Nap/Bedtime/sleep - FamilyEducation
08/27/2007 at 11:36 AM

My son just turned 8 months old and seems to be just flourishing.  We are so proud of him and enjoy our time with him immensly.  We enjoy all of our time with him except for nap time and bed time.  On a rare occasion he will lay for a few minutes and drop right off to sleep.  The usual thing that happens is, he screams or thrashes around, or plays with anything he can get his hands on (crib bumper, lovey blanket, pacifer, even his own hands!)  If he'll lay still he usually can fall asleep farely easily, it's like he knows he's tired and what's gonna happen if he settles down... 

I guess we did this to ourselves, but for the first 6 months someone held or rocked or layed with until he went to sleep and then we'd move him to the crib.  The only problem with that was, the older he got the harder it was to move him and lay him down without him waking up.  So we decided last month to start having him fall asleep as much as possible (unless we're out somewhere) by himself.  I figured that would be easier too, because then if he woke up at night...maybe he'd be able to soothe himself back to sleep?  We have a lullaby CD that he turns on when we go into the bedroom and he turns it off when he wakes up.  I stay in the room with him until he falls asleep (usually laying him back down over and over but trying not to talk once the hugs and kisses are done at the start).  The first few times I stayed in the room with him but out of his line of sight, that lasted for over an hour and no success with a nap.  Now I am on the bed right beside the crib or standing beside the crib.  I want to be able to just lay him down with his music and leave the room with him being able to fall asleep on his own, but he gets himself so worked up, it's well over an hour and he's still either screaming or playing. I guess what I'm asking is:

How long should he be sleeping at 8 months (naps and night)?

Any tips on making sleep times more smooth?

Is this something that will just get easier as time goes by?



I think the rocking and being held all the time did it. Now he's used to it and wants it all the time. Usually, they do grow out of it as they get older. Talk to your pediatrician about it. He might have some answers. Sorry, I didn't help much.


I read this book when I was pregnant with my second baby. Really made all the difference!!!!!!! You should be able to find a copy at your local library.

Also, as a side note, one of my 3 kids is highly gifted. When he was a baby, I had to use solid colored sheets in his crib, and remove anything from view. He would get all wound up being able to see so many details.

In case the link doesn't work, it's called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback) by Marc Weissbluth (Author) "Sleeplessness in our children and worrying about sleeplessness have been around for a long time..."


Sorry you're going through this. Yes, it's not good to rock a young baby to sleep. They just get used to it and want it all the time.

I'd say this would get better with time. Just be stern with it. Lay him down and say "night night" over and he'll get the picture. Give him lots of hugs and kisses. Then get out of his sight. He may play or cry for a long time..but i think it's because he knows you will come back. Whe he learns that you're gone..he'll stop. If you HAVE to go to him again (because of his cries)...dont give him eye contact..and don't talk to him. Maybe touch him softly so he knows ur there. If u look and talk to him..he'll just think is play and social time instead of sleep time.

If he lays there and plays for an hour..let him do so..he'll tire himself out. Just take everything away that he plays with. Just leave him with a mattress and sheet. If he plays with his be it. :)


I will definately try this and put forth our best effort.  My one thought is, what happens when we are out somewhere or he's we loose our ground if we don't lay him down the same way everytime?


well Children love routine. Sleeping in the same place and at the same time and the same way is good for them. But not all are like this.

My daughter is 21 months..she sleeps 4 nights a week at home..and 3 nights a week at her grandmothers house when I work. She is really easy with putting her to bed. she can sleep in a bed, crib, car seat, stroller..anywhere soft!

Her cousin on the other hand who is 25 months old..sleeps at home in his bed and ONLY at home in his bed. I don't know what makes them different.

I guess the best thing to do for ur baby if he is a picky sleeper is try to get home before his nap times. work around his schedule a bit until he can learn to work around yours.  ??

Sorry i'm not more help.


I have two children that I rocked to sleep for the first few months and then it was time to put them to bed on their own, personaly I think alot of parents give their child to many choices. I love my kids and I dont believe that I am overly hard on them but if you dont stop letting him decide then it will only get worse. Put him to bed and let him cry, he will get use to it just like he did with rocking. I recently took in a 8 month old baby and her parents went through the same thing, she sleeps in the bed by herself now, because I did that. Having a set nap time and bed time helps alot, Hope this helps and I hope I dont sound to hard but its got to start somewhere.


  I also that problem with my daughter when she was around that age. I think it was even before she was a year old that I just completely stopped even trying with naptime. She slept much better at night when I skipped naptime.

   I can't blame ya if you don't want to do that when you're child is still so young since naptime is just about the only time for peace and quiet (was for me anyways).

  Honestly, at bedtime I STILL have to stand beside her bed until she falls asleep. And occasionally, she will STILL lay there for over an hour just playing around.