Looking for an 8 month old sleep schedule? Here are tips for optimizing your 8-month-old’s sleep and helping your baby sleep through the night.
Parenting a baby requires a lot of flexibility. You’ve been doing this for 8 months now—just think about how many times you’ve had to adapt and change since you brought your baby home.
I know sometimes it feels like you’re working so hard to establish a routine, only to have things uprooted.
But here’s the thing: you are laying the foundation now to help your baby develop the independent skills and sleep associations they need for high quality sleep well into toddlerhood.
8-Month-Old Wake Windows
I recommend you keep your 8 month old wake windows between 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
That means it’ll be anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 hours between when you take your baby out of their crib until they fall asleep again.
Many 8 month olds will do well with the following wake windows, going from the first of the day to the last: 2.5-3 / 3 / 3-3.5.
You can start with a 2.5 to 3 hour wake window and then make slight, 15-minute adjustments based on the cues your baby gives you.
Many babies need their shortest wake window at the beginning of the day, so it’s okay if they start to act tired after being awake less than three hours. Babies need a lot of sleep!
Your 8 month old should get between 13 to 14 hours of sleep each day. That includes 2 to 3 hours per day napping, spread between 2 to 3 naps.
Keep in mind that if your baby hasn’t yet made the transition from 3 to 2 naps, it is coming soon. Their daily schedule won’t stabilize until that nap transition is done.
Your baby’s wake windows might go through another slight adjustment around 9 months old, but once you’ve locked in 9 month old wake windows, things will remain fairly consistent through baby’s first birthday!
How Many Naps Should an 8-Month-Old Take?
Around the 7 or 8 month mark, many babies are ready to drop their third nap and transition to a 2-nap schedule.
If your 8-month-old is still in a 3-nap routine, you may start to notice some signs that they are ready to make the 3 to 2 nap transition.
Signs that your baby is ready to transition to a 2-nap schedule include:
- Bedtime battles. When a baby who has been consistently falling asleep easily at bedtime starts fighting sleep at the end of the day, it can be a sign that they are ready to kick the catnap at the end of the day.
- Waking up too early in the morning. Babies who start frequently waking up more than an hour earlier than usual in the morning might be showing you they need a longer wake window at the end of their day.
- Taking longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep. If your baby has a sufficient wake window, they won’t be awake in their crib for longer than 15 minutes before falling asleep.
- Naps are less than an hour long. Suddenly short naps can be a sign that your baby doesn’t have enough awake time built in to their schedule.
Once you start to make the 3 to 2 nap transition, there may be a week or two where your baby goes back and forth between a 3-nap and 2-nap sleep schedule. That’s okay.
This adjustment period is just your baby getting used to their new nap routine.
How Do I Stop My 8-Month-Old From Waking in the Night?
By the time babies are 8 months old, they are typically capable of sleeping through the night. Frequent night wakings are (hopefully) a thing of the past.
But if they’re not, I can help.
If you’re still dealing with your 8 month old waking up multiple times at night, don’t worry. Here are some things you can do to help them stay asleep at night.
If you haven’t already introduced a sleep training method, frequent night wakings could be your sign that it’s time to sleep train your 8-month-old.
Some families choose to begin sleep training as early as 4 months old. If you haven’t done it yet, I want to assure you that it’s never too late.
I’ve worked with some families who have been hesitant to sleep train because they equate it with “cry it out” and feel like it’s harsh or traumatizing.
I want to assure you of two things. First: it’s okay for babies to cry, because it’s their way of communicating and it is completely natural! Some crying and fussing is not going to harm your baby.
Second, there are a lot of different sleep training methods out there—not just the “cry it out” extinction method. I assure you that you can find one that fits your family’s needs and comfort level.
Sleep regressions are typically caused by your baby’s brain development and physical milestones (like developing new motor skills).
Around this age, your baby is also starting to grasp the concept that when you leave a room, you’re still around somewhere. You might start seeing some separation anxiety at this age.
The best way to fight a sleep regression is to foster independent sleep habits for your baby. That means avoiding dependent sleep associations like nursing or rocking to sleep.
Other Tips for Nighttime Sleep Success
Here are some other tips to help your 8-month-old sleep through the night:
- Keep the bedtime routine consistent. You should try to do the bedtime routine the same each night, because this is your baby’s nightly reminder to wind down.
- Put them to bed with a full belly to keep them from waking up to feed. If they are still waking up at night to nurse, consider night weaning. Once your baby learns to go without a feed in the middle of the night, they are more likely to sleep all the way through.
- Make sure the physical space in their room is conducive to sleep. Make the room dark with blackout curtains, and shut out background noise from the rest of the house with a white noise sound machine. This one is my absolute favorite.
If you’re looking for more pointers on how to set up your baby’s nursery to be most conducive for sleep, check out my post on nursery must-haves for sleep.
Example 8-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
Keeping 8-month-old wake windows in mind, here’s an 8-month-old sleep schedule that includes two naps and wake windows that are 2.5 / 3 / 3.5.
7:00 am: Wake up + nurse or bottle
8:30 am: Solids/Breakfast
9:30-11:00 am: Nap
11:00 am: Nurse or bottle
12:00 pm: Solids/Lunch
1:30 pm: Small nurse or bottle (if needed)
2:00-3:30 pm: Nap
3:30 pm: Nurse or bottle
5:30 pm: Solids/Dinner
6:30 pm: Start bedtime routine + nurse or bottle
7:00 pm: Bedtime
Are you feeling lost when it comes to establishing a predictable sleep routine for your baby? I’ve got a great resource that will help ease your stress around wake window and nap transitions.
With the Baby Sleep Schedule Binder, you’ll get sample sleep and feeding schedules for every age. I’ve got you covered, from newborn all the way to 4 years old!
You can check out the Baby Sleep Schedule Binder here.