Your 8-month-old has been a great sleeper. Until now. Suddenly he’s waking through the night. What do you do?
Chances are you’re now dealing with habitual waking, like a behavioral waking. At 8 months old, physiologically, your baby should probably sleep through the night without needing milk. Perhaps at the start of the wakings you feed baby back to sleep. He’s gotten used to that because it’s kind of nice, right? Clearly, it’s not working for you anymore.
Developmentally, a baby can sleep through the night without milk once they are about six months of age. They’re on track developmentally, they’re on track growth-wise and we’ve established solids. More than likely the wakings have become a habit and he has worked out that you will come in and do what you do to get him to go back to sleep.
What you need to do, and I know it sounds really simple, is to do less when you go to him. At the moment, you come in and you feed and you go back to bed. You need to choose something that you’re going to do (which is what sleep training is) instead of going in and feeding. Of course, the thing that everyone associates with sleep training is just shutting the door and letting him cry and not going back in.
You definitely don’t need to do that, but there are some other things that we can do like just sitting with him and verbally reassuring him so that he knows that we’re here. It’s much like when you’re driving in the car and he starts crying. You wouldn’t get him out of his seat and put him on your lap while you’re driving, but you’d reassure him. You could do that or you could come back at intervals and reassure him. All of this kind of stuff is going to be less than what you’re doing now, which is then going to wean him off the idea that you need to fix him going back to sleep.
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