioning your baby to 2 naps.


RELATED: My 9 Month Old Won’t Sleep!


Craving some routine, mama?

Want to get several example daily schedules that you can download & save? Ones that meet all of your baby’s sleep, feeding & playtime needs?

My Daily Schedules guide covers 5 months – 4 years old! 

 Tip 1: Let your baby practice new skills during the day


There’s a lot of change and activity happening in your baby’s brain right now! Understandably, this makes it harder for him to settle down and sleep long stretches.

The first tip I always give parents is to give their baby the space and opportunity to practice new skills during the day. If your baby is learning to pull to stand or crawl, don’t trap him in a baby activity center for long periods.

Instead, place him on the (baby-proofed) living room floor and let him GO! This helps him burn off energy and master new skills sooner.

Most babies will go through a phase of wanting to sit, stand or crawl around the crib rather than sleep. If your baby is happily awake and practicing new skills during the night, do your best to give him space. Sure, he’ll lose some sleep over the next few days. But he’s learning to move around and get himself comfortable in the crib on his own- a vital self-soothing skill!

If your baby is “stuck” standing or sitting in the crib, and he’s upset about it, then help him lie down. If he pops right back up, try backing off for several minutes to let him practice repositioning himself. Otherwise you may get caught in a game of “jack-in-the-box” for weeks!




Tip 2: Keep a consistent daily schedule for your 8 month old


Consistency and routine are essential for helping babies sleep well. A consistent sleep schedule sets your baby’s block clock to sleep at certain times, making it easier for her to settle for naps and at bedtime.

If you already have a daily schedule for your baby, stick to it as closely as possible. Even if your 8 month old is fighting sleep, it’s best to keep her sleep routines familiar.

If you haven’t yet started a sleep schedule for your baby, these sample daily schedules will help you create one.


Sample daily schedules for 8 month olds

If baby takes 3 naps a day

7:00 Wake, milk

7:45 Solids

8:15 Play

9:00 Morning nap

10:00 Wake, milk

11:00 Play

11:30 Solids

12:15 Afternoon nap

1:30 Wake, milk

3:00 Snack, milk

4:00 Cat nap

6:00 Dinner, bath

6:45 Peaceful Nightly Ritual, top-up feed

7:15 Asleep

If baby takes 2 naps a day

7:00 Wake, milk

7:45 Solids

8:15 Play

9:00 Milk

9:30 Morning nap

11:00 Wake, milk

12:00 Solids

12:45 Play

1:30 Milk

2:00 Afternoon nap

3:30 Wake, milk, solids

5:30 Dinner, bath

6:00 Peaceful Nightly Ritual, top-up feed

6:30 – 7:00 Bedtime

xFeeding tips:

  • Milk & solids can be combined or staggered depending on baby’s preference.
  • On-demand breastfeeders do not need to follow a strict feeding schedule.


RELATED: Daily Schedules & Developmental Activities for Your Baby / Toddler



Tip 3: Feed your baby often during the day


Growth spurts and development make babies hungrier. The best way to prevent your 8 month old from waking up hungry in the night is to feed him often during the day.

If your baby suddenly wants to eat more one night, let him. But make sure to feed him more the following day too. You may offer feeds more frequently or a larger volume at each feed. This helps him get the extra calories needed to fuel this growth spurt, but aims to keep the majority of these feeds happening during the day. So he can sleep longer at night!

Most babies are ready to sleep through the night (without feeding) by 8-9 months. Ask your baby’s doctor is your little one is ready.

This guide explains when and how you can wean your baby off night feedings.




Tip 4: Have extra “quality time” with your little one


When your baby has separation anxiety, she’ll be missing you more than normal. And she may let you know how much she misses you when it’s time to sleep!

Babies that normally fall asleep on their own may suddenly cry when you leave the room at bedtime. They may also need more comfort during the night when they wake. It’s the greatest compliment knowing how much your baby loves and needs you. It’s just really exhausting at 3 am.

To help minimize your 8 month old’s nighttime separation anxiety, try having lots of quality time together during the day.

Put your phone away and spend 15 uninterrupted minutes together playing, reading books, and cuddling. If possible, do this a few times each day.

Evening is the perfect opportunity to give your baby the love and reassurance she needs so she can relax and fall asleep easily at bedtime. Try to minimize distractions and multitasking in the hour before baby’s bedtime. Chat while you have dinner and bathe baby. And make sure to give lots of hugs and kisses during baby’s bedtime routine.  

Although it’s a bit early, explaining things to your baby can help you feel better. Tell her that you’re going to work, you love her very much and you’ll be back soon. Over time, she (and you) will get used to you being away.


Nighttime tips


Tip 5: Start a peaceful bedtime routine


Bedtime is THE place to start when you want to help your baby sleep better. The majority of baby sleep experts agree that the best way to set your baby up for sleeping long stretches at night is to begin a bedtime routine.

The purpose of a bedtime routine is to calm your baby in the evening, so that his body can relax and welcome sleep. Certain activities have been proven to relax babies, and when done in the right order, it sets your baby up for sleeping longer at night.

If your little one is struggling with separation anxiety, restlessness or wanting to practice new skills- a relaxing bedtime routine is the best way to set him up to sleep well. It’s an “instant cure” for babies that fight bedtime.

If you haven’t yet started a consistent bedtime routine, today’s the day to begin! Get all my best tips in my Exhausted Mom’s Starter Kit.


Tip 6: Try gentle sleep training first


Sleep regressions can totally derail good sleeping habits. And sometimes it seems that pulling baby into your bed and nursing her all night is the only option to help you both sleep. I get it, I’ve been there!

But here’s the thing… a few days or weeks of this can easily become habit that your baby will expect long-term. So if you’re not keen to share a bed with your little one for the long haul, consider trying “less hands on” to help settle your baby.

For example, when your baby wakes at night avoid scooping her up right away.

Instead, try to sing or speak calmly to her while she stays in the crib. Rub her back or head, pat her bottom or put your hand on her chest to let her know you’re there. Sometimes a few minutes of this settles her right back to sleep… and you can tiptoe back to your bed.

If your 8 month old still won’t sleep after several minutes of trying, go ahead and pick her up. Sway, walk or bounce her to help calm her. Sometimes this can do the trick!

Only as a last resort do you want to do “heavy hands on” soothing like feeding to sleep or pulling baby into your bed. Although it can help your baby fall back asleep quickly, it can also lead to more night wakings.

Please know that if you’ve tried everything else, and this is the only option that works, don’t feel any guilt about it! Do whatever you need to do to survive this regression. After 2 weeks you can be sure that the regression has passed and you can focus on getting your baby sleeping independently. This is what I help parents do everyday in my sleep training program.

The 8 month sleep regression can wreck your baby’s sleep routine. That’s a given. But remember, it’s not permanent.

The above tips will help you survive this regression and get your baby sleeping as well as possible. After 2 weeks of sleep troubles, it’s safe to assume the regression has passed and you’re free to get your baby sleeping amazingly!


Make sure to also download my (completely free) extensive Sleep Regression Survival Guide below!

a guide for parents to help their baby sleep better

Let’s stay connected!


  1. Carolina Echavarria

    how about teething? My baby slept great till last week due to teething and wants a bottle every 2 hours at night and doesent eat well during the day

  2. Asma fakeeh

    It helps knowing this is a common issue for parents. My baby is turning 9 months in a few days and last week we went on a roadtrip and had major events which lead to major changes to our sleep schedule. We have been home for almost a week and my baby has completely forgotten how to sleep for 12 hours like she used to. Right now the best she can do is sleep for 3 hours and then she wakes up chatting up a storm. I try to let her be but then realize it’s been 2+ hours of her babbling in her crib. I’ve stuck to a routine and have been consistent with her naps and feeding her enough through the day but still no signs of improvement. I’m starting to worry this is our new norm and it’s really upsetting since she has been the best sleeper since 3 months old.

    • Artemis

      Hi Asma,

      So sorry this has happened. However, it’s very common at some point to get off track. Don’t worry, your little one was an amazing sleeper and we can get back to that. It’ll be easier since she used to sleep so well!

      We’re happy to help you get back on track via our program here:

      Sign up ASAP and let’s start working on getting you back to 12 hour nights.
      Artemis, BSMS Support Team

  3. Patrícia

    Same same situation here!! From once earlier we’ve been suffering this regression for a month now and night waking are about 3-7 a night. Crying desperately, rocking even when we hold him and sometimes biting 😅 as the latest resort we feed him with just some formula and easily resettles but im concerned this has become and habit and we don’t know how to break it … thanks

    • Artemis

      Sorry to hear that! The regression technically only lasts about 2 weeks, so anything after that is just them waking out of habit. We would be happy to happy to help you get back on track in our sleep program- most parent see significant results within a week!

      Here is the link:

      Hope to see you in the program, Patrícia.
      Artemis, BSMS Support Team

  4. Michelle

    My baby is 9 months this weekend and has been going through the 8 month sleep regression for about 6 weeks now. For the entire 6 weeks, he has been rolling all over the crib and wakes himself up and then only goes back to sleep when we finally feed him. Before this, he was no longer eating at night. He was also sleep trained before the regression hit. The article states it might now be a habit but how can you break the habit with a sleep trained baby? We try leaving him to fall back asleep but he doesn’t and will eventually start to cry really hard and loud until we get him. He didn’t even cry this bad when we originally sleep trained him. We are out of ideas!

  5. Mrinalini Bakshi Sengupta

    We’ve moved baby into the crib after 6 months of Co sleeping. Now she’s 8 months, and she’s still not sleeping well. She’s awake every 2 hours through the night. We started sleep training recently, and now she stands up and doesn’t know how to get back down. She cried for 1 hour at the bed and didn’t know how to get back and sleep. My husband and I are losing our mind. Should we be sleep training during such a big developmental milestone and will she learn independent sleep skills ever?

    • Artemis

      Congratulations on transitioning out of co-sleeping!

      Sorry your little one is wakings so often though. Sounds like your 8 month old is still working through this developmental milestone. Here are our tips on how to handle this:

      I would say you can pause sleep training for now. Let 1-2 weeks pass until you start again. We’re happy to help you in our program where we also help support parents through regressions, sickness and teething, but mainly of course through the sleep training process. Here’s the link:

      Together we can get your little one sleeping through the night,
      Artemis, BSMS Support Team

  6. David Bradford

    Hi there,
    My wife has chosen co sleeping from birth and my 9 month old son never sleeps well at night and feeds on demand, it’s taking a big toll on my wife and our marriage, he’s so restless and has to sleep on my wife, she refuses to do any sort of sleep training, any advice would be appreciated

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello David,

      Thank you so much for your post. As a mother of two toddlers, I can completely understand how exhausting sleep deprivation can be! We would really love to help your family get your LO sleeping in his crib independently since this is the safest sleep space. I know you mentioned your wife may be concerned about sleep training. Sleep training can sometimes have a very negative vibe attached to its name, but it is really the act of teaching your LO to fall asleep independently, and it can be done in a gentle way. I would check out the article (below) together as a couple because it really breaks down the common “myths” of sleep training.

      We can definitely help you get your LO’s sleep on track and get your entire family sleeping better! We can provide the best support to your family in our 21 Days to Peace & Quiet program.

      In this program we offer 4 step-by-step sleep training methods. You choose the one that feels best for your LO. We have super GENTLE & gradual all the way to quick & efficient. Each step of the way you get advice based on your baby’s developmental stage, energy levels, and temperament.

      Two of our package options include personalized support and I find this to be so beneficial during the sleep training journey! Jilly and members of our support team answer questions 7 days a week in our private FB group and we host 3 Zoom calls per week! You will always feel like you have the support you need every step of the way.
      You can find out more info on the program here:

      When you are 100% consistent in following the steps of the program, your baby will be sleeping amazingly within 1-3 weeks. It depends on the method you choose as well as your baby’s adaptability, but we cover all of this in the program!

      Happy to answer any questions you have. We hope we get the chance to help you and your LO on this sleep journey!
      Have a great day!
      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  7. Jessica

    Great tips. I will be trying soon! Question about my 8 month old- we co-sleep in the same room but baby sleeps in his crib, should he be moved to his room for this to work? Despertaste mom that wakes up 4 or more times at night to nurse, with a full time job 6a.m. to 4p.m. needs sleep 🥴.

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hi! You can definitely choose to move your LO in his own room before the training process. Both of my girls slept significantly better in their own rooms. I hadn’t realized how much we were waking each other up at night!

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  8. Alyssa Taft

    Thank you so much for sharing your review!! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  9. Allison

    Hi! This article is super helpful 🙂 A question about our 8 month old and sticking to a schedule – most days her 2nd nap ends up being only 40 minutes. Even if it’s the same time every day! But we use wake times and that puts bedtime too early (~6pm). Should we use wake times before bed or stretch her on bad nap days (most of them) to stick to our ideal bedtime (6:45ish)? Any advice would be helpful! Thanks!

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Allison,

      You could try extending the awake time before the second nap to see if that helps baby nap longer. Plus that will help with keeping a consistent bedtime too. Good luck!


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