- What does the 8-month sleep regression happen?
- How long should it last?
- What steps can you take to fix the 8-month sleep regression?
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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for Life.
I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hey, everyone, welcome to this week’s episode. My name is Courtney Zentz, the founder of tiny transition, sleep consulting, and
I’m excited to be here today, sharing a little bit of love and a lot of knowledge around baby sleep. So we’re going to focus this week on sleep regressions. In specifics, we’re going to talk a lot about the eight month sleep regression, why it happens, how long it lasts, and what things you can do to protect yourself so that it doesn’t impact your sleep for very long. So first things first, I want to talk about where sleep progressions happen, whether it’s the five monthly progression, the seven monthly progression, 10 months sleep regression, you could pretty much Google sleep regression, and put any month behind it and you’re gonna find a whole treasure trove of stuff inside of Google that’s going to talk to you about why regressions happen. So really, the good news is that sleep regressions at any age really are caused by five main things, but how long they last is going to be up to you and some things that you do in response to what’s happening. So the first thing that we’re going to talk about specifically with the eight months sleep regression is wake Windows has your child grown out of their awake window. So typically, you have kids prior to eight months on three naps a day. So typically have a kidnapping around 930, typically around 1230. And then again, around 330. They’re kind of on that standard seven to seven type of day. And then you know, they’re taking these three naps. Well, if you haven’t moved your child off of that schedule, you might start to notice that they’re either fighting to go down for a nap, because they don’t have enough sleep pressure. Or once they’re down, they’re not staying down long enough, because they don’t have enough sleep pressure. And that dates back to hormones. So when you understand weak windows, which I think is all the buzz, people talk about weak windows all the time, but a lot of parents don’t actually understand what a weak window is. So I want to take a minute to explain what that means. And then what it should be for an eight month old. So awake window is really the amount of time in which your body is building up what’s called the sleep pressure hormone adenosine. So as your brain is essentially awake, it’s building adenosine. And then at a certain age, there is a peak point of adenosine right when you nap, your adenosine levels fall. So when you wake in the morning, they rise when you nap, they fall. Okay, so you’ve got this adenosine level that essentially then tells your brain Hey, I’m still awake, and I shouldn’t be right, because that wake window. And if your brain goes, well, you should be sleeping, but you’re not that probably means you’re obviously trying not to sleep. So let me help you out. So I’m going to trigger some stimulant hormones for you, right? Adrenaline cortisol. So now all of a sudden, you have a strong out baby, they’re crying, they don’t eat well, you can’t get them down to sleep in any way possible, right? Your weight windows are off. So if you try to put your kid down too soon, and they don’t have enough adenosine, then they’re not going to sleep long. Because they don’t need to sleep, they don’t have enough sleep pressure. But if you wait too long, then they have too much sleep pressure. So at eight months of age, it’s important that you make sure your child is on a three hour awake window between naps, and bedtime. There are asleep consultants out there will that will do things like 334 or they try to lengthen windows and other areas. I’m a big believer in consistency and balance, right especially towards the end of the day. Because you want to make sure that your child is not overtired. Too much adenosine going into bed because then you get stimulant hormones trigger that can impact how bedtime goes cause false starts and cause frequent overnight wakings and early morning wakings. The wrong week windows and either over or under tired can really be a culprit for a lot of different things that a lot of different ages, not just for the eight months sleep regression. So if your child is growing out of their weak window, they don’t need three naps anymore. There’s not enough time in between those naps, and they’re not as tired, right? So it’s important that somewhere around seven months, upwards to eight months, you are on a two nap a day schedule. For children. Every one of my private clients if they’re on a seven to seven day, nap number one is always at 10 o’clock in the morning. It’s three hours from when they wake, okay. And then the second nap happens three hours after they wake. You pretty much have three scenarios that happen with an eight month old, you have a 60 minute nap, a 90 minute nap or a two hour nap.
The first nap of the day at 10 should always be kept by 12 o’clock, okay because you have to protect the app Your new nap. If you have a kid that sleeps for three and a half hours at 10 o’clock, they’re never taking the second nap, then they’re a dumpster fire going to bed, right? You don’t want that. So you want to do is balanced sleep pressure, so you want to have a 10 o’clock nap. And then it’ll go 10 to 11. So then they sleep two to four. If they go 10 to 12, they sleep three to four. And if they go 10 to 1130, they sleep 230 to four, on average, they’re babies, not robots, but in consistent kind of timing creates the consistency and the durations of the cycles, which then gives you some normalcy in your day. And most of the kids are pretty balanced around there. Okay, you want to look for it eight months, the management of two naps, three hours of daytime sleep total, and about three hours of an awake window in between sleeps to have the optimal awake, window balance, hormonal imbalance, lack of overtired, all of those good things that are going to help your little one to nap well, okay, the second time, or the second thing you would see typically with sleep progressions has to do with leaps, right? So your child stands up for the first time, maybe they start crawling, right? There’s a lot happening between seven and 12 months, for your little one, they often start solid, they’re starting to get some teeth coming in, right, they start to form things like separation anxiety, just leaps alone. You know, parents will say to me, like, I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden, you know, little Billy started standing in his crib. And now he sleeps like crap. Well, you know why? Because you went in for two weeks. And every time little Billy stood up, whether it was for a nap, or for bedtime, or for the overnights, you laid him back down. Problem, he now expects you to lay him back down, you have created a habit out of what was a developmental leap, which is where a lot of parents go wrong with sleep progressions, there is something developmental happening for sure. But they overcompensate trying to be helpful, right, nobody wants to do this, they just don’t know what else to do. They don’t want little Billy to fall. So the best thing you can do with any type of LEAP is practice during the day, and then be mindful of how much you’re engaging. From an overnight standpoint, you know, I
often tell clients all the time, always be accessible to your children, do not be excessive. Okay. And that goes for any age, that’s probably my best piece of advice, always be accessible, do not be excessive, because excessive is what causes these habits, if you’re willing to do the thing, they become reliant on the thing, regardless of their age, right. And that thing is often to sleep, right? So I’m going to still rock them to sleep or nurse to sleep or drive to sleep or where to sleep or bounce to sleep. If the word to sleep is in there, your child is deficient in a skill, right? That skill is independently settling for bedtime and for overnights, likely, which then leads to independently not settling for naps, right? You have to make sure that kids have the innate ability to independently settle themselves. And it can be taught through sleep training and coaching. With the right plan with the right support with the right structure with the right approach. It can be relatively painless and relatively quick. I think a lot of people, they are certainly scared of making some of these changes. Oh, little Billy could never make three hours at eight months. If your kids not at three hours. That’s your problem. And I’ll tell you that because I’ve worked with 1000s of families, right? Like, their body doesn’t lie. They have a certain amount of a week window. Now yes, sometimes you have to adjust there a little bit to get there over a couple of days. But you got to figure out how to do it right, put them in the bath and play. Take them outside in the swimming pool, give them direct exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is like the best for natural body clock regulation. You’ve got to keep them stimulated. If you think you’re going to sit them in the jumper while you work. And they’re not going to pass out in an hour and a half jumping. It’s because they’re bored, not because they’re tired, right? So, you know, try to manage what you’re doing to sleep. And that’s going to minimize any aspect of a sleep progression that relates to a habit, frankly, that you have to sleep train out of. Okay. Teething is a huge, huge thing. I see a lot of parents who are like, you know, oh, they’ve been teething. They got another tooth popping in, they’re teething again. Gosh, they haven’t slept through the night since last summer. That’s a habit. You created a habit. Because when they’re teething, you’re doing something to sleep. Right. Teething should last about three days, right? It’s painful when the tooth is pushing because there’s a big bump on the gums. It’s painful when it breaks through. And that’s painful about a day while the tooth heals around it. Other than that teething should not be bothering your children. Okay? So just be mindful. If you’ve had a child who’s teething perpetually for 16 months, there’s a habit in there somewhere you’re doing something to sleep. That’s the problem, not the teething, unfortunately. So with teething one of the things that I recommend, you know, to help ease the discomfort is actually a hack that I used for years even with my own kids. I would take formula or breast milk. It depends on which kid in which time you would ask me and I’d feel many silicone ice pop molds like these little ones that you’d make like chocolates with and I fill it with milk, breast milk formula, cow’s milk, whatever you know, and I would freeze them and I’d make these little gummy bear mold bears. So I’d have a little bags of gummy bears frozen of milk. And then I buy a mesh teether and I pop two bears in there. And then the chewing of the bear helps the tooth to break through the ice from the bear numbs the gums to make it easier to happen. And they get a little bit of extra milk in the day. And they kind of feel like they’re having a popsicle. So my kids always like that it was like a nice little treat for them. And they chew on like, you know, one or two bears, but it can help in the teething process. Right. The next becomes separation anxiety. So there’s definitely an increase, certainly with the pandemic, where we never left the house, right? We’ve been around our kids for the past two years, pretty much every day. I went to parent teacher last night, and my daughter was like, are you coming back? Like, dude, like, I literally, I see you all day, you know, like, they did start school, but you act like I travel, you know, like I used to seven days a week, and I’m just going to meet the teachers, you know, so there’s an aspect of that separation anxiety, but you have to balance how much you feed into it. My husband, he’s like, do bad. I’ll be back in an hour. Me. I’m like, It’s okay, give me a hug, you know, and he’s like, Dude, you’re feeding the beast. And it really made me think like, dang, you’re right, you know, I, I, you have to balance separation anxiety with you know, if you have a baby who’s new, right, my daughter is sick. So it’s more behavior based. But when you have separation anxiety, you have to manage the way in which you’re dealing with it, right? being accessible, not excessive, as I talked about, right? And so if your baby has a little bit of separation anxiety, then you put them in the crib. And you just say, Mommy, we’ll be right back. Right? And you walk out for a second, literally grab a towel and come right back and see mommy’s back. Would you like to read a book, right? And so you kind of start with like, gradual
growing of the time in which you sort of step away. And then maybe sometimes you’re like Mommy’s right here, I’m just gonna cut some cucumbers, right? And you’re kind of there in the living room and your visuals in the kitchen. So with separation anxiety, you can’t just rip the band aid off, kids freak out, right? So you’ve got to kind of gradually show them that, like, I’m here, and I love you. But it’s time to do this thing. Okay, so from an eight monthly progression, seven monthly progression, 10 monthly progression, whatever the number of the sleep progression is that you’re in, it’s probably one of these five things that is really the contributing factor to it. As far as how long does it last? Well, it depends on how long these things are, because most of them become habits, frankly. Except timing, you just have to fix the timing, but the other stuff typically turns into habits, okay. And so you’ve got to pay attention to the timing, you’ve got to pay attention to isolating the habits, right? You’ve got to talk with potentially a sleep coach, like myself, or a member of the team here at Tiny transitions, because you can fix some of these things with just the right guidance and knowledge. You know, I just started working with two clients in law like, Man, I feel so overwhelmed with the information because like you Google one thing, and it says do this, you Google something else that says do that. And the information is all over the place. Like you need somebody who’s going to give you the straight shooting like this is what’s going on. And this how you fix it, right? We offer focused coaching sessions here, which a lot of our clients love, because they’re just struggling with something tiny, like naps are a mess. But maybe overnight, they’re doing pretty good, right? We have 30 minute focused coaching sessions, and we get on the phone with you, you tell us what’s going on. And we tell you exactly how to fix it, and you go on your merry way. Right. And it’s beautiful. You don’t need $1,000 Sleep coaching package with all the bells and whistles and in home, all these things that consultants just try to sell you, right? We don’t do that here. Like we fit you with the right product for where you are and what you need. And sometimes it might just be like a focused coaching session. So if you’re struggling with something like this, and you know, everything else is going pretty decent, but these naps are just a mess. You know, definitely check that out. But again, look at being accessible, not excessive, right? If your toddler is waking up at three in the morning, and you start laying in bed, guess where you’re gonna end up in their bed. But if you stand at the doorway, and you’re like mommy’s here, go back to sleep and you stand there and you don’t engage but you’re there. You’re gonna see the wakings go away, right, because you’re accessible, not excessive kids like excessive. They want to be coddled, right. If my husband rubbed my head, every time I woke up at night, I’d wake them up half the night being like, Well, my head, right? But that’s because I knew he’d be willing to do it. I know he’s not willing to do it. So I don’t bother. You know what I mean? Like, you have to understand what that looks like. And it has to be practice to like, you’ve got to practice some of the skills if it’s a developmental leap, and they’re standing up in the crib, and you’re worried about them falling, right? That makes total sense, right? I would never want a baby to fall over and hurt their head, but you have to practice during the day of putting them back down. Right? Don’t go in 55 times and lay them back down. Not helpful. Spend a week, three times a day, five minutes at a clip a couple times a day, standing up sitting down, standing up sitting down and you’ll see they’ll grab that habit and turn it into a skill, right so they’ll stand up and then they’ll sit back down versus standing up and expecting you to come in. Right? You have to talk about to with a separation anxiety like winding down, right? A bedtime routine, Cuddles, you know doing whatever that child is looking for, whether it’s books or singing, you know, you’ve got to set a boundary around it in what you’re willing to do. But you know if kids want you because of the separation anxiety, say no, we read now this is Mommy cuddle time with you. And we’ll read the book. That’s it, right? You’ve got to create that boundary, because it’ll slowly creep into like more and more stuff where it’s like, you know, Dad comes to take you for mom, babies, like, you know, and then two seconds later, like, Hi, Daddy, right? But most moms will be like, Oh, come back. It’s okay. Right, you have to allow, you know, you have to allow sometimes that to happen, because you have to see that they’re just fine. Right. So when you have an eight monthly progression, if you’re in the middle of it right now, it is likely something that has to do with your weak windows being off a developmental leap, something you’re doing to sleep teething, or separation anxiety, all of which we’ve covered on how to fix. So your first step is to kind of assess your day, figure out what’s going on what your child is looking for, right, and then ultimately make the plan and you can fix any of these things, over three to five days, it should not take you more than that time. If it is you’re doing something wrong, and you need professional help. That’s what we’re here for.
Okay, a sleep progression should be something that you can get over pretty quick reset the rest. Otherwise, you’re gonna be in perpetuity going in there 45 times for the next two years to lay your kid down because they will not lay down unless you do it right. They will not go to sleep unless you rock them or feed them or bounce them or nurse them or do any of the things that you’re doing to try to get your kid to sleep. So paying attention to the Wake windows and then managing being accessible, not excessive, and you’ll be well on your way to arrested family at home. So that’s it for today’s episode. It was a lot of stuff on the eighth monthly progression, but I hope you found it helpful. And I look forward to see you every single week, so be sure to hit the Follow button. And we look forward to chat and if you have any ideas for episodes, definitely be sure to reach out info at Tiny transitions.com We’re always taking suggestions. We’re always looking for new guests to have on. And we’re always happy to share as much sleep knowledge as we can with you so that you can have and build good sleepers for life. Thanks so much. Bye for now. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleep burn not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber made simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.