Bedtime, Naps, Sleeping All Night

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Putting your baby on a proper 8 month old sleep schedule can mean 11-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night and 2-3 hours of great napping during the day. But, what is the appropriate sleep schedule you should try at 8 months? This article will share everything you need to know about your 8 month old’s sleep schedule to set them up for success based on my 15+ years as a baby sleep consultant!

In this article:

How Much Sleep 8 Month Old Babies Need

Most 8 month old babies need 13-14 hours of sleep per day including 11-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day. At this age, most formula-fed babies are sleeping through the night but some breastfeeding babies still need one night feeding.

Of course, by definition, some babies will need more or less than the average amount of sleep. The best way to know if your baby is getting enough sleep is to look at their mood, behavior, and other signs of over-tiredness. If your baby is happy and thriving, unless you’re seeing dark circles or bags under their eyes, they are likely getting enough sleep.

8 Month Old Sleep Schedule Wake Windows and Awake Time

8 month old wake windows (aka awake time between sleep periods) are usually 2 to 3 hours, at this age. More specifically:

  • 2 to 2.5-hour wake window in the morning before nap 1
  • 2 to 3 hours awake before nap 2
  • 2 to 3 hours awake before a possible third catnap
  • 2 to 4 hours of awake time before bedtime.

How Many Naps for an 8 Month Old?

A very common question is how many naps an 8 month old needs. The average age to transition from three naps to two naps is around 8 to 9 months old. While some 8 month olds still need three naps, some are dropping the third nap this month. Most babies will transition to two naps by 9 months old.

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Appropriate Bedtime for 8 Months Old

The most common bedtime at 8 months old is 6:30 to 9:00 PM. If your baby has transitioned to two naps, they are likely sleeping 11 to 12 hours at night. In that case, a common bedtime is around 7:00 PM. If bedtime is too early, you might have an early waking problem (see below.)

On the other hand, if your baby is still taking three naps, you want bedtime to be between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., usually. Otherwise, they might wake up too early the next morning since they likely won’t need quite as much sleep at night. Many babies are sleeping just 10 hours at night right before they drop the third nap.

If your bedtime is earlier or later than the typical range, and sleep is good in your household, there is no need to change it.

Sample 8 Month Old Sleep Schedules

The correct 8 month old sleep schedule can help your baby sleep through the night, nap longer during the day, and be happier, overall. Use these sample schedules to help you find the right one for your unique situation.

Sample 3-Nap Sleep Schedule

This sample 3-nap schedule has typical wake windows of 2 to 3 hours, depending on the time of day:

Time Wake Window Activity Sleep Length
7:00 AM Wake*
9:00 AM 2 Hours Nap 1 to 1.5 hours
12:30 PM 2.5 Hours Nap 1 to 1.5 hours
4:30 PM 2.5 to 3 Hours Catnap 30 to 45 minutes
8:00 PM 2.5 to 3 Hours Bedtime
(Asleep by this time)
10 to 12 hours

* Should you wake your baby in the morning? If your baby is still taking three naps, it might be a good idea to wake them by a certain time every day so the entire schedule doesn’t slide forward too much. Otherwise, you might inadvertently end up with a very long wake time before bed OR a bedtime that is almost as late as yours!

Sample 3-Nap Sleep Schedule With Meals

When I’m working with clients via sleep training services, many parents want to know when they should offer meals especially if they’re having trouble night-weaning. You’d be surprised how many times all I do is fix someone’s schedule to improve their sleep! Here is a sample sleep schedule with feedings for an 8 month old taking three naps:

Time Wake Window Activity Sleep Length
7:00 AM Wake*
7:00 AM Milk
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM 2 Hours Nap 1 to 1.5 hours
10:00 AM Milk
11:30 AM Lunch
12:30 PM 2.5 to 3 Hours Nap 1 to 1.5 hours
1:30 PM Milk
4:30 PM 2.5 to 3 Hours Catnap 30 to 45 minutes
5:00 PM Milk
6:30 PM Dinner**
8:00 PM 2.5 to 3 Hours Milk + Bedtime
(Asleep by this time)
10-12 hours

* Should you wake your baby in the morning? If your baby is still taking three naps, it might be a good idea to wake them by a certain time every day so the entire schedule doesn’t slide forward too much. Otherwise, you might inadvertently end up with a very long wake time before bed OR a bedtime that is almost as late as yours!

** Should you give your 8-month old dinner? Keep in mind that at this age, we typically only offer two solid meals. (If you prefer, you can skip lunch and offer dinner instead.) We only add a third meal at this age if the baby is drinking all of their milk and still appears hungry or having trouble night-weaning. Be sure to review our baby feeding chart to help you determine this.

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8 Month Old Feeding and Sleep Schedules In Detail

Download Sample 3-Nap 8 Month Old Schedule

Download Sample 8 Month 3-Nap Schedule With Feedings

Sample 2-Nap Sleep Schedule

This sample 2-nap schedule has typical wake windows of 2 to 4 hours, depending on the time of day:

Time Wake Window Activity Sleep Length
7:00 AM Wake*
9:30 AM 2.5 Hours Nap 1 to 1.5 hours
2:00 PM 3 Hours Nap 1 to 1.5 hours
7:00 PM 3.5 to 4 Hours Bedtime
(Asleep by this time)
11 to 12 hours

* Should you wake your baby in the morning? If you like a highly predictable schedule, we recommend waking your baby within the same 30-minute window of time (e.g. 6:45-7:15 AM). If you don’t mind every day being a bit different and your baby can handle it, you can let your baby sleep until 8:00 a.m. and simply adjust the rest of the day. It typically works out one way or another.

Sample 2-Nap Sleep Schedule With Meals

When I’m working with clients via sleep training services, many parents want to know when they should offer meals especially if they’re having trouble night-weaning. You’d be surprised how many times all I do is fix someone’s schedule to improve their sleep! Here is a sample sleep schedule with feedings for a 8 month old taking two naps:

Time Wake Window Activity Sleep Length
7:00 AM Wake*
7:30 AM Milk
8:30 AM Breakfast
9:30 AM 2.5 Hours Nap 1 to 1.5 hours
11:00 AM Milk
1:00 PM Lunch (+ 1/2 Milk Feeding)
2:00 PM 3 Hours Nap 1 to 1.5 hours
3:30 PM Milk
5:30 PM Dinner**
3:00 PM 3.5 to 4 Hours Milk + Bedtime
(Asleep by this time)
11-12 hours

* Should you wake your baby in the morning? If you like a highly predictable schedule, we recommend waking your baby within the same 30-minute window of time (e.g. 6:45-7:15 AM). If you don’t mind every day being a bit different and your baby can handle it, you can let your baby sleep until 8:00 a.m. and simply adjust the rest of the day. It typically works out one way or another.

** Should you give your 8-month old dinner? Keep in mind that at this age, we typically only offer two solid meals. (If you prefer, you can skip lunch and offer dinner instead.) We only add a third meal at this age if the baby is drinking all of their milk and still appears hungry or having trouble night-weaning. Be sure to review our baby feeding chart to help you determine this.

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8 Month Old Feeding and Sleep Schedules In Detail

Download Sample 2-Nap 8 Month Old Schedule

Download sample 2-nap schedule for an 8 month old with feedings

Why Some 8 Month Olds Wake Up Too Early

If your 8 month old is waking up too early in the morning, there are a few common reasons:

  • Dropping to Two Naps – If your baby is sleeping less than 10 hours at night, they might be ready for a 2-nap schedule. If they are sleeping 10 hours at night but happily taking three naps AND waking up before 6:00 AM, simply shift their schedule forward by at least an hour.
  • Overtiredness at Bedtime – If their afternoon nap is shorter or their wake window is too long before bedtime, this is the #1 reason for waking up too early the next day. Shorten the wake window right before bedtime. If your baby wakes up crying, this is the most likely reason.
  • Hunger – If your baby isn’t drinking enough milk or eating enough solid food in addition to their milk, you may need to increase milk feedings, solid meals, or add in another meal. Or, your baby is simply not ready to sleep all night without eating. This is especially true for breastfed babies who are 8 months old.
  • Sunrise – We are meant to rise with the sun and go to sleep with the sunset. Unnatural light has made all of our bedtimes later than natural. Children who are sensitive to light could wake up too early when the sun starts to shine through their windows. Consider room-darkening shades, blinds, or curtains.

Although there are a few other reasons your baby could be waking up too early, these are the most common culprits.

Why Some 8 Month Olds Wake Up at Night and Can You Do Sleep Training?

There could be many reasons causing your baby to wake up at night. While you can do sleep training, that doesn’t fix every cause. Be sure to solve the right problem. Check out our article Top 15 Reasons Your Baby Is Waking at Night. Babies this age are often going through the 8 month sleep regression which lasts 3 to 6 weeks, on average. This can cause frequent night-waking as well as short naps.

8 Month Old Sleep Schedule FAQ

Is 8 Months Too Early for Two Naps?

No, it is not necessarily too early for your baby to transition to two naps. Most babies have dropped to two naps by 8 to 9 months old.

How Long Should an 8 Month Old Nap?

8 month old babies nap for 2 to 3 hours total every day whether it’s in two naps or three naps. Each nap is usually at least one hour with the exception of any third catnap which is usually only 30-45 minutes.

How Much Daytime Sleep for 8 Month Olds?

Daytime sleep for 8 month olds should total 2 to 3 hours.

What Time Should an 8 Month Old Go to Bed?

A typical bedtime for an 8 month old is between 6:30 and 9:00 PM. This depends on how many naps they take, what their wake windows are, and how much total nighttime sleep they need.

Is There an 8 Month Old Sleep Regression?

Yes, there is an 8 month sleep regression that lasts for 3 to 6 weeks. During this time, babies wake up a lot at night and take short naps. Some babies will start to skip their naps entirely.

Why Is My 8 Month Old Waking Up at Night and Can I Do Sleep Training?

There could be many reasons causing your baby to wake up at night. While you can do sleep training, that doesn’t fix every cause. Be sure to solve the right problem! Check out our article Top 15 Reasons Your Baby Is Waking at Night. Babies this age are often going through the 8 month sleep regression which lasts 3 to 6 weeks, on average. This can cause frequent night-waking as well as short naps.

How Much Milk Should an 8 Month Old Drink?

8 month old babies, on average, drink 20-30 oz of breast milk, 24-32 oz of formula, breastfeed 4-5 times a day plus once at night, or a combination of all of these. Your baby staying on their growth curve is the best indicator they are getting enough. Please see your healthcare provider should you have any concerns at all.

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