What am I missing?! 8mo sleep v.unpredictable

(23 Posts)
thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 07:54:04

Just hoping someone can help me

My dd is nearly 8 months old. She has a good routine in the day and naps for 30 mins in the morning and 1.5 hours over lunchtime both in her cot.

She's brilliant at going off to sleep on her own after a cuddle and a story.

At night, she's asleep from 7 until her dream feed at 10. Then it's all a bit unpredictable! Some nights she will sleep straight through until 6 but this is rare. Sometimes she wakes just once and settles with a feed. Mostly she wakes several times and even a feed won't settle her so we are up with her for quite a while each time.

Nothing about her routine changes, I do the same thing every day in terms of timings.

Getting a bit exhausted from the lack of sleep and wondered if anyone might be able to help me work out why some nights are great and others not!

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FATEdestiny Tue 06-Apr-21 09:07:38

2h of daytime sleep is a low amount of sleep to be on 2- nap days. Restless nights could be down to cumulative over tiredness from the daytime.

The generally accepted routine for 2- nap days is 234:
- 2h awake time from waking to Nap 1
- 3h awake time from Nap 1 to Nap 2
- 4h awake time from Nap 2 to bedtime
(Not gospel, just a tool use as an approximation).

So if you work that backwards, it's 2+3+4=9h of awake time . Like your child, 11h over night sleep is about right at this age, so daytime are 13h. It follows that the 234 golden rule for 2-nap days assumes approximately 4h of daytime sleep over 2 naps.

Can you extend the morning nap?

If not, I'd suggest your baby still needs the third nap (at least). I wouldn't want more than 2h awake time in one go until you get to 2-nap days.

Short naps would benefit from being in something that moves (pram or bouncer) so that you can more easily resettle to extend the nap.

thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 09:38:16

Thanks for your reply fate, much appreciated.

She started to really fight the 3rd nap (tried pram/bouncer) around a month ago now so I stopped trying and she seemed perfectly happy and content without it... no tired behaviour but she is cranky after bath at 6.

Perhaps I could bring the bedtime forward to 6.30 and let her sleep a little longer in the morning and see if that helps.

Before when I let her have longer in the morning she was difficult to settle for lunchtime which was why I started waking her after 30 mins

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FATEdestiny Tue 06-Apr-21 10:18:19

When you say she goes to sleep after a cuddle and story, How sleepy is she when she goes in the cot?

The ideal is fully awake when going in the cot, and doing all of the settling in there. Also completely separating feeding and going to sleep (So feed when waking for naps, going to sleep having not been recently fed).

That then follows through to night wakes. You need a well established settling method that works to settle baby to sleep without feeding and in the cot.

Before when I let her have longer in the morning she was difficult to settle for lunchtime

You would need to move your lunch time nap later (and try to stretch each awake window longer than the last, like 234)

thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 12:23:04

Interesting question, because it's a bit mixed.

For day naps she goes in wide awake.

At night, she tends to nod off as I'm doing her final feed. I gently wake her before she gets put down but she's often still drowsy.

Any night feeds I do she stirs when I put her back down but is basically asleep.

Our settling at night is random between leaving in cot, rocking and feeding. It tends to go in that order of what we use if one doesn't work.

I guess I don't have the courage to say for sure she's not hungry at night so sometimes I feed and sometimes she will go back off without

Am I just confusing her?!! I'm confused myself confused

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FATEdestiny Tue 06-Apr-21 13:10:10

At 8 months old she could easily fit all the calories she needs in during the daytime, and no calories at all at night.

You can get into a chicken and egg situation with night feeds though. If she has a proportion of her calories in the night, she will be less hungry in the day so need fewer daytime calories. And so you get to the situation whereby the only way to solve it is to not give the night feeds (even when genuinely hungry) so that when she wakes she is hungrier and has bigger daytime meals. Thus shifting her appetite to the daytime and she'll as a result be less hungry at night having had more calories that day.

By this age the only real reason she has might feeds is for the comfort they give her. That's not to discount comfort as a vital need, it's just it's not a calorific need.

But given you already have comforting mechanisms that don't involve feeding, I would definately night wean. I'd do it in one go and at the same time drop the "bedtime feed". Instead have milk as part of "supper" - done at the beginning of bedtime settling, not the end. For example TV off, have milk while snuggled on sofa, then up for bath/wash, into night clothes, then story and bed.

thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 13:23:32

Ok, that makes total sense thank you.

Would you suggest cold turkey no dream feed as well or reduce slowly (tricky with breastfeeding!).

I can absolutely try to up her calorie intake in the day too. I hate the thought of her not settling at night as she hasn't had enough calories in the day, it's not a nice thought that she may be hungry, but I guess I will need to do it to break the cycle?

I do think you're right, she's taking comfort from it rather than needing the calories.

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thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 13:38:31

Thank you so much by the way you've been so helpful

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Vicky1989x Tue 06-Apr-21 16:23:22

At 8 months my DD was doing 2 naps, one at 9:30 until 11 and one at 2 until 3:30 then asleep by 7. She does similar now at 11 months except she does 2:30-4 and bed at 7:30.

What time are her naps? Maybe the wake time from her 2nd nap to bedtime is too long and she’s overtired?

thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 18:45:55

She naps 9-9.30 then 1-2.30 or sometimes 3.
I think maybe that is the problem, might bring bedtime forward a little

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DarcyLewis Tue 06-Apr-21 18:51:26

I’d let her sleep longer, 9am-10am then 1.30-3.30 maybe?

I would do bedtime feed earlier in the routine and would still offer a dream feed now but nothing 10pm-7am except water.

thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 19:21:01

Right ladies I'm going to do it!
I've done her bedtime feed earlier and she didn't fall asleep.
So here's hoping she won't put up too much of a fight! 🤞🤞🤞🤞

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thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 19:22:52

Thank you all so much!

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thaimoon Tue 06-Apr-21 21:37:47

Just talking to myself but incase anyone reads this who is in a similar situation in future... she woke at 8.45 that's the earliest yet.

DH has been going in to settle but leaving her in her cot. She's just fallen asleep again.

At 10 I'll go and do dream feed

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Amammai Tue 06-Apr-21 21:49:43

There is a sleep regression at 8 months too. Some routines like those listed above work really well for some babies but remember, every baby is different. Go easy on yourself and rest when you can. I drove myself crazy trying different routines in the quest for better night time sleep. Nothing worked with my son. He just eventually slept better in his own time (it was bloody exhausting!) BUT he met all his milestones and is a bright and healthy 3.5 year old now. Naps are long forgotten and he mostly sleeps very well. He just didn’t follow what he ‘should’ have been doing as a baby nap/sleep wise. You’ll get there, try not to worry.

Babyboomtastic Wed 07-Apr-21 05:18:52

Your aren't missing anything, it's pretty normal for babies sleep to be erratic, and it's very very normal for 8m old babies to still feed at night, especially if breastfed.

It's normal and age appropriate sleep for your baby.

Babyboomtastic Wed 07-Apr-21 05:26:13

Have a look at this thread rubbing at the moment in Aibu that has received a lot of replies. It's about a nearly 6mo, so a little younger, but not hugely. The OP asked AIBU to expect her baby to sleep through (91% said she was). A lot of people discuss those babies/, toddlers sleep, and you'll see just how common is is sadly.

I'm pleased that my nearly 4yob had slept all night tonight but I'm currently to with my 2 year old and have been for the last nearly 2 hours. She's a worse than average sleeper, but still within the realms of normal.

Babyboomtastic Wed 07-Apr-21 05:26:53


thaimoon Wed 07-Apr-21 10:08:31

Ah ok thanks I've had a little look at that. It's good to know that it's normal.

She actually did sleep through until 6.30 last night after her feed at 10 so something worked!

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jdy123 Thu 08-Apr-21 07:19:25

Just want to let you know that my 8 month old daughter is bottle fed and I still feed her in the night most nights atm.
Im just hoping that she'll improve once she starts eating more solids so I'm just going with it atm.
For instance last night she woke at midnight then again at 6am and now she's back asleep.

Atm I'm also struggling with how many naps to do as my daughter doesn't have long daytime sleep. Some days my daughter only has 1.5 hour daytime sleep 😴

thaimoon Thu 08-Apr-21 17:48:01

Thank you all for your helpful comments and advice- much appreciated smile

Last night I just gave one side for a feed at 10pm and she needed one quick settle at 3am but back asleep after 10 mins.

Have tried extending the naps but no luck she's just awake and alert and ready to go after 30 mins am and 2 hours pm.

This morning she was not exactly desperate for her milk feed (in-fact more interested in playing with the dog!) so I am going to see how she goes without the 10pm feed

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jdy123 Thu 08-Apr-21 18:30:23

Update us please smile

thaimoon Fri 09-Apr-21 07:13:58

Well we made it! 2 wakes but settled quickly with dh patting/stroking. No feeds! And very smiley this morning smile

Thanks for giving me the courage to go for it! She's obviously still not desperate for milk as she's only taken one side this morning. My other boob is like a rock 😳😅

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