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The 8 Month Sleep Regression

Or as I like to call a regression, a “progression”… due to the fact your baby is reaching milestones and not going backwards!


In this blog I will explain what exactly this 8 month “progression” is, the signs and how to deal with it.



So let’s get into it..!


WHAT IS THE 8 MONTH SLEEP “REGRESSION”?


Around 8-10 months your baby will be going through a major and massive neurological and physiological development change


Your baby is now beginning to be more mobile, learning to crawl, stand possibly walk and finding their own voice and practicing it more! This “progression” is your baby’s brain way of catching up with the day’s activities and processing it all. The result of this milestone is loss of sleep for all the family…


Around this time your baby will also be dropping from 3 naps down to 2 and this is a big developmental leap for them. They will be showing signs they are ready to drop this nap (see nap transitions blog for more on this )nap-transitions.html


Teething will be continuing and separation anxiety may also be starting to show. Your baby will be more aware of their surroundings, who is in the room, when you walk out the room, they may even cry a little when you walk out of the room.


They have now started to develop the skill of OBJECT PERMANENCE, which is when they know something still exists when they cannot see, hear, smell or touch it.

A great game to play often to help them feel confident and comfortable in the room without you there is to play peek–boo, hide behind your hands then perhaps the sofa, then the room…!




HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

Typically around 4 – 14 days. It may occur anywhere in the age range of 8 – 10 months. If your baby has mastered the art of self-settling and as long as you do not introduce any new negative sleep habits you should ride through this regression with ease.



THE SIGNS…

You will see a shift in your little ones sleeping patterns such as

  • Your baby is around 8 – 10 months of age

  • Restless at bedtime and during the night

  • Night waking’s may start to appear when they did not so much before.

  • The last nap of the day is taking a little longer for them to settle.

  • Wanting to sleep a little more in the day or during the first nap of the day

  • Your baby is more fussy in the day and clingy

  • They are unable to settle themselves day or night during awake or sleep when previously they could

  • Your baby is now pulling themselves up, crawling or even walking

  • Nap refusal

  • Bedtime tears appear

  • Teething, although tooth pain should only be a few nights


HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS “PROGRESSION”…

A sleep association will develop if it is mimicked at every sleep opportunity. If your baby has learned the skill and art of self-settling to sleep it is important not to re-introduce any previous sleep associations or start any new ones that may require your assistance such as feed or rock to sleep. Of course you can absolutely go to your baby, offer them the love, cuddles and support they need and you want to give.

  • Ensure you have a great routine you follow that works for your family. Stick to this routine throughout this testing time.

  • Continue to use white noise consistently for naps and night time

  • Ensure the bedroom to pitch dark

  • Give your baby the chance to self-settle without feeding them or assisting them back to sleep.

  • You may need to implement your sleep shaping method again

  • Be patient!


So to conclude, if you have all worked hard on sleep shaping and got to your sleep goals, know that is does work and can still work, know that it is kind to teach your child to learn the skill of falling asleep independently. Don’t let a “progression” undo all that hard work you put in!

Being awake all night is not good for anyone.

Stick to your routine, encourage independent sleep skills and all will be OK!


If you find you have been dealing with this for longer than you feel is “normal” then do drop me an email HERE and we can have a chat about what is going on how to get back on track!


Don’t forget to share this with a friend who has a baby​or may be going through this transition. It may just shed some light on the matter..!


Peaceful nights to you all,


Rachael,

Your Paediatric Sleep Consultant

xo

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