As a Baby Sleep Coach, one thing I find parents quickly learn about feeling you are getting the hang of having a newborn and navigating their sleep patterns, is that you shouldn’t get too comfortable. Over the first few years of their life, your child will go through many regressions in their sleep. The best way to tackle this sleep turmoil is to be prepared and not to be blindsided when your good sleeper is suddenly a sleep avoider.

mum holding new born swaddled baby

But let me reassure you, it will not last forever and will eventually pass. It is important not to create new ‘bad habits’, so check the advice below on what you can do to survive the sleep regression at 8 weeks.A sleep regression is a period of time, usually lasting a few weeks, during which a baby or young child who previously slept well suddenly begins to wake up frequently during the night and have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Sleep regressions can occur at several different ages, including around 8 weeks, 4 months, 8 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 2 years old.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that there is a specific “8-week sleep regression.” However, many parents report that their babies go through a period of disrupted sleep patterns around the 8-week mark.

During this time, babies may have trouble settling down to sleep, may wake up more frequently during the night, and may be more fussy or irritable during the day. This can be a challenging time for both parents and babies, as disrupted sleep can lead to exhaustion and stress.

Some possible reasons why babies may experience disrupted sleep around 8 weeks of age include growth spurts, developmental changes, or a shift in their circadian rhythms. However, every baby is different, and the exact cause of disrupted sleep patterns may vary from one baby to the next.

What age will my child go through a sleep regression?

  • 8 weeks
  • 4 months
  • 8 – 10 Months
  • 12 – 15 Months
  • 2 years

How long does sleep regression last?

The length of a sleep regression can vary depending on the individual child and the cause of the regression. Some sleep regressions may only last a few days or a week, while others may last for several weeks. But let me reassure you, it will not last forever and will eventually pass. It is important not to create new ‘bad habits’, so check the advice below on what you can do to survive the sleep regression at 8 weeks.

mum sitting in the chair holding a baby sleeping on her chest

So why is the sleep regression happening at 8 weeks?

It is roughly around the two month mark that your baby undergoes both physiological and hormonal changes because that is just a part of them growing up! This first one is due to the fact that all of the melatonin they had stored up from their mothers while in the womb is now switching to their own system where they begin to produce their own! You would probably think it was pretty amazing if you weren’t so tired. You know the term ‘sleepy newborn’? Well that is all about to change as they become more aware of their environment and the people in it and will become more alert to their surroundings. Now the world is becoming a much bigger place for them as their sight improves too, who wouldn’t want to take all of that in as much as they could?

Is this the new normal?

All those changes I said were happening to your baby right now are hear to start and are all part of your babies development. The frustration at having a baby who you won’t go back to sleep  however, will get easier.  Your baby will start producing their own melatonin, they will learn to settle themselves and to go back to sleep between periods of rest.  Also those nap times will increase, giving you a much needed break.

mum kissing her newborn  baby

What can I do to help my 8 week old during sleep regression?

As difficult as things may seem right now, I am here to tell you it isn’t all as depressing as it seems and to give you my top 4 survival tips.

1. Make changes to where they sleep.

Make sure you are making the night sleep vs day sleep very black and white. Keep your daytime interactions in brightly lit rooms. Make the awake time fun – lots to do, lots to see.  Nap time and bedtime is for settling down relaxing and ultimately aiming for a much deeper sleep with no distractions. The darkness will help the melatonin I mentioned your baby is trying their best to produce. A black out blind may help.

2. Avoid making changes to routine

Set your routine and stick with it. It isn’t going to instantly make things better because it’s a sleep regression but making changes or adding gadgets will mean your baby has too many things going on and will be more difficult to settle. Be strong, be consistent and your reward will come in the long run.

3. Create a calm sleeping environment

Make sure your baby’s sleeping environment is conducive to sleep. Keep the room dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Consider using a white noise machine or a soothing sound to help your baby relax.

4. Comfort your baby

When your baby wakes up at night, offer comfort without picking them up if possible. Use soothing words and gentle touches to help them relax and go back to sleep.

5. Practice safe sleep

Make sure your baby is sleeping in a safe environment, such as on their back in a crib with a firm mattress and fitted sheet.

6. Get support

Reach out to friends and family members for support during this challenging time. Consider hiring a childcare provider or asking a family member to watch your baby for a few hours so you can rest.

7. Take care of yourself

Try to get enough rest yourself by napping when your baby sleeps, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. Remember that taking care of yourself is essential to being a good parent.

8. Be patient

Remember that the 8-week sleep regression is a phase that will eventually pass. Be patient and keep trying different techniques to help your baby sleep better.

9. Bigger the baby the bigger the feed

Your baby has a growing belly, but it doesn’t mean they have realised that. If they are still taking the small feeds that their few day old self was eating, then it makes sense that they will wake up sooner hungrier because they weren’t full in the first place. This might mean a feed now will easily send them back to sleep, but if you are not doing feed on demand, then encouraging a bigger feed rather than a snack will help them to settle for longer. Check out my blog on whether Baby will sleep better if you give them an extra bottle.

10. Well-timed (and placed) naps

As I mentioned early, your sleepy newborn is slowly disappearing and their awake times are becoming more frequent. Your baby’s awake times should have been extended from when they were first born and you can gradually increase the time they are awake to prevent them from being under-tired and therefore waking up too soon, or not resettling once they are awake. Doing this gradually will hopefully prevent them going too far the other way and becoming overtired and struggling to even get them to sleep.


Hopefully these tips will help you to survive having an unsettled baby. Pick your schedule, add in some white noise, consider swaddling if you don’t already and most importantly – stick with it. Their melatonin won’t increase in a day but with these tips you can give your baby the best possible chance to get through the first sleep regression and hopefully save your sanity.

If you liked these tips and wanted to learn more about how to support your child to sleep at this age, my 5 star parent-rated, baby sleep guide for baby’s that are 0 – 3 months old is available here or why not purchase our sleep bundle to cover all sleep up until school here.


Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.

For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.

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