My 9 Month Old Won’t Sleep!

baby sleeping through the night guide

 

cute happy infant baby standing in a cot at home won't sleepYour 9 month old baby has a lot going on! Milestones, developments, regressions, teeth popping out, discovering the world of food- it’s no wonder your 9 month old won’t sleep! She’s too busy and distracted!

Maybe your baby slept great as a newborn, but a recent sleep regression, teething episode or vacation threw her good sleep habits out the window.

Nine months old is an age of rapid development and change. It’s easy for your baby’s sleep to get off track. But if there’s anything I want parents to know it’s this: There Is Always Hope!

This article walks you through what you can expect from your 9 month old baby’s sleep and gives you detailed sleep training tips to get your baby sleeping great, day and night.

This post may contain affiliate links.

x

 

Your 9 Month Old Baby’s Sleep: What You Can Expect

 

Naps & Awake Times

  • Your 9 month old should nap a total of 2-3 hours everyday.
  • This is usually divided between 2-3 naps.
  • Most babies transition from 3 to 2 naps at this age
  • Your baby will nap best with awake times of 2.5 – 3.5 hours.

Bedtime

  • Bedtime for your 9 month old should fall between 6:30-8 pm.

Night Sleep

  • Most 9 month olds need 11-12 hours sleep at night.

Night Feedings

  • Most 9 month olds can sleep all night without waking to feed!
  • Your baby’s growth and weight gain will determine if he needs night feeds. It’s best to ask your baby’s doctor if he still needs night feeds. And check out my Weaning Night Feedings Guide

Total sleep in 24 hours

  • 13-15 hours. Make sure your 9 month old is sleeping at least 13 hours total each day.

*Expect a rough patch during the 8-10 month sleep regression.

 

 

What To Do When Your 9 Month Old Won’t Sleep

 

Tip #1: Start a consistent daily schedule

Tip #2: Create a relaxing bedtime routine

Tip #3: Keep a consistent bedtime

 

 

Tip #1: Start a consistent daily schedule

 

Day and night sleep work hand-in-hand. Sleep problems like night wakings and fighting bedtime or naps are often caused by an inconsistent daily schedule.

Routines are essential for helping babies sleep well. A consistent sleep schedule sets your baby’s block clock to sleep at predictable times, making it easier for her to settle for naps and at bedtime. It’s essential that your baby naps often and enough everyday.

Your 9 month old needs 2-3 hours sleep during the day. This is the combination of all naps.

If your baby sleeps less than 2 hours during the day, over-tiredness will make her restless, hard to settle, and unable to sleep long stretches.

If your baby sleeps more than 3 hours during the day, she may not be tired enough to sleep through the night. Too much daytime sleep can also push bedtime late or make your baby wake early in the morning.

Your 9 month old’s awake times should be 2.5 – 3.5 hours.

Babies can’t handle being awake for long periods. Some babies show signs that they’re sleepy like rubbing their eyes, yawning or “zoning out.” This makes it easy for parents to know it’s time for a nap.

Other babies give their parents no sleepy signs! They can go all day without appearing to need a nap. Don’t be fooled mama! These babies need to nap just as much as other babies.

So make sure your 9 month old naps often (every 2.5 – 3.5 hours) and enough (a total of 2-3 hours.) If your baby goes to daycare, ask them to follow awake times too.

If you haven’t yet started a sleep schedule for your baby, this sample daily schedule will help you create one.

 

9 month old sample sleep schedules

If baby takes 3 naps a day

7:00 Wake & Milk

8:00 Breakfast

9:00 Morning Nap

10:00 Snack / Milk

11:30 Lunch

12:30 Afternoon Nap

2:00 Snack / Milk

4:30 Cat Nap

5:00 Snack / Milk

6:00 Set the scene for relaxation *

6:30 Dinner *

7:00 Bath*

7:30 Start bedtime routine *

7:50 Lights out (baby takes 10-15 mins to fall asleep) *

If baby takes 2 naps a day

7:00 Wake & Milk

8:30-9 Breakfast

9:30 Morning Nap

11:00 Snack / Milk

1:00 Lunch

2:00 Afternoon Nap

3:30 Snack / Milk

5:00 Set the scene for relaxation *

5:45 Dinner *

6:15 Bath*

6:30 Start bedtime routine *

6:50 Lights out (baby takes 10-15 mins to fall asleep) *

 

 

* These are by-the-clock events, so try to keep them on a fixed schedule. This sets your baby’s body clock, making sleep come easier over time.

If your baby wakes at a different time in the morning, move your schedule accordingly.

 

Craving some routine, mama?

Want to get several example daily schedules that you can download & save? Ones that meet all of your baby’s sleep, feeding & playtime needs?

My Daily Schedules guide covers 5 months – 4 years old! 

 

Tip #2: Create a relaxing bedtime routine

 

The purpose of a bedtime routine is to calm your baby in the evening, so that her body can relax and welcome sleep. Certain activities have been proven to relax babies, and when done in the right order, it sets your baby up for sleeping longer at night.

Every baby will benefit from a calming and peaceful bedtime routine each evening. Plus, research has shown that including Dad in baby’s bedtime routine decreases paternal stress and helps him bond with baby.  

It’s never too late to start a relaxing bedtime routine. It’s something that will soothe your 9 month old when she’s sick, teething, going through a regression or when traveling. So make sure to keep up with it every night.

My Exhausted Mom’s Starter Kit walks you through the steps of starting a relaxing and peaceful bedtime routine for your baby. You can start all tips tonight!

 

 

 

RELATED: How To Beat the 8 Month Sleep Regression

 

Tip #3: Keep a consistent bedtime

 

Many parents think that it doesn’t matter what time their baby goes to bed. I really wish this were true! But research has shown that late or inconsistent bedtimes lead to worse sleep in children, higher aggression and attention problems.

Babies really do have a “sweet spot” for bedtime and when you get your baby to sleep at the right time he will settle easily, sleep longer stretches and sleep later in the morning. I’ve seen this works with hundreds of babies!

Your 9 month old’s bedtime should fall between 6:30-8 pm. This is the range for bedtime. But make sure your baby’s bedtime doesn’t vary by more than 20 minutes each night.

Inconsistency with your baby’s bedtime makes it harder for him to settle and fall asleep. Your baby will fight bedtime if it falls at different times each day.

 

 

RELATED: Sleep Training Your 10 Month Old – 6 Easy Steps

 

 

 

My 9 month old won’t nap

 

There are several reasons why your 9 month old baby won’t nap or is fighting naps. The most common reasons are that awake times aren’t right, your baby doesn’t have a nap-friendly space, or your baby needs to drop a nap.

 

Nap Tip #1: Watch your baby’s awake times

Nap Tip #2: Give your baby a nap-friendly space

Nap Tip #3: Know when to drop the third nap

 

Nap Tip #1: Watch your baby’s awake times

 

Remember, your baby needs to nap every 2.5 – 3.5 hours. Napping this often works with your baby’s innate body clock and helps your little one not fight naps.  

If your baby is overtired in general, aim for 2.5 hour awake times. Once your baby starts sleeping better, you can extend to 3 – 3.5 hours.

 

Nap Tip #2: Give your baby a nap-friendly space

 

When possible, your baby should nap at home in his crib. This leads to the best quality sleep. If your baby goes to daycare, make sure he naps in a crib.

Start a calming pre-nap routine to help your baby wind down and fall asleep easily. Do a mini version of your bedtime routine to give your 9 month old the cue that it’s time to sleep. (See how to create a sleep routine here)

It’s ok if baby’s third nap (usually a short cat nap) happens on-the-go. You’ll be dropping this nap soon. Also, if your baby is caught in a short napping pattern, motion can help extend naps. Let baby nap in the stroller (lying flat, not upright) or while baby wearing. Just make sure to supervise all naps outside of the crib.

 

 

 

Nap Tip #3: Know when to drop the third nap

 

Your 9 month old will be ready for 2 naps a day when she sleeps well at night and can take naps that are one hour or longer. Until then, it’s ok if your baby takes 3-4 short naps. Napping often is more important than the number of naps each day.

If your baby suddenly starts skipping naps, pushing naps later, fighting bedtime or waking early in the morning, she could be ready to transition from 3 to 2 naps.

This article explains when it’s time to drop the 3rd nap, and how to do it!

 

My 9 Month Old Won’t Sleep Through the Night

 

The reasons why your 9 month old won’t sleep all night are almost endless! It could be due to a sleep regression, separation anxiety, teething, developmental milestones or simply that he hasn’t yet learned how to.

Let’s discuss each of these below.

 

Reason #1: The 8-10 month sleep regression

Reason #2: Separation anxiety

Reason #3: Teething

Reason #4: “My baby stands up in her crib”

Reason #5: Your baby has never slept through the night

 

Reason #1: The 8-10 month sleep regression

 

Sleep regressions are temporary disruptions in your baby’s sleep caused by developmental milestones. When your baby is mastering a new skill (like crawling or pulling to stand) it’s normal for sleep to temporarily regress.

Most babies experience a rough patch in sleep sometime between 8-10 months. Truth be told, this regression can be one of the worst. But remember, it’s temporary and usually passes within 1-2 weeks.

This article has all the details on the 8 -10 month sleep regression, plus tips to help your baby get through it.

 

Reason #2: Separation anxiety

 

Around 9 months old your baby goes through two big developments. First, he’s able to distinguish one person from another. And second, he starts to understand the concept of object permanence. These two developments can lead to separation anxiety.

Also, in times of big change (like starting daycare or mom returning to work) separation anxiety can increase. Your baby will look to you for comfort and stability, and may not be able to sleep without your help.

Separation anxiety can make your 9 month old unsettled when you’re not present. It’s a normal phase of development and not a sign that something is wrong. The intensity varies from child to child.

The best way to handle it is to spend as much time as possible with your baby. Find moments to spend quality time together, especially before bedtime. Do a lot of cuddling, kissing, story telling, and chatting. Show him that you’re there for him.

 

Reason #3: Teething

 

Some babies sleep right through teething, without any apparent discomfort. And others seem to really suffer. If you baby appears to be in pain from teething, there are remedies you can use to reduce discomfort.

Teething pain remedies:  

 

 

 

 

Reason #4: “My baby stands up in her crib”

 

There’s a lot of change and activity happening in your baby’s brain right now! Understandably, this makes it harder for her to settle down and sleep long stretches.

Most babies will go through a phase of wanting to sit, stand or crawl around the crib rather than sleep. If your baby is happily awake and practicing new skills during the night, do your best to give her space. Sure, she’ll lose some sleep over the next few days. But she’s learning to move around and get herself comfortable in the crib on his own- a vital self-soothing skill!

If your baby is “stuck” standing or sitting in the crib, and she’s upset about it, then help her lie down. If she pops right back up, try backing off for several minutes to let her practice repositioning herself. Otherwise you may get caught in a game of “jack-in-the-box” for weeks!

Here are more tips on what to do when baby stands in the crib and won’t sleep!

Reason #5: Your baby has never slept through the night

 

By 9 months old, most babies have the ability to sleep all night without feeding. But I’ve found that the majority of babies don’t naturally fall into sleeping through the night. They have to be taught how!

Even if your baby still needs one night feed, you can get him sleeping 6-8 hour stretches overnight. My Weaning Night Feedings Guide explains how.

The best way to set your baby up to sleep all night is to follow all the tips from this guide! 🙂 Specifically, start a consistent daily schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine and keep a consistent bedtime.

One other essential step to sleeping through the night is getting your baby settling himself to sleep. When your baby can go into his crib awake and fall asleep on his own, he’ll be able to resettle himself each time he stirs at night.

If your baby is nursed, rocked or helped to sleep, he’ll continue to need your help falling back asleep during the night. By 5-6 months old, we know babies have the ability to learn to settle themselves to sleep. We parents just have to show them how!

This is what I help parents do everyday in my sleep training program. Although it may feel overwhelming, stressful or sometimes impossible, it’s totally possible to get your 9 month old sleeping all night.

I hope you’ve enjoyed all the tips from this 9 month old baby sleep guide. When you implement these tips for 1-2 weeks consistently your baby will start sleeping much better!

a guide for parents to help their baby sleep better

Let’s stay connected!

18 Comments

  1. Taylor

    Hi! Thank you for the advice! I am at a total loss of what to do — our 9 month old daughter has been sleep trained for 5 months now. She takes two, one hour long naps a day and puts herself to sleep for those. She was sleeping through the night consistently until about 3 weeks ago and she has started to wake up once per night. When she wakes up, I let her fuss for a bit before going in to help her. But if I go in it turns into a minimum of 3 hours trying to get her to go back to sleep. She ends up only being able to sleep after she has cried so much she is exhausted and if we are holding her for at least an hour before trying to set her down. I am at a total loss of what to do — we have tried not touching her, singing to her, letting her cry it out for an hour…nothing works. She refuses to nurse to sleep anymore — I am at home with her all day and spend our entire nighttime routine focused on her. Please help!

    Reply
    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Taylor,

      I am sorry to hear that things have been tough! So for a 9 month old, I would aim for 11-12 hours of overnight sleep and 2.5-3 hours of day sleep. 2 naps are perfect! I would see if you could lengthen those naps though to 75 minutes each. Aim for 2.5 hours of awake time before nap 1, 3 hours of awake time before nap 2 and 3.5 hours before bedtime. I hope this can help after a week or so!!

      Best,
      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  2. Rupinder

    My baby has teething theses days. Whenever he feels sleepy, he just bumped around in his crib. Without Tylenol he suffered alot. He never want to sleep. Please I need suggestions his head. He never comes in lap or sleep for a second in his crib when being fussy. Can I give him tylenol everyday

    Reply
  3. Meg

    My 9mo is a great sleeper for the most part, but we are really struggling with early morning rises. He is up between 430 and 5am everyday. We have no light coming into the room, he sleeps with a sound machine, takes 2 solid naps a day, his last ending around 3pm. Bedtime is usually around 7pm depending on how tired he is. We have a night time routine and he falls asleep on his own…but without fail when 5am comes around he wakes up. We have tried leaving him in the crib until 6am and just going in and soothing him, but after 2 weeks with no change we gave up. He eats great and doesn’t have night feedings, and if he wakes up in the middle of the night he will go back to sleep on his own.. Not sure what else we can do to get him to sleep longer but we are desperate for help!

    Reply
    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello! Those early mornings can be really tough. I would try a couple things. 1) I would move your bedtime up to 6:30pm. You really only want 3.5 hours of awake time before bed and that means asleep at the 3.5 hour mark. Don’t be scared of an early bedtime–it can usually get kiddos sleeping in later! Also, make sure to limit any screen time and sugars (fruits and yogurt) before bed. I would stay consistent with no fun before 6am!

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  4. Murielle

    Thank you for the survival kit!! It’s just amazing. I’ve been doing PNR for about 2 weeks now and it has made such a massive difference from the very first 3 days. My 9 month old already has made so much progress not only sleeping wise but with her milestones as well. It’s like she is developing her skills overnight. Only problem I need help with is she falls asleep during the feeding time and we never make it to reading/cuddle part. However, I’ve watched her through the baby monitor and I’ve seen her get up in a sitting position and gone back to sleep by herself. Many times she made little cries, turn over and gone back to sleep again. She only wakes up crying when she needs feeding, which I still have to do 2 3 times per night. I really don’t mind doing as it took me a long time to exclusively breastfeed her so I’m not ready to give it up yet as she is on 3 solid meal plus one snack during the day. Is still ok to breastfeed her to sleep if there is not problems at other times during her sleep, or should I stop it.

    Reply
    • Micaela

      Hello Murielle, if you are all happy with your overall situation, there is no need to change it 😉

      Yes, usually at 9mo old babies can be night weaned and this improves their night sleep but this is your decision to make. Maybe talk to your doctor about it to see if he has any tips or requests based on your Lo growth.

      Have a nice day!
      Micaela BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  5. Maya29

    Hello, I have a question about my 9 month old daughter. She was always breastfed to sleep and has never STTN, but in the last week or two I have tried to break the habit of breastfeeding to sleep and it has been working slowly. The problem is that she will fall asleep on her own (with me in the room) but when she wakes up she rolls to her tummy and screams. When I try to roll her back to her back it just makes things worst. In the last couple of days she started to fall asleep on her tummy (which she has never done before) and that makes her wake up after only half an hour. So I don’t know what to do, should I let her roll to her tummy and then try to learn how to sleep on her stomach or should I roll her back to her back even though it makes her more upset? She can roll from tummy to back, she just doesn’t want to.

    Reply
    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello!

      As soon as your Lo is strong enough to roll onto her tummy, it is okay to leave her in that position. (Just always place her on her back). It is normal for babies to get frustrated with this at first, but I would let her work it out on her own and in just a few days, she will figure out how to get comfortable on her own!

      Best,
      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  6. Kirstyn

    Hello! My daughter has slept great we worked her into a sleep schedule as early as 3 months. We would start her bedtime routine around 6-6:30 and she would be in bed by 7-7:30 at the latest. She would sleep through the whole night work days till we woke her up at 5am and non work days she would sleep 12+ hours straight. Even got to a point she would go down without a fuss. She is going to be 9 monthes in September and the last week has been HORRIBLE! She is refusing to go to sleep in her crib, we rock her and she’s out then as soon as she gets laid down she is awake screaming. And she has a cold so she is so horse and stuffy that he scares me her continuous screaming. Her 7 pm sleep has turned into midnight -1am fighting sleep and then wakes continuously throughout the night. I don’t even know what to do now. I’ve done everything I know and how we sleep trained her but it’s just not working!

    Reply
    • panagiota

      Hi there Kirstyn. Thank you for your message. Sorry to hear you’re struggling.

      Since your baby had been sleeping great, this is probably a regression. So the key to get through this is being consistent with your schedule and what you’ve been doing before.

      Please, also try implementing the tips from this guide and let us know how things work out. Things will get better. Good luck. Panagiota, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  7. Sonia Diaz

    I am at a loss here with my son. He is 9 months old next week. He has been up until midnight almost every night for the last 2 weeks. He really doesn’t have a consistent sleep schedule, he still wakes up once or twice for a bottle. we still co sleep. He is teething and just learned how to stand up. I feel like I should have nipped this in the bud way sooner but what’s done is done. How do I go about implementing a routine now?

    Reply
    • Leena

      Hi Sonia! I feel you completely, it sounds tough. The good news is that it is never too late and blaming yourself for what you should or shouldn’t have done doesn’t help. The important thing is that you are getting help now. Teething can certainly add to your LO’s discomfort, but the underlining issue seems to be, that your LO doesn’t know how to self settle yet. Teaching him this skills will lead to STTN and thus better sleep for your entire family! This guide that you commented on, is certainly a good place to start as it lets you manage your expectations and tackle sleep disturbances on a general level. If you implement the tips consistently for 1-2 weeks, you should see improvement. If you’d like detailed assistance, I would also recommend our program, 21 Days to Peace & Quiet. We offer 4 different step-by-step methods for you to choose from (from super gentle & gradual to quick & efficient.) Each step of the way you get advice based on your baby’s developmental stage, energy levels, and temperament.

      You enroll on this page: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/21-days-to-peace-quiet-program

      The program costs $197 now, but you should know that in just a few weeks’ time Jilly’s updated program will be out and it will have a $97 DIY option.

      Jilly is currently on maternity leave. As of October 1st she will be answering questions in our private Facebook group 2 times per week. (In the DIY option you do it all yourself. There’s no messaging option or Facebook group. BUT you get all the same information and resources and can definitely get your baby sleeping great.)

      In general, when you are 100% consistent in following the steps of the program, your baby will be sleeping great at night within 1-3 weeks. It depends on the method you choose as well as your baby’s adaptability. But we cover all of this in the program!

      I hope this isn’t too confusing. Happy to answer any questions you have about the program.

      Have a great day! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
    • Shane

      Hello, my 9 month old twins won’t sleep at all! They are girls and I don’t know if that has anything to do with it or not, but I’ve heard it might. Anyways, they have never slept good at night, but it’s never been this bad. My wife and I are literally up all night until we have to get ready for work in the mornings. Yes, you heard me correctly 12 straight hours every night we are up. My wife is a school teacher and I’m a maintenance man who works with heavy machinery so sleep is kind of important. What can we do to help this problem and maybe get 4-5 hours of sleep per night?

      Reply
      • Alyssa Taft

        Hello Shane,

        Thank you so much for your message! This sounds completely exhausting. We would really love to help you. First, I recommend signing up for our FREE Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit. It will provide you with a ton of helpful tips. Also, I highly recommend looking into our 21 Days to Peace and Quiet program. We have several parents that joined to help get their twins sleeping through the night. At 9 months, your twins can certainly sleep 11-12 hours!! These parents have found success and I know we can help you and your wife find success too. I am attaching information below for both resources. Please let me know if you have ANY questions!

        https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/21-days-to-peace-quiet-program
        https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/exhausted-moms-survival-kit

        Best,
        Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

        Reply
  8. Strider

    My 9 month old goes to sleep at 9 and gets up at 6. He wakes a minimum of 2 times a night, sometimes 5 or 6. He has suddenly only fallen asleep when being held or walked around the room and will only stay asleep if he sleeps with us.

    Reply
    • Leena

      Hi! That is really tough and exhausting. I completely understand the struggle!

      Since you mention that these changes are recent, I suspect it’s the 8-10 month sleep regression that’s worsened your baby’s sleep. You can still follow the tips from this guide, they can help your LO through this restless, rough patch.

      Also, I think your LO and your ENTIRE family could benefit from teaching your LO how to fall asleep independently. The reason why this is important is that it allows your baby to be happy sleeping on his own in the crib AND leads to long sleep stretches overnight.

      At this age your LO can 100% do this. This will lead to STTN and give you a bit more freedom and down time.

      If you’d like more support and detailed guidance, our program 21 Days to Peace & Quiet walks you through the entire process. I’d be happy to answer any questions about the program! Here is the link:

      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/21-days-to-peace-quiet-program

      Best of luck mama!/ Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *