Ready to Sleep Better?
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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. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this episode of the kids sleep show. I am so excited that you are here joining me, I hope you had a beautiful weekend. And I look forward to sharing some information today, all about the age of eight months, there is a lot that happens around eight months of age. And it’s one of those particular months I like to talk to because a lot of parents see things like sleep regressions, developmental leaps, kind of emotional regulation, and balance starts to come into play. And you know, making sure that you are creating an environment for your little ones. So they have sleep success, they do it well. They do it consistently. And ultimately, we make sure you get the right amount of sleep too. So thank you so much for tuning in, we are going to chat first and foremost about where your little one should be at eight months of age around daytime sleep. So by this particular time, a child at eight months of age needs about three hours in naps. In the daytime hours. Now, when I write programs, a lot of times I build schedules based off children going seven to seven, that seems to work for most families, it seems to work for, you know, work schedules, and really the way that the body works with the sunlight. So when I talk today, I’m going to be talking about sample days with a seven to seven based setup, right, you may be a family that prefers six to six, maybe mom’s a teacher, for example, and has to get out of the house, you know, and be at the school early or a nurse you know, as sometimes I have clients that say you know what we actually are a later family. So we kind of prefer eight to eight, I do have some clients that prefer nine to nine, that’s just a little bit of a harder one to get to. But I will explain if you do what that should look like for you because you’re going to be a little bit of a different situation. But in the traditional seven to seven type of day, you want to look at three hours of naps within that seven to seven day. Now for this age, a child needs about three hours of awake time between naps, right. So again, for eight months of age, a child should be able to go about three hours in between sleeping. So if they wake at seven, their first nap is always going to be at about 10 o’clock, right. So it creates consistency in the nap time, they start to recognize it’s nap time their body starts to prepare for naptime. And you have that nice long nap that takes place at about 10am. Now if you’re at eight months of age right now, and your nap does not look like this beautiful thing, it’s 20 minutes, and sometimes a dumpster fire, it’s probably a timing issue. So I would say start with getting to three hours. Because really, that’s where their little body it needs to be to have the ideal pressure built up, right to be able to nap right if you put a child down too soon, despite sometimes miss reading their cues, they’re not going to sleep long enough because they’re not actually ready for sleep. And if you put them down overtired, their body’s going to have you know stimulant hormones triggered, so they’re not going to be able to stay asleep because they’re stimulated, right. So at eight months of age, again, you kind of want to say that first nap of the day is going to be roughly at about 10 o’clock. And then in the afternoon, you’re going to need another snooze. Typically, it falls around two o’clock, right. So I when you have an eight month old look at schedules like this, you’re going to have an eight month old that takes a nap from 10 to 12, which means their next nap needs to be from three to four, or you’re going to have a child that sleeps from 10 to 1130. In which case their next nap Three hours later, would be 230 to four, okay? Or you’re going to have a child that maybe their morning nap isn’t the strong one the afternoon one is, so they’re going to sleep from 10 to 11. And then from two to four o’clock is going to be their second nap, right. So in all of those situations, a child is getting the exact amount of sleep they need three hours in total daytime sleep. Two naps, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. Okay, now, if your child goes to daycare, and they don’t have a strict rule about naps, and they sort of just go with when the baby shows they’re tired, they put them down. That can be good or bad. It depends on the daycare and the way they do things. Right. And sometimes, I mean, I had two kids in daycare, and I you know, I do this as a living and, you know, some days I’d pick my kids up and I’m like, Oh my gosh, like that was an atrocious day, and my daughter would fall asleep in the car on the way home and that was fine. She’d kind of take the edge off with a 20 minute nap. In the car, and I would drive around for a little bit, just to make sure she didn’t go into bedtime overtired. But if your child’s taking like three shorter naps at daycare, for example, 45, one hour, one hour or something, right? Like, as long as you’re kind of hovering around that three hour mark, they should be okay. Getting into bedtime, the biggest thing you want to watch is that last nap to bedtime window, right. So typically, if they’re taking two solid naps a day, they’re going to be getting up at about four o’clock, which is going to mean at seven o’clock, they’re ready to go down for bed, right? That’s ideal. Okay, ideal isn’t always, every day, right? So what you have to look at is, Hey, I picked my kid up today, and daycare naps were a mess. Yes, it’s five o’clock, but they’re miserable, and just fell asleep in the car driving home. So I’m going to let him sleep for 20 minutes, right, it’s not going to screw your bedtime up, it’s just going to allow them to take the edge off, you don’t want it to be too long of a nap, you kind of just want enough, like I said, about 20 minutes, no more than 30 minutes to take the edge off. And then you can still lay them down to go to sleep at about seven o’clock knowing that you know, they’ll settle in a few minutes independently. And they will sleep great and sleep through the night. Now let’s assume you pick your child up from daycare or from your grandma’s or you get home and your husband says hey, thanks. Welcome home today was great, except little one woke up at three o’clock, right? And you go Okay, what do I do now? Right? Well, when you have a situation like that, they’re really going to struggle to make it all the way to seven. And it’s too long of a window, because it’s going to create overtired, right, so if you know eight month old is getting up at three in the afternoon, you either need to force a power nap. And usually I tell clients, the easiest thing, especially this time of year is to go for a walk, right? let them fall asleep in the carrier. if they’ll fall asleep with you cuddling them and rocking them, like just get them something, because they’re likely not going to fall asleep just by putting them in the crib, right? Because your windows are going to be off a little bit. So you know, at 515, they’re not going to be ready to sleep. But if you support it in some way, with a little bit emotion sleep, you can probably crowbar a little bit of a power nap out of them, you know, in the supported capacity, which is going to be better and help them get to that ideal bedtime around seven. Okay. You may also go in the opposite direction, I have plenty of sleep clients who work with me privately, who will say, I don’t know what to do, Courtney, like they won’t take a power nap. It’s three o’clock. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, right? And the answer is put them down to bed by like 630 at the absolute latest right? So maybe you stretch them a little bit from the three hours, but even putting them down at six clients think I’m crazy. And I will tell you every client that thinks I’m crazy the next morning is like, Oh my gosh, you are right, they slept for 13 hours, right? Kids need sleep, they need the right amount of sleep in the day, right? So it doesn’t matter. When it happens, it is important that they get the right amount of sleep. You know, when I talked at the start of this podcast about clients getting the right amount of sleep, okay? Again, you may have a family that’s more of a an evening family, I just finished with a client and they’re like, Look, our culture is just very late, like I’d prefer 10 to 10. But I know, their natural body clock isn’t going to support waking up at 10 in the morning, right, you choose to put them down at 10 at night. And as long as you’re setting them up properly, they’re still getting the right amount of sleep, right. So what that looks like for a family that has kind of that later Night Owl and more prefers that their children go down a bit later, it’s not a problem, your day is just going to be structured a bit, bedtime is going to be at 10 o’clock. And they’re going to sleep typically till somewhere between seven and eight o’clock. That’s usually you know, kind of what I find that threshold like most kids, just the natural biology of their body and the sunlight and stuff like they’re kind of waking up anyway by eight o’clock. And then what happens is to structure your day, if you want a 10 o’clock bedtime, and let’s assume it’s an 8am wake up,
That’s only 10 hours of sleep, we got to get a couple more hours in there, especially for a child this age, they still need a between 14 and 16 hours of sleep, right? So what I would typically say is alright, if they’re waking up at 10 o’clock, right, you would want to make sure they’re waking up about eight, you’re gonna want to have a nap probably about 11. And let’s assume they sleep till 12. Great, then you’ll have your next nap from like maybe three to five. Okay. And then you’ll probably have some aspect of a power nap about 730 to eight o’clock, and then you’ll put them down for bed. So you see all you’re really doing is kind of manipulating the hours around. And as long as you’re protecting the awake window and you’re getting them the right amount of sleep, they’re going to be fine. Right? The American Academy of Pediatrics looks at the ranges. So from four to 12 months, they say hey, a child needs anywhere between 12 and 16 hours. I frankly find it somewhere at this age between 14 and 16. You know, I think 12 hours at this age is too few. And so, you know I do see kind of 14 Here’s the magic number, but every kid’s a little different, right? My one girlfriend, her son could sleep for days and days and days. And he functioned just fine when another child without much sleep would be like, never able to go to bed because they were sleeping all the time. So every kid’s gonna be different, right? And you have to assess for your child like where they’re at, right? But the two naps a day is the first part of that foundation, in which I would say, let’s start there with making sure you’re setting them up for success in the day. The next thing you want to do is be able to protect at eight months, what is happening behaviorally, cognitively, developmentally, right. Like they’re now standing. They’re probably crawling, they’re sitting up on their own, right, there’s all these little leaps that are happening in the day, and they’re tired, right, they’re using new muscles, they never have, they’re more engaged than they ever have been. So you have to make sure that you are recognizing that and adjusting, you know, they may be tired sooner at bedtime than maybe you were used to, right. So you want to pay attention to those things. And when those happen, what I also talk with clients about is what I call, quote, ICU, right. So if a family is room sharing at this age, and the baby is in there in a crib, and maybe they’re in the corner, when they’re starting to crawl starting to pull up starting to stand up, one of the biggest struggles is they’re gonna wake at three in the morning and go, Hey, Mom, I see you, right, and they’re staring right at your face, because they’re two feet from the bed. Right? So it’s often a time where I work with clients to say, hey, look, you know, have you thought about putting them in their own sleep space, or getting some aspect of a divider, you can buy like a wood wall divider on wayfair for probably $60. And that can be a real nice piece that creates a barrier between you and them, because around eight months, they’re aware you’re there, their cognitive development is there, they’re staring at your face. And even though it’s dark in there, I’m certain that there’s probably a couple
on in your room, if not a nightlight that allows them to see your face, right. So I would definitely say you want to maintain the appropriate kind of distance or discuss moving them into their own space to make sure that they don’t become regressed around their sleep because now they’re waking and see you they call for you. They’re whining and yelling and crying because they know you’re there and you’re not doing anything. And what ends up happening is a lot of times people go down this rabbit hole that ends up turning into a longer term sleep regression, right? Because all of a sudden, they see you. Now you get up and now you’re tending to them even when they didn’t need you. They just wanted you. Right. So then you pick them up, and then you call them. Now they’re used to that, well, hell, if you’re going to pick me up, then I’ll take it right. So you have to pay attention to, you know, making sure that you avoid the sleep regression. And make sure you avoid getting too engaged in what’s happening. Right? Sleep regressions at this age are huge. There’s a lot developmentally happening. And so, you know, sometimes they’re regressing because they’re overtired. And parents don’t know that because they’ve started to make some of these leaps, there’s also starting to explore things more because they can do it right. A lot of times I see clients that get in the habit of like laying their child back down as they stand up, and all it does is turn into a game, you’re gonna lay me up, lay me down, I’ll stand up, lay me down, stand up, lay me down, stand up. And before you know it, you’re in there 17 times a night, laying them back down, right? And for them, it’s turned into a game. So with sleep regressions, you want to balance boundaries, right, and making sure that you’re looking at every waking, if they are still happening with the question, is it a want or need, right? Too often we’re doing things because we perceive that they need it, when in actuality, they just want it right. They’re fine. They just prefer right. So look at it that way. At eight months of age, a child shouldn’t need to eat through the night anymore. I know that’s a generalized statement, but I’m going to tell you in 95% of my clients, you do not need to eat is habit, you have a child with a habit, right? I always reserve that 5% because there are kids that are adjusted. There’s, you know, some parents that struggle a bit with like nursing supply, but are exclusively breastfeeding. And so it may make sense that they still have to feed through the night to maintain the supply to get the 24 to 32 ounces that a kid needs. And to ensure that little one, you know, is truly getting the right from a growth standpoint of milk in the you know, the intake side of things right? When it’s turned into a habit, that’s where you have a challenge, right? Your child’s eating grade, but they still wait 15 times a night for food because that’s the mechanism that they use to go back to sleep. And if that’s the case, we need to talk because it’s a habit, we can fix the habit. But that’s where generally working in the private capacity with myself or a member of my team is helpful. Because you’re now at a point where they no longer kind of perceive it as a want. they perceive it as a need. Like I need this to go back to bed. And it just goes down a very deep rabbit hole. And you know, oftentimes parents struggle because they’re like, I don’t know what is happening, right? Everything was going so fine. And now we’re a mess. Right? And so as I mentioned, like sleeping through the night is kind of that final piece of it like a child At this age should be able to settle independently. Sleep a consolidated 11 to 12 hours at night, be napping well independently, and really feel refreshed and able to take on the day, especially at eight months, right you’ve got teeth coming in. So I get you have to balance that I always talk with clients and like freeze some milk. And I buy gummy bear molds like throw some milk in the gummy bear molds. make little milk gummy bears in the freezer, keep them in a Tupperware bin, and then throw a few of them into one of those mesh teethers. And if your little ones teething, have them suck on that teething should not last more than a couple days, guys, if your child has been teething for, quote six months, like you have a problem and you need help, because it’s not teething, you know, and I sometimes feel bad when I say that to clients cuz they’re like, no, they’re just like, Yes, they are teething that whole time. But that’s not what’s disrupting sleep. When I work with families, they don’t wake because of teething, they don’t wake because of sickness most of the time, right? You know, I have parents where they’re just astonished and amazed continually because their little ones are such amazing sleepers now, and there’s consistency, right? Like you go into bed time knowing what the day is gonna bring what the night’s gonna bring. You don’t feel anxiety around bedtime, you don’t fear the put down for what it’s going to look like the rest of the night. You and your husband aren’t Rock Paper scissoring for who gets up tonight to deal with it, right? Like, there’s consistency. And there’s confidence. And that’s the coolest part about what I do. Like my sleep consulting business is very different than most consulting businesses out there. And I’ll tell you why. Because I educate you, I do it on the podcast here. I do it in my slumber Made Simple private Facebook group that I have over 900 members in now, right. And it’s all free, like I’m here to serve you. And as a paying client, you get so much more than that, right? That’s just the icing on the cake. It’s just, I’m very big into education, because I don’t want you to ever need me again, I want to make sure that when you work with myself or the team, right,
like you’re set up for life, your setup, when they transition to a toddler, jump out of the bed, move to one nap daylight savings, like, you’re always just going to feel good, you know, so if you’ve ever thought about going through and working with a sleep consultant, I encourage you to set up a time to chat with us like we offer free preliminary evaluations, typically around 20 or 30 minutes, we’ll hang out on the phone and kind of understand what’s going on and talk to you a little bit more about what sleep coaching looks like. Because it is very different. I do things differently here, right. And I want you to know that you can do it, that you can have a little one that sleeps well and to hang in there. It’s a tough age, there’s a lot happening, you know, behavioral behaviorally, cognitively. And how you feel in the morning is how your child feels, they just can’t express it. So I definitely say, you know, if you’re unsure, you’ve, you know, kind of thought about working with the consultant, do it reach out, it is so amazing to see the transformation that we make with families and you know, children regulate their emotions regulate their behavior, based on the right amount of sleep, right? When you have a sleep debt and sleep deprivation, that is the same part of the brain that controls your behavior and your balance, right, your cognitive function, same part of the brain. So now when you’re not sleeping, including you, and they’re not sleeping, those things are unable to be balanced, right. And we all want to set ourselves up and our families up for success. So I’m encourage you to set up some time to chat if you’re struggling. I hope this has been beneficial for you. I look forward to seeing you out in my facebook group join. It’s free. I’m out there every week doing Q and A’s and free trainings and all kinds of great stuff. And I would welcome you to join us out there and see how we can help you on your journey to sleep. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope everybody has a beautiful rest of the day. 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 sleeper 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 transition stuff comm 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.