During this period your baby is going to go through a lot of changes. They are going to be eating a variety of different foods, textures, flavours and amounts. Physical development will also progress in leaps and bounds, quite literally and sleep will have changed quite a lot form 6 months old.
I have written this blog with some suggested schedules that may fit into your family life and walk you through the different stages that your child will grow into over these months.
Please note these are suggested schedules and for babies who have dropped down to 2 naps only. If your baby is still taking a third afternoon nap you will need to squeeze it in around 5/5.30pm and push bedtime later. They may just need a little cat nap of 15 minutes at this time and soon they will be dropping this nap which usually occurs between 7-9 months.
Development at 8 Months….
Your baby may be happily taking 3 meals a day now and may have consolidated sleep at night for 6-10 hours. They may even be sleeping all the way though to around 6 or 7 am which can happen around this age but many babies are still waking for a feed at night.
This is very normal and expected. In fact many babies still wake for a feed until the age of 12 months! Don’t fret, it will come!
Physical development will be coming on a lot now. Baby will be sitting unaided, rolling around a lot, rocking on all fours, crawling backwards or they have mastered going forwards now! Pulling up to standing and possibly even attempting to cruise around the furniture has been known at this early age!
Preferred sleeping position will most likely be on tummy now and many babies even like to have knees tucked under them and bum up in the air! Don’t worry about tummy sleeping now at this age, your baby has gained a lot of core muscle strength and mobility and will be turning their head when needed.
Often babies will have mastered the pincer grip and this will be great for feeding themselves even if most of it ends up all over their face or on the floor!
Your baby will recognise familiar faces now and be making “mama” and “dada” sounds. When you call your baby’s name he may even turn his head to you and also start to point to things he sees and wants!
Separation anxiety/object permanence starts to kick in around 9 months. This means when you or something is out of sight he really thinks you have disappeared. Ensure you play lots of peek a boo games with you baby, hiding behind hands, furniture and out of them room, extending the time you hide for. Babies love this game and giggle intensely when you pop out again! This is the time babies often start to cry and squeak to get your attention until you pick them up.
Now is the time to get the house properly baby proofed! Get those pot plants up off the floor, safety locks on cupboards and drawers and stairs gates up.
Teething continues and may disrupt sleep for a few nights. Find out more about this HERE
All these new and exciting changes that are happening at this age so it is no wonder your baby may find sleeping peacefully a little harder at this age and you find yourself up a little more in the night than you may wish to be! That’s the 8 month sleep progression for you. Find out more about it HERE.
But what should your baby’s sleep schedule look like at 8 months? If you follow me and know me well, by now you will know I don’t say what your baby should be doing, rather make suggestions what your baby can do and what may fit for them.
Below I have some suggested schedules that may be that perfect fit…
Getting the day time nap schedule is one part of the puzzle to getting great night sleep. Around 7-9 months babies drop the last afternoon nap of the day and go down to 2 naps. Ideally it is best to have the lunch nap the longest as this reduces the cortisol levels at the appropriate time of the day and you don’t have an overtired baby by dinner time and a meltdown at bedtime.
However that said many babies still like to spread their naps evenly over the 2 naps and if it works for them then there is no need to change it.
Note these schedules have different wake up times in the morning. Total day sleep at 8 months will be 2.5-3 hours depending if they are still having a 3rd nap or not.
If you need to squeeze a third nap in I would pop 15-20 minutes in around 5.30, serve up dinner when they wake and bed time around 7.30/8pm.
Nap 3 needed, pop it in around 5pm and push bedtime closer to 6.30pm Below is the schedule for those little ones who like to have long naps both morning and afternoon! If you need to squeeze a third nap in I would pop 15-20 minutes in around 5.30, push dinner time to when they wake and bed time around 7.30/8pm.
Above is the schedule for those little ones who like to have long naps both morning and afternoon! If you need to squeeze a third nap in I would pop 15-20 minutes in around 5.30, push dinner time to when they wake and bed time around 7.30/8pm.
If you need to squeeze a third nap in I would pop 15-20 minutes in around 5.30, serve up dinner when they wake and bed time around may need to be a little later around 7.30/8pm.
As I say these are suggested schedules, there is no one size fits all. Your baby may cope better with a slightly shorter awake windows than suggested above. That is one of the beauties working one to one with me is we can really work closely to work out what your baby needs and suits best.
If you would like to have a chat about your child’s routine to help work out what may be the best schedule you can drop me an email HERE or book in a free callHERE to find out more how I can help you!
I bet you have lots of friends with babies this age so feel free to share this blog with them. Find out what schedule they are on and how it works for them!
As always, peaceful nights to you all,
Your Paediatric Sleep Consultant