Jacob at 8 months

Jacob, 8 months old

Here's where we're at right now with my 8 month old son, Jacob. Your 8 month old might have a completely different routine, but sometimes it is nice to look at other
people's to compare. The times are obviously approximates. He isn't a machine :)

7:00 Wake
9:00 Nap
11:00 Wake
1:30 Nap
3:30 Wake
6:30 Bed for the night

Morning Nap
Jacob sometimes takes a 1.5 nap in the morning. When he does this he'll usually take a longer afternoon nap. He has started to take a 1.5 hour morning nap much of the time this last week so I might increase wake time before his first nap. But he is sick right now so it might just be a fluke. I'm going to wait and see. He may also only need 1.5 hour in the morning now but he has always done great with two hours so I'll first assume he needs 2 hours before leaving things as they are.

Third Nap
Jacob dropped his third nap a couple weeks ago. We were out in the evening for a few days so he couldn't (or more appropriately, wouldn't) take it and from then on he would no longer fall asleep for it. I thought about moving it to a later time but I didn't want to make bedtime too late so we dropped it instead.

Milk and Solids
Right now Jacob nurses 4-5 times a day and eats solids 3 times a day. He does a combination of home made baby food (which I usually batch make, puree and freeze) and some baby-led weaning (finger foods). We didn't start solids until 6 months of age but sleep was still good. He did wake hungry occasionally at night (12 hour period) until 7 months of age and I would just feed him. I figured that he might be hungry since he had little or no solids at this time. I didn't really feel like battling with him over it (if it was a battle that could even be won), especially since I had people in town for several weeks around this time. To me it is worth waking once at night for a feed instead of starting solids early IF that even makes a difference (oh my, what a controversal subject!). At least that is my opinion right now based on the research out there. Over time he woke less often until he no longer woke at night to eat.


  1. I just talked to my mother about this today. My LO is on one feeding at night . . . I have been debating what to do with that for some time now. Still on the fence, but happy to read that you were able to let your LO wean themselves.

  2. The Musacchio Project,
    Sometimes it can be hard to know when to force an issue or just go with good enough. And sometimes things are going along in your life that force the choice. I kept feeding my son because It really wasn't a big deal to me, he had pretty good sleep continuity with only a 10 minute waking to eat and it really wasn't good timing to try and work with the issue. If he had kept waking for months longer I would have worked with him to end the wakings. Well, I did work with him a little at this time making sure naps and bedtime were correct, but not much more than that.

    I think, from looking at this blog, some people probably think that I'm super strict and hard core with sleep training. I definitely respect my kids' sleep and try to optimize it, but I also am a tad laid back and listen to my mommy instincts. I really try to go along with the flow of my children when I do things. I help them along for sure, but I don't force too much if not absolutely necessary.

  3. Rachel, I commented a few weeks ago about my son waking around 4 am. Well, this is how it went... two nights after we chit chatted (via blog ;) he woke up two and a half hours after I fed him. I checked his diaper and burped him while he was in his crib and found nothing wrong so I let him cry himself to sleep. This was the first time I ever felt comfortable letting him cry to sleep because I KNEW there was nothing I could do, nothing was wrong, and he should be asleep. Anyway, the next morning he woke at 4 again. I checked his diaper and burped him in his crib (reflux) and found nothing wrong so I let him cry again. He woke up around 6:45 happy as a clam. He has never woken up at 4 again and has never had to cry himself to sleep again. Until last night, he woke up at 4 again! I rushed in at the first peep and put his binky in and gave him his blanket and he rolled over and went to sleep after about 10 min. That might have been a bad move but I really needed sleep last night. So, yesterday, I had a lunch date with some women from church and a couple other things that kept me out, my son went down for his second nap late and never took a third. Could this have been the problem? how do I know when he is ready to drop his third nap? Maybe he is ready right now?

    Here is another one of my issues. my son wakes in the morning and just plays in his crib and never makes a peep so I honestly dont know what time he really wakes up. Sometimes I hear him at 6:30 or 5:00 or 7:00. Every day is different. sometimes he will act tired around 7:30 8:00 or 9:00. Again, its different. I really just wish I could get a set in stone schedule. There is one thing for sure, If naps are off or whatever, I can always be consistent about bed time...

    Im so glad you have this blog. For some reason, I get all worried about sleep issues because I know it can be the root to most problems. I am glad I have you to "vent" to :)

  4. also, he has been acting tired about an hour or two after getting up from his nap. He used to be on a 2.5 /3 hour schedule.

  5. Hi Rachel, just found your blog in desperation with my second child who is also 8 months. He is a mess. Sleep is getting worse. He wakes countless times at night (sometimes every hour, mostly every 1.5-2 hours). Sometimes it take a couple hours to get him back down into a deep sleep. His napping is short. So different from my first baby! Looking over your blog for ideas as I am at my wits end :(

  6. Rachel . . . you and I seem to be very similar in our parenting styles. Kaydance also is only up for around 10 minutes . . . literally to be changed and eat and is back to sleep before I realize how tired I am. This is the reason I have contemplated the "forced-weaning." I think I will leave it be for now. Wish me luck!

  7. Kelly,
    Sorry for the delayed response!
    Tired after1-2hours after which nap?

    If he normally naps 1.5 hours he'll probably need the third nap for longer. You drop it when havin it makes bedtim too late or sometimes because nighttime wakings seem to be caused by it.not figure that one out you kind of have to try it and see after ruling out other stuff. There is a nap dropping post that might help.

    As he gets on a more consistent routine he'll probably stop waking atbrandom times in the morning---so much at least. Some babies do this more than others, especially if they are learning new things. I would maybe try to move toward more set times ir naps. Put baby down a but early if he wakes early but don't go purely b wake tine. This can solve some issues sometimes. It really dependably the baby though.

    Keep in mind that if you choose to do some form of sleep training you will have up and down dats and regressions. You usually have better Lon term results if you chooseca plan that you can live with long term and do it long term. But you make exceptions fir illness etc. And if I know my child is way overtired i will make an exception too. Once baby sleeps really well pretty much any waking is an exception to me since it is not usual and there might be something wrong. Ifva habit seems to be forming or wakings become something other than rare you have to take a close look t what is going on and maybe start the usual sleep training for wakings and no longer consider them unusual. Hope that made some sence!


  8. The mustachio project,
    I would just make sure you do things conducive to dropping the feeding. I stop changing diapers at night once baby stops pooping/only on one feed. It is probably worth trying to do this since it will provide less stimulation with the waking. I also move to one sided feedings once baby has been doing a set number of feeds for a while to help drop the feed. I have never had much luck trying to end an active feeding and put baby back to bed happily, but I find if I let baby suckle as long as he wants or until he gets drowsy he does well. You can also do this with bottle feeding but you loose some of he comfort type sucking I mentioned but maybe a pacifier would help as a substitute.

    Good luck. If the feed isn't dropped on its own there are some other simple and painless steps to take too.

  9. Cheryl,

    Sorry for the delayed response! I know a couple days seems like forever when you are tired and overwhelmed. At least it does to me )

    Your son sounds like he is likely overtired, lacking a predictable eating and sleeping routine and relynt upon sleep props. I could be totally wrong but this is often the case when u hear of situations like this which aren't terribly uncommon. You really are not alone at all!

    I would start off with a daily routine. With some kind of eating and sleeping pattern like eat, play, sleep then repeat. This will help you see better when he us in need if food or rest etc. Start your day off at the same Time each morning and keep a log to help you watch for patterns. You might need to set a couple weeks said to really work at this and figure it out. Since h is overtired trying to let him get his needed rest any way possible so you can figure out his patterns. Then you might want to start working with som kind of sleep training technique. You can see the blog index for ideas with this. Good luck. Sorry you are such a tired mommy!

  10. Hi Rachel, thanks for your response! We actually have had a pretty good routine stamped out but I have started to move up bedtime (was 8pm, now 7-7:30 and working to make it 6:30-7). We had two great great nights with only two wakings! HUGE. Last night was not so great with 3 and longer awake times when awake but still an improvement and I know it's a process. Big change was finally enlisting my husband's help. Big challenge is working through my baby's separation anxiety which started in the last month....any ideas on this? Your blog is awesome!

  11. Cheryl,
    That is great to hear that there are some improvements! Remember that things can get bad and good and bad and good again. Over time they will (or at least should!) get better progressively. Sleep training is like a spiral.

    For separation anxiety, some experts (like healthy sleep habits, happy child author weissbluth) believe that it really makes no difference and that we are blaming sleep issues on this. Honestly, I'm not really sure but there are a couple things that might help if it is an issue. I would always keep a positive attitude. Don't let your child see that you are nervous about leaving the room because they are going to cry. Talk in an upbeat, confident voice. Play peek a boo. Make the time you are "gone" last longer over time. Whenever you leave the room always let your child know you are leaving. I use a phrase like "I will be right back" to practice with my kids. I start when they are young and use this phrase when I leave and then come back shortly slowly making longer intervals over time. When my son seems upset the second I put him down (which hasn't been an issue for months but is starting to happen sometimes right now) I will continue to act confident and put him down like normal and leave the room. No lingering or it seems to make things worse. He stops fussing like 2 seconds later. This is just what works for him though. You have to feel it out. Even if you decide to check on him each time he is upset, make it short and sweet and act confident and like everything is going to be ok. I always make sure he isn't overtired too since this can lead to fussiness at sleep times.

    Just wondering, what technique did you find helped you out besides the earlier bedtime? It is always nice to know what is helpful for people.


  12. Hi Rachel! It's a bit off topic but I wondered if you could give more details about how you do BLW....I've read the book and love the idea as it seems very common sense to me, but I'm sort of on the fence about whether to go all the way or just do some puree and some finger food like you. I'm afraid that if I do only BLW that my daughter won't get enough food, and the health professionals in my area don't seem very supportive of the idea. What made you decide on a hybrid approach? Does Jacob get a combination of purees and finger foods for every meal, or do you switch back and forth?

  13. Alainapaina,
    I decided to do both approaches because I honestly don't have a huge variety of fresh fruits and veggies at my house at all times and the idea of having to cook something for every meal was not so appealing to me (I guess you don't have to cook everything, but I like to start off with mainly fruits and veggies at first and most of those you need to cook, or at least I like to so that they are easy on baby's tummy). With frozen purees I can have dozens of different fruits and veggies available to me at any given time and they are super quick to get ready. Also, I decided to spoon feed because I want a way to feed my son where he won't get messy when I'm at church, in the car etc. My son would also scream like crazy with just the blw (which I started off with at first) because he wanted solids very badly and couldn't get them in his mouth. The second I spoon fed him he was a happy guy. Some of the blw people are pretty against using the spoon, but I really don't think it is a big deal as long as you are going by your baby's cues. Sorry for the jumbled response there!

    So I started off with just doing blw at random times the first two weeks we started just to get him used to the idea of solids. Then I started to give him purred fruit and oatmeal at breakfast while doing blw at random meal times. I eventually started to do the blw for all three meals and it was mostly stuff I was eating. If there was nothing I was eating that he could have (I'm a bit more worried about alleriges than the book and a bit more worried about choking although much less so than the majority of the population) then I would either make him something or give him mum mums/puffs. I started to give him purees for lunch later on too and a while after that I did dinner. He doesn't get purees for every meal now (although most of the time he does get a combo of purees plus blw), it just depends on what we are having and if he is able to really eat it and how he is acting (ie starts screaming for purees when he sees them). He is going to be 9 months soon and I am starting to give him more of what we are eating now so he will probably have less purees soon. Also, he is starting to be able to eat more of his own and more content doing so instead of having me feed him something. I'm sort of just making it up as we go :) I hope to have him eating pretty much all of what we are eating by 12 months.

    I feel pretty confident that a baby will get what he needs on blw. That said, I still feel nervous about it so that is probably why I did some purees too :) My, aren't I contradictory!

  14. HI Rachel! I just had a few questions... My little boy is 5 months old and use to have to be rocked to sleep. I did the cry it out method and it worked great! After about 2 nights he would go to sleep without any crying, his naps were great for a week. Now it has been about 2 weeks and he has been crying for every nap. He just won't take a nap. I don't know what to do to fix this. He use to do it just fine and now he wants nothing to with it. What do you think could be causing this? Or what other suggestion might you have?

  15. Rachel,
    thanks for all your help. My last couple posts to you were pretty scattered and all over the place but since then my son has been on a pretty consistant schedule. He WAS waking up around 4 am everyday and I thought it was habitual so I let him cry it out and after a couple days it was just a whine instead full on cry. Now, I have realized its not only 4 am that he wakes up its after 10 hours. No matter what. and it just happened to land around 4 am every time before. He still seems tired when he wakes up whining a little (rubbing his eyes and such). When I do let him cry back to sleep he gets his nearly 12 hours of sleep and is so happy for the rest of the day. I guess my main question is if I should be feeding him or not. I know that they CAN go 12 hours but Healthy Sleep Habits talks about a small percentage of children who wake up around 4 or 5 to eat and go right back to sleep till 7 ish. I was just wondering how reliable you have found that statistic to be from your experience.

  16. Jeff, Crystal and Hudson,
    I'd first make sure there aren't teeth coming, sickness etc. It very well might be a normal regression that happens and you just continue on with your sleep training like you did before. I've noticed that they happen less over time but there are always tough periods where they will happen more often--a change to a new room, different developmental ages etc. Just try to remain confident and let your son feel that you are while you are doing things. good luck!


  17. Kelly,
    I wish I could tell you the answer to your question but I just don't know. And asking the experts will make you go in circles. I figure if he is going back to sleep and sleeping through a sleep cycle then he probably didn't need the feed. And if he is waking at exactly the same time each day the likelihood of needing that feed is low. I have dealt with this same question with both my kids. I don't want to deprive them of food if they need it, but I want them to sleep their 12 hours (give or take) if they can do it. I try to go with my gut on this one too. Sorry, not much help. If I ever have the exact answer on this one you'll know. For the most part I just tell parents their kids "probably or most likely" can go 12 hours at this age. Likely you'll never hear me say "they can for sure".


  18. Rachel,
    Thanks for your answer about blw! I will probably end up making it up as i go along too since my daughter is 5.5 months and I'm still unsure! The input was really useful though.

  19. Rachel, Thanks for the reply. If he is teething do you keep doing your sleep training or do you go back to what you were doing (rocking him to sleep) until he feels better?

  20. Jeff, Crystal & Hudson,
    First, make sure it is actually teething. Teething seems to be a catch all for many parents--baby is fussy, baby isn't sleeping good, baby has more saliva etc...must be teething. Often isn't the case since babies go through periods of fussiness and bad sleep developmentally. Anywho, it might be the case, just wanted to mention that. Either way, if baby doesn't seem to be feeling well I will try to keep things "normal" as much as possible. I will offer comfort if it is needed, but only as much as is needed. I would try not to go as far as rocking to sleep if you can. Just maybe going in to reassure. With my son Joshua I would go in, hold him for 5 seconds then set him down and he was good. With Jacob, he would like me to be with him every second of his life so if I go in he is very upset when I leave. I find that I usually have to leave even if he is upset and he will fuss/cry for several seconds to maybe a couple minutes then go to sleep. (he's recently been sick so I've done this). I feel bad for doing this if he is sick, but If I don't (which I didn't when he was really sick with rsv and I was worried about his breathing) I am up with him for hours at a time and he just gets worse and worse in regards to his need for me. If he were to keep crying long after I left, I would probably go in again bc I feel uncomfortable leaving a sick child in much distress. Teething may or may not be a big issue for a child. Some kids go through it pretty easily, for others it is a miserable experience. If it isn't too bad, you are probably fine continuing the sleep training. If he seems pretty upset, then you might want to offer some comfort.

  21. Hi Rachel,

    I just found your blog and it seems fabulous. My big question is around extending my 7 month old's naps. His morning nap is almost always 45 minutes only. And is 2nd nap is longer (most days) but only since I started adding a nursing before this nap (normally did pattern of eat, play, sleep). Sometimes even this nap will be 45 minutes.

    He does 2-3 naps a day, but i often fall into the situation where he is tired in the late afternoon because I can't get a 3rd nap in but don't want to put him to bed before 6:30pm. Seems like he should be napping for more hours in the day than he does.

    Typical day:
    7am - wake, nurse, b-fast
    9:15-10am - nap
    bottle, play, lunch, play, (If I put him to bed at 12:30/1 without nursing, then he will sleep 45 minutes)
    1:30- nurse and then sleep
    1:30-3pm ish nap
    3-bottle, play, dinner, etc.
    6:30/7pm - nurse & bed

    Would love to have 2 solid naps in now! Thoughts?

    Thanks so much!

  22. Mary Lane,
    I'm not answering questions right now, but take a look at the short nap post. Likely your wake times are off. Sometimes there is just nothing you can do. In the least, the wake time before bed is too long. I know you don't want an early bedtime, but you have to either do that (assuming you can't get better naps in) or you will have an overtired baby. And you may even need a 6 pm bedtime (eek). THere are also average naps posts etc that would be helpful for you.

  23. Hi Rachel,

    My daughter has always since 4ish months (pay those newborn sleep days) woke up at 5:15/5:30. I am still struggling with her schedule and she's almost 9months.
    Now it's wake at 5:25/5:30 - I don't get her till 6.
    Nap at 8-9:15
    Nap at 12:30-2
    Bed routine at 5:45, sleep by 6:15.
    I read to have her nap only 3 hours a day. So I don't know if she's not getting enough? When I try her bird nap it ends too late (past 4) and she is still a yawning crabby girl around 6/6:30.
    Any thoughts? She's on solids and formula. She maybe is a 11 hour night baby?? Thanks so much!!!

  24. Hi Rachel,

    We sleep trained our baby when she was 4 month old. CIO. It was very successful. However, she never napped more than 3 hours, ever. Now that she is 7.5 month old she still has 3 naps, but rarely more than 2-2.5 hours. I keep wondering whether it's enough for her. I don't think so. Especially when I read other babies' schedule and see they sleep around 4 hours min. Her naps vary. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. Sometimes the 1st nap is longer, sometimes the 2nd or the 3rd. So she is capable to sleep longer, but she seems she doesn't need it? She still wakes 2 times to feed at night but goes back to sleep right away. She is tiny, 14.8 pounds. The pediatrician just said not to wean her yet. She sleeps 11 hours on average at night.

    Can you please help me how to figure out whether she needs more nap-time?


  25. Hi Rachel -
    My little one is 7.5 months old and I feel like I can't figure her out. She goes to bed around 7:00 and usually has 1 wake up somewhere between 3-4:30am. She wakes up happy at that time and is usually talking to herself in her crib. I have always gone in to try to get her back down which results in a feeding, but she eats well and then goes right back to sleep. The she's up for the day around 7. Nap 1 usually happens around 9 - but pretty consistently is 45m-1hr. Then nap 2 is around 12/12:30 and sometimes is a lovely 1.5-2hr nap, but other times is 45m. If she wakes after 45, I always leave her for 15-20 to see if she'll go back to sleep and it works maybe 40% of the time. Other times she happily plays and babbles to herself until she gets annoyed no one has come for her. This means she is also pretty consistently needing a catnap in the evenings usually around 4:30/5. I'm just really concerned that she isn't getting enough day time sleep, but no matter what I do, I can't seem to get her to consistently take longer naps. Thanks in advance!