Sleep regression at 8 or 9 months old

Sleep regression at 8 or 9 months old

Originally posted on 04/07/2023 @ 12:20

While you’re pregnant and looking forward to the arrival of your bundle of joy, you already know that your sleeping habits are going to be soon a distant memory. As we all know that, at the initial stage, a newborn is known for having an irregular sleep schedule, however, later on, slowly and steadily, kids manage to sleep for longer times. After some months, 8 or 9 months to be more exact, suddenly you may again start feeling agitation around bedtime. Although you might be not aware, but your baby is slowly reaching the next milestone of their development, called sleep regression, and your part of putting them to sleep is getting harder.

What Is Sleep Regression?

Your kid’s sleep schedule may shift from time to time. Therefore, the child may begin to sleep less, wake more frequently, or find it difficult to relax during the night, although your baby has previously slept well. Nothing to worry about, as sleep fluctuations are a natural part of your baby’s growth; this is also referred to as a “sleep regression.” However, the good news is that it’s completely normal and the main important thing is, it is temporary.

Sleep regression is a natural milestone where you can see differences in your child’s sleeping patterns. As they have a hard time getting sleep, they wake up more frequently in the night and have trouble going back to sleep. The good news is that if your little one is experiencing sleep regression, then it means that they’re going through an extreme growth spurt or that their brain is developing.


Why does sleep regression occur?

Below are the main reasons for sleep regressions that have been explained by experts. 

  • Growth Spurt

The growth spurt is the intense period of development, and it usually initiates between 1 to 3 weeks and later on around 6 to 8 weeks. Again it starts around 3 to 6 months and eight months. At this age, the baby is at the peak of motor development and brain development. 

In motor development, your little one is trying to adjust to a new environment. As the child learns motor skills like scoot, roll over, crawl, and pull him up. At the same time in brain development, babies’ communication skills start to develop. As you may see, they understand more day by day what you are trying to say. Kids also develop many skills by observation during eight months. This time of learning and adapting themselves to new things keeps baby’s mind busy and cause them stress or frustration, and this is the main reason that their hours of sleep get disturbed and ultimately affect their sleep pattern.

  • Teething Pain

Typically, it would be easy for you to identify whether your little one’s bedtime routines are disturbed by teething pain. Notice carefully other symptoms of teething that cause him pain at night like, swelling in gum, rashes on mouth, irritability or fussiness, etc.,

  • Disturbed routine

When you disturb your child’s routine, it will affect his hours of sleep. Baby’s routine usually gets disturbed when you make some changes in his routine life like starting daycare, making some changes in his meal times, or breaking bedtime rituals.

  • Traveling

Perhaps the main thing that disturbs the baby is sleeping in a new environment which inevitably involves traveling. You may not realize, but your baby is truly in love with his crib and room. When you change the place, it takes time for him to adapt himself to the new place and environment. They are not able to communicate how they are missing their home, and hence they become pray of sleep regression. Moreover, during traveling, kid’s other schedules also get disturbed like eating, playing, etc., these also increase the chances of sleep issues in traveling.

  • An illness

If your little one is not feeling good, he is 100% not going to have awesome bedtime. Illness like cold, fever, or an ear infection affects deeply your baby’s night sleeps. 

On the other hand, it might be difficult to pinpoint a single cause for an eight-month sleep regression since there are so many developmental changes going on at the same time. Therefore, regression might be a part of the baby’s adaptation to such changes. Additionally, parents are trying their best sleep training or altering sleep habits, and 


Symptoms of eight-month sleep regression

8-month sleep regression is nothing less than a nightmare for the parents who have experienced sound sleep of their baby. Because sleep regression combines shorter naps, fighting sleep, extreme fussiness at bedtime, and frequent waking at night.

Look carefully to know whether your baby is going through an 8-month sleep regression milestone through these symptoms:

  •  Crankiness

Try to stick to your bedtime rituals, and don’t forget that eight-month-old babies require more than 11-12 hours of sleep in 24 hours of the period, including 2-3 hours daytime sleep.

  • Restless Sleep and Trouble in falling asleep.

Sleep disturbances and especially difficulty falling asleep is a new milestone your baby is reaching. If you are finding it trouble to get your little one to go to sleep again, and if your baby moves around a lot in his sleep? You can defiantly blame 8-month sleep regression for it.

  • Clinginess. 

When your bundle of joy goes through eight-month regression, you may feel your baby getting irritable, especially when you are not around and cling extremely with you. 

  • Separation Anxiety 

It might be possible that your child or toddler will begin to act differently at some point. Especially when your child is left alone or at night because they become frightened of strangers or cry and continuously they have a fear of separation. This is referred to as Separation anxiety. However, you don’t need to be worried about it because it is also a natural aspect of your child’s growth. 

  • More Day Time Sleep

You may see your baby sleeping more than 3-4 hours during the daytime. However, you may feel that your baby used to not have such sleep before, sleep regression.

  • Frequent night waking

Frequent night waking is the key symptom of sleep regression. You catch up with your little one suddenly and more frequently, waking up unusually overnight. 


How to cope with Sleep Regression?

Number one advice from the Sleep Foundation on sleep regression survival is quite simple – ‘take a deep breath and adhere to the fact that sleep regression is a small nap transition, which is not going to last forever.

We have summarized some strategies that will help you to support your child in this difficult phase.

Be Flexible:

Sleep regression is not at all fun – it is the most complex time for your baby as well as frustrating for you. Sleep regression puts a full stop to your awesome bedtime routine. Additionally, It might be not possible for you to count on long naps in the daytime. Therefore, try to adjust with your baby’s 3-2 nap transition and seek some help or moral support from your family or partner who can boost you or give a little break.

Try to maintain a consistent routine.

Sleep regressions directly and badly attack your bedtime routines. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is fight with the bedtime practice and don’t give up until you get your bedtime rituals back. Here, it becomes extremely important for you to keep performing all soothing bedtime habits regularly. Because keeping certain things familiar at a period when your kid is experiencing and learning new things is beneficial. As it will help them to settle down and relax their mind for the night.

Respond to your baby.

Your baby needs extra of you when he is reaching every new milestone. Therefore it becomes extremely important for you to provide them additional comforts, like a good cuddle, more feeding, and more bedtime. You also need to ensure your little one’s sleep associations like their favorite soft toys, bed sheet, blanket, white noise machine, and other comforts.


Avoid Developing Bad Habits.

There’s nothing wrong to give extra care and cuddle while the baby is perplexed with the new phase of their life; yes, they need your help and support to settle down to new things. However, be careful towards bad habits that you might be supporting unknowingly, and don’t give up reverting to the bedtime rituals you have already broken. 

Don’t hesitate for extra feed.

It might be possible that your baby needs extra feedings, hence don’t be hesitant to offer them. As per the detailed case study of sleep foundation – ‘ During a sleep regression, your baby’s appetite will generally rise as a result of developmental changes and growth spurts. 

Reinforce Day and Night Distinction.

Make an apparent difference between day and night. Use natural light to your advantage and increased activity throughout the day; built a habit for your baby to get used to natural daylight, as it helps your baby learn that the day is for play and the night is for sleep. Ultimately it will develop a sleep-wake rhythm that will gradually link with the day-night cycle. Later on, you will see the increasing chances of better sleep at night in your little one. Regression case studies have proved that a clear distinction of day-night has helped to a great extent to overcome sleep regression in children.  

Avoid distractions and disruptions. 

Your kid will sleep better if you succeed to keep your child’s sleep area calm and dark, with nothing around to shock or distract them. If you are unable to control the external noise, then you may block out the background noise with the white noise machine. Moreover, to avoid distractions, keep the baby’s room as dark as possible.

Sleep Indications.

Sometimes sleep regressions comes along with fussiness, drowsiness, and eye rubbing. Don’t avoid such symptoms as it might be harder for your baby’s health in the long term. Hence, don’t waste time preparing your baby for the bed as long as you indicate these symptoms. Even though they don’t fall asleep, it’s good if they could manage small naps. However, being in their crib or bed will provide basic comfort for sleep.

Peer-reviewed studies.

Finally, seek advice and support from other mothers for better sleep training. Create a support group by talking to a parent who has been through it before. It helps to hear that others have been through similar experiences and that there is still hope. 

People Also Ask:

Do All Babies Have an 8-Month Sleep Regression?

No, the eight-month sleep regression does not affect all babies in the same way. Because every child has different sleep patterns and is consistent, therefore, it doesn’t develop at the same rate for all newborns. As a result, some kids may begin to have sleeping issues around the age of eight months. On the other hand, same-age kids may have minimal changes or even possibly have a better sleep.


How long is 8-month sleep regression?

In most cases, an eight-month sleep regression lasts just several weeks, especially if parents can establish and maintain good sleep patterns. However, even after a sleep regression is resolved, there is no guarantee for perfect sleep. 


How many times should an 8-month-old wake at night?

In a day or 24 hours, most 8-month-olds sleep for approximately 14 hours; however, anything between 12 and 16 hours is considered normal because babies of this age can usually sleep for nine to twelve hours at night and 3-4 hours during the day. 


Is it possible for newborns to have sleep regression at a young age?

The four-month sleep regression can start as early as three months old or as late as five months old. It’s more about when your baby’s sleep cycle begins to shift—for most babies, this happens around the 4-month mark, but it might happen a bit sooner or a bit later as every baby is unique!


Even if you follow all of these suggestions, your eight-month-old may still have sleep issues. Don’t rush to help them if they wake up in the middle of the night. Rather, give them a few minutes to see if they could self-soothe and go asleep again. If it doesn’t work, then only attempt to console them gently and feed them if required. Don’t forget to keep the lights down and avoid the noises.

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