At this age, babies need an average of 10-11 hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep and 3 1/2 hours of daytime sleep over 2-3 naps.
From 6-8 months, babies become more mobile. They roll over, sit up, and possibly even stand while holding onto something. Many scoot or crawl, and their first teeth come in.
Most babies will sleep through the night fairly regularly, but if yours doesn’t, it is still quite easy to get them on track at this age.
You may also find that at 6 or 7 months, a baby who had been a good sleeper starts having difficulties. As they experience their first wave of separation anxiety, they may fuss when being left in the crib at night or may start waking up more often just to see you.
Nighttime Security Is Important
At this point in your baby’s development, it’s essential to promote nighttime security, develop a sleep-friendly schedule, and introduce appropriate wind-down evening activities.
As your baby grows, bedtime can be fun as you begin to share quiet songs and books and create family rituals. But first you may have to break some patterns.
If your baby is used to being rocked, walked, nursed, or stroked to get to sleep and back to sleep in the middle of the night, you will need to gently help them replace those sleep crutches with independent sleep skills.
If they’ve spent the first few months sleeping in unconventional places, like swings or car seats, you need to get them into the crib, or cosleeper. As you make changes you may have to tolerate some tears—but you don’t have to let them cry endlessly or go it alone.
Typical Schedule for a 6-8 Month Old
A good schedule can transform a tired and fussy baby into a rested and contented one. I don’t recommend completely rigid schedules, but I do recommend devoting a few weeks to really focusing on your baby’s sleep.
That means building your other tasks, errands, and activities around sleep, naps, and meals. Nap training in particular, can be time-consuming for a few weeks. Later on you will have more flexibility—when everyone is rested.
Want to know what a sample schedule looks like? We’ve created a handy printout for you! Download it HERE.
Remember that there is no “right” schedule for all babies, the sample schedule is just that-a sample.
Every baby is wonderfully different, which means that some variation is inevitable. Think about this: a baby who naps for 90 minutes starting at 9:00 a.m. is not going to be on the same schedule as one who naps for two hours starting at 9:30 a.m.
Be sure to adjust naptimes and mealtimes if your baby tends to wake at earlier and is happy and well-rested.