It’s common for babies to experience a 9 month sleep regression. Learn the signs of the 9-month-old sleep regression as well as tips on how to help your baby sleep.

baby standing in crib

Is your 9 month old suddenly struggling with sleep?

The 9 month sleep regression is a disruption to your baby’s sleep and can happen between 8–10 months old.

At this age your baby is learning plenty of new skills and meeting new milestones.

But just like other sleep regressions, big developmental changes around the nine-month mark can bring a sleep regression along with it.

Let’s troubleshoot the 9-month sleep regression together and see if we can kick your baby’s sleep troubles to the curb!

9 month old sleep regression graphic

How Long Does the 9-Month Sleep Regression Last?

The 9-month sleep regression usually lasts between 2 to 6 weeks.

Don’t let the name fool you, either: it can happen to your baby anywhere between 8 and 10 months of age and is often referred to as the 8-month sleep regression or 10 month sleep regression.

Babies just hit it at different times!

Keep an eye out for signs that your baby is headed into the 9-month sleep regression. If you spot the signs, you may be able to mitigate some of the regression impact on your family.

The good news is, if you already have a good sleeper, they’re less likely to be affected by sleep regressions!

Signs of the 9-Month Sleep Regression

Here are some signs your baby is going through the 9-month sleep regression:

  • Resisting nap time or bedtime
  • More frequent night wakings or new night wake ups if your baby was sleeping through the night
  • Increased crying or fussiness at sleep times
  • Your baby waking up too early from naps or in the morning

Why is My 9-Month-Old Waking at Night?

Why is your little one suddenly fighting sleep, waking in the middle of the night again, or waking up too early?

There are a lot of things going on for your baby that can intensify or contribute to this regression.

Brain Growth Spurt

Chances are that you’re starting to catch glimpses of your baby’s personality more and more. It’s so exciting to see the little person they’re becoming!

It’s also a lot of work for them to wrap their minds around all of these new feelings and comprehension.

Your nine-month-old is starting to understand more words and might even be babbling or approximating words to communicate with you.

Imagine finally being able to connect the dots on something as profound and essential as language—for the very first time! It’s no wonder your baby would rather not sleep.

New Physical Milestones

Physically speaking, your baby is putting all their new muscle development to the test. Your baby may have already mastered crawling, which is great.

Maybe now they’re working on new motor skills like pulling up to a standing position and cruising on the edges of furniture. They might even be standing in their crib.

Your baby wants more time to master these skills. Having their practice time interrupted by a sleep schedule can interrupt their playtime and cause sleep issues.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be a big part of the 9-month sleep regression.

Every day, your baby is forming a stronger attachment to you and a select few others. With this stronger attachment comes a strong separation anxiety and a hesitation to be apart from you.

Your baby is getting to a point where their brain can finally understand object permanence.

This means that even though your baby can’t see you, they know that you still exist and that you may still be nearby. They want to know: if you’re still around, why aren’t you right here with me?

Teething

Parents often wonder is it teething or a sleep regression?

In addition to using their muscles in new ways, another physical development is happening inside your baby’s mouth. Here come more teeth.

It’s no wonder that teething is often blamed for sleep problems!

Your baby may become acutely aware that their gums are causing them pain, especially when they’re laying down for sleep and don’t have any distractions.

See how to help your teething baby sleep if that’s the culprit.

First Foods

You’re probably way past the cereal-only solid food days and deep into whole food exploration with your baby.

It’s so much fun to witness them try new foods for the first time. But along with all of the excitement comes a pretty big demand on their little GI systems.

You might start to notice that your once-regular baby is now on a poo-strike.

Constipation often goes hand-in-hand with introducing new foods into your baby’s diet. And unfortunately, a baby who is not pooping is often going to have trouble getting comfortable enough to sleep.

9 month sleep regression tips graphic

5 Tips to Help Baby Sleep During the 9-Month Sleep Regression

So what can you do to help your baby through this 9-month sleep regression? Here are five tips.

1. Practice New Skills During the Day

Your baby is learning a lot of new tricks and they want time to perfect them.

Give your baby lots of time during the day to be mobile and work on their new skills.

If they have enough play time during the day, they won’t need to practice those tricks during sleep time as much.

2. Follow Wake Windows

A 9-month old’s wake windows should be between 3 to 3.5 hours.

The average 9-month-old needs between 12 to 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, which includes about 2 to 3 hours of daytime sleep.

Make sure your 9 month old is getting the sleep they need.

3. Drop the Third Nap

If your baby is still taking 3 naps, it’s probably time to transition from 3 to 2 naps.

Too much day sleep can lead to split nights, which is a fancy term for saying your baby is awake in the middle of the night for a long period of time.

Here’s a sample 9-month sleep schedule:

7:00 am — Wake for the day

10:00 to 11:15 am — Nap 1

2:45 to 4:00 pm — Nap 2

7:30 pm — Bedtime

4. Stay Consistent

The best thing you can do for your baby’s sleep is to stay consistent in the sleep habits you’ve already established.

Don’t introduce a new sleep association during a sleep regression—even if you feel desperate! This is not the time to start rocking or nursing to sleep for the first time, because you’ll have a tricky time breaking those later.

5. Check with Your Pediatrician

Lastly, talk to your pediatrician if you suspect there may be a medical issue or teething impacting your baby’s sleep.

Your pediatrician can advise if it’s appropriate to give medication for teething discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions about the 9 Month Old Sleep Regression

Can you Sleep Train During the 9 Month Sleep Regression?

You can sleep train through a regression. Sometimes sleep training is the best way to get things back on track.

Is 9 Months Old too Old to Sleep Train?

Nope. I don’t think you’re ever too old to learn new habits. You can sleep train through the school age years.

How Do You Train through the 9 Month Sleep Regression?

Baby D.R.E.A.M Mockup image

Get Better Sleep with The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System

If you want someone to walk you through the process of sleep training, let me help. The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System is for babies 4 months through 2.5 years old. I’ll walk you through how to establish daily routines, sleep schedules, and sleep training techniques to help you break the sleep associations you no longer find beneficial! Check it out here.

Sleep regressions can be so stressful for you and your family, but they don’t last forever.

If you have any questions about the 9 month sleep regression, leave them in the comments, and we’ll try to troubleshoot for you ASAP!

Amy Motroni

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for making me learn something about my 9 month old baby… I appreciate much.

    1. Hi Kessiah! I am glad to hear this post was helpful to you.

      Lauren, The Postpartum Party Support

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