Dr. Sarah Mitchell
About Author

Top Two Reasons of 8 month Sleep Regression and What to Do?

At 8 months your baby is doing so many fun things; crawling, trying new foods, and maybe even trying to stand on their own. It’s such a fun stage,  but problems with sleep can come up

Whenever you hear sleep regression, think growth and distraction. Your baby is growing physically by getting teeth, or neurologically by learning a new skill or concept. This is what is distracting your child from sleep. It doesn’t mean they can’t sleep, it means they might be distracted and have a harder time falling or staying asleep. 

There are two reasons that your child could have an eight month sleep regression, teething teething or motor leaps. Let’s take a deeper look into both of these!


What causes your baby to wake up? Inflammation in the night causes swelling and puts pressure on pain receptors, which sends a pain signal to the brain.  Teething is uncomfortable.  Teething can affect sleep by having: 

  • 5am wake ups
  • Short 30 min naps 
  • Unusual wake ups

Motor leaps:

Motor leaps occur when your child is trying to learn a new skill, before mastery.  This could be learning to roll, pulling up to standing or cruising on furniture in preparation for walking. Motor leaps can manifest as:

  • A child that is awake but content in night
  • Who eventually cry because they are getting frustrated and want help
  • Taking longer to fall asleep at bedtime or nap than previously, sometime practicing the new skill

What can you do to help your child through the eight month sleep regression?

  • Remind yourself that it will pass
  • Talk with your physician on how you can help relieve pain if it is related to teething. 
  • Allow for lots of daytime activity to work on skills and play
  • Use a sleep sack at night to minimize the amount of motor leap practicing that can occur at night

In our best selling book, The Helping Babies Sleep Method we cover motor leaps, sleep regressions and sleep teaching in general for babies 4 weeks to 24 months of age. This book is also available on Audible.

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