Congratulations—your baby has been outside of you about as long as they were inside of you. And what better way to celebrate than with a good night’s sleep. But how easy is it to get a 9-month-old sleep schedule going?
At this point, you may wonder if it’s even possible—not because you don’t know how to sleep train, but because you may feel you’re going in circles.
Sometimes, without warning, even the most well-established sleep routines appear to fly out the window.
And while this can be very frustrating, it is a perfectly normal phase.
Between growth spurts and milestones and the curiosity that comes with awakening to an entire universe of stimuli, sticking to a sleep routine may be the last thing on your baby’s mind.
As a result, a 9-month baby sleep schedule may feel like one of the hardest things you’ve ever tried to put together.
Seriously—world peace? Nuclear disarmament? How to fix my 9-month-old sleep schedule? They may feel on par.
Know that it is possible. Let’s take a look.
In this article 📝
- How to get a 9-month-old to sleep schedule going
- What is a good schedule for a 9-month-old?
- How many naps should a 9-month old have?
- What time should a 9-month-old go to bed?
- Why does my 9-month-old keep waking up at night?
How to get a 9-month-old to sleep schedule going
Sleep schedules are important at all phases in life—and particularly so when you’re growing and developing at the rate your baby is.
This 2017 literature review of a variety of infant sleep studies shows just how important rest is for your little one.
Cognition, memory, physical growth, language development—all of these appear to have a firm link to getting sufficient sleep.
But while the benefits of sleep are real, getting on a sleep schedule is easier said than done. Staying on a sleep schedule can be even harder.
(Before you go any further: do not attempt this alone. There’s a whole Peanut community out there just waiting to connect on this very issue.)
What is a good schedule for a 9-month-old?
While the idea is that by this point, your baby should generally be able to sleep through the night without feeding, this may not be your reality.
Sleep regressions (and the fact that anomalies always exist), this may not be the case right now.
That being said, it is possible to cobble together a 9-month-old schedule that includes adequate sleep for mama and baby alike. Let’s take a look.
How many naps should a 9-month old have?
So how many naps should a 9-month-old take?
The general rule of thumb is two naps a day, provided they are getting a long (approximately 11 hour) sleep at night. Each daytime nap should last somewhere between one and three hours.
Here’s a sample 9-month-old schedule:
- Sleep (hopefully without interruption) for somewhere between ten and twelve hours.
- A morning nap that takes place about three hours after breakfast and lasts about an hour.
- An afternoon nap that lasts about two hours and ends about three hours before the nighttime sleep marathon begins.
Important: It’s a sample. Everyone is different. There are so many factors that go into the mix. Just aim for it to all add up to a 14 hour total. You’ve got this.
What time should a 9-month-old go to bed?
We may sound like stuck records on this, but this is not an exact science. Ultimately, your baby’s bedtime has to fit into your life.
One way to figure out what might work for you? Think of an ideal waking time and count back eleven hours.
Whatever bedtime you choose, try to be as consistent as possible with it so that your baby’s circadian rhythms can kick into full gear.
Oh, and if you’re finding you’re having trouble with your little one rising too early in the morning, there’s a chance they might be getting either too much or too little sleep. Weird, we know.
Another pro tip? Prioritize the bedtime routine.
This is your way of communicating to your baby that sleep time has arrived. Do things in the same order every day—bath, boob or bottle, book, bed.
Why does my 9-month-old keep waking up at night?
That’s a tough one to answer. There are a number of reasons why your baby may be finding it hard to get to the finish line.
It may help to:
- Adjust their bedtime. Try putting them to bed a little later or with more of a gap between their afternoon nap and evening slumber.
- Get help for teething pain. It’s out there. Over-the-counter remedies and teething rings may help, as might applying pressure to the gums with a clean finger. Check out our other top tips for teething pain.
- Up the ante in the bedtime cue department. This means getting to bed at the same time every night. It means sticking to your sleep-time rituals. It means making sure that the room is dark. This is all language for: it’s time to get to sleep and stay asleep.
One reason they might find staying asleep hard is that, in these months, separation anxiety is really a thing.
Basically, this means you are one popular person and they simply cannot imagine life without you.
By about eight months, your baby has figured out a pretty awesome fact—that you are not them and they are not you.
Mind-blowing, yes—but certainly not without its adjustment period.
As a result, they may cry out for you in the middle of the night.
This is a hard one—but the goal is to try to reassure them that you’re there while giving them the opportunity to self-soothe. Let them know that you’re there, but don’t stick around too long.
You can also set yourself up for success throughout the day. When you leave them, engage in a little goodbye ritual.
That way, they will start to get the idea that leaving is normal, and that it means that you will soon be reunited.
You may also be going through a lot at this time. Fitting in work and family arrangements can be a real challenge.
Above all, be kind to yourself. This is not about getting things “right.” It’s about getting things right for you and your family.
Good luck, mama.
💡 You might also like:
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Your Guide to Baby Sleep Regressions
What’s the Best 10-Month-Old Sleep Schedule?
Babies Waking Up Too Early: What to do
Baby Sleep Temperature Guidelines to Follow
Is White Noise for a Baby Good?
Can Babies Have Nightmares?
How to Dress Baby For Sleep
How to Get Your Baby to Sleep in a Crib
When Do Kids Stop Taking Naps?
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9 Month-Old Baby: Milestones & Development
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Can Babies Sleep on Their Stomach?
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