If you are the proud parent of an 8-month-old baby, you have likely just figured out what they were looking for. You have them going down for bedtime, sleeping soundly through the night, and then, BOOM! All of a sudden, something is amiss. 

  • Perhaps their naps have gotten shorter.
  • Is your baby now waking in the middle of the night?
  • Has the bedtime routine become a battle each and every night causing you much anxiety and uncertainty about how their sleep is going to go?

Today I’m going to talk more about the eight-month-old nap schedule, which may be a contributing factor to why things are off at bedtime and in the overnight hours now. An eight-month-old baby needs anywhere between 12 and 16 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. As a result, they are typically sleeping between 11 and 12 hours through the night and three hours during the day for naps. By this age, your baby should be able to stay awake between sleep for 3 hours.

A Sample Nap Schedule for a Baby Who is 8 Months Old

…….(or 9, 10, 11, & 12 Months) too!

A sample schedule for a baby that is eight months old would typically look like one of these following days”

7:00 am

Wake up, eat

10:00am-11:30 am

Nap #1 for 90 minutes

2:30pm-4:00pm

Nap #2 for 90 minutes

6:30 pm

Bedtime routine to begin

7:00 pm

Bedtime

Total Daytime Sleep

3 Hours

OR

7:00 am

Wake up, eat

10:00am-11:00 am

Nap #1 for 60 minutes

2:00pm-4:00pm

Nap #2 for 120 minutes

6:30 pm

Bedtime routine to begin

7:00 pm

Bedtime

Total Daytime Sleep

3 Hours

 
If your child is on a bit of a different timed day, meaning they prefer an 8 AM – 8 PM type of day, that’s fine. You simply just adjust things by an hour to still align to the right naps, the right total sleep needs, and the right bedtime. If your alignment is off, it’s going to cause short naps, trouble to settle at bedtime, and disruption in the overnight hours. Make sure that they’re not overtired, which actually causes a child to become much more hyper, much more alert, and much harder to settle at various points throughout the day and overnight.

 

8:00 am

Wake up, eat

11:00am-1:00 pm

Nap #1 for 90 minutes

4:00pm-5:00pm

Nap #2 for 90 minutes

7:30 pm

Bedtime routine to begin

8:00 pm

Bedtime

Total Daytime Sleep

3 Hours

  • If your timing is good.
  • Your awake windows are proper.
  • The number of naps is aligned to support their needs.

…..then the next thing you want to look at is their ability to settle independently.

You need to make sure that your child has the skill set to fall asleep without support or comfort. 

You should not be going in to replace the pacifier or rocking them to sleep multiple times overnight, because then you’ve just become the prop or mechanism that they perceive they need to go to sleep when in actuality they just want it.

Is this the 8 Month Sleep Regression

Oftentimes, at eight months old, if there is a sleep regression it’s because something has happened where the baby now prefers that new way of going down. I often see it with vacations or illness. All of a sudden something that seems so innocent has turned into this new habit or expectation around sleep. If a child is sleeping in a daycare situation, for example, they may not have set schedules.

In that case, you want to look at whether a child is somewhere between two and three naps and how it shakes out. For example:

This Sample Nap Day shows alignment with an early waking and 3 naps. 

5:00 am

Wake up, eat

8:00 am-8:45 am

Nap #1 for 45 minutes on mom

11:00 pm – 12:30pm

Nap #2 for 90 minutes in the crib

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

Nap #3 for 45 minutes

6:45 pm

Bedtime routine to begin

7:15 pm

Bedtime

Total Daytime Sleep

3 hours 


There’s no right or wrong answer as to the number of naps your child should take, but there is a true comparison when you look at the total amount of sleep they need in the day and where they are getting it. If your child’s only sleeping 1 hour throughout the whole day, they’re going to be overtired for bedtime, overtired in the overnight, and struggling to settle. You may also see things like early morning wakings creep in, and no mom or dad wants to get up at 4 am for the day.

If you’re struggling to figure out what your schedule should be, how your child could sleep better, or what is happening in your home overall, we offer a free schedule generator.

Ready to Speak with a Sleep Consultant?

We are always happy to offer free preliminary sleep evaluations and support you in your journey to sleep. You can meet with a Certified Sleep Consultant on my team, who can help you have a better nap schedule, a more predictable bedtime, have your baby sleep through the night, or whatever your goals are. We can get you there.

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Courtney Zentz is an Award-Winning Author, Baby Sleep Expert, and Founder of Tiny Transitions. Her background as a Pediatric Sleep Specialist, Lactation Counselor, Postpartum Doula and Sleep Coach to her team of Sleep Consultants around the world provides parents with a solution to their sleep struggles, that is backed by science and balanced with your love and support.

The mission of Tiny Transitions is to teach healthy sleep hygiene and parenting education to parents and their babies, toddlers, and young adults who struggle to sleep through private sleep consultations or their more intensive 12-month program, Making Over Motherhood.

Named by Tuck as a Top 200 Sleep Professional in the United States, Courtney is a 4x “Best of Philadelphia” Sleep Consultant. She writes & contributes to Fatherly, Yahoo, Thrive Global, Medium, Nectar, Romper, Parentology, The Sleep Sense Show, and Bustle among others in the field of Pediatric Sleep. Courtney hosts The Kids Sleep Show podcast and is a frequent guest with companies like Slumber Pod® and The Magic Sleep Suit® Company.

Courtney resides just outside Philadelphia, with her husband Adam and two children, Max and Sovella. She has always felt passionate about making sleep & healthy living a priority in her family’s life and Tiny Transitions would welcome working with you. Setup a Free Preliminary Sleep Evaluation with Courtney or a member of her Slumber Squad®