The 9 Month Sleep Regression — When Your Baby Stops Sleeping
You’ve been here before. Suddenly your baby is resisting naps, waking up at night, and you’re tired! It probably feels like it came out of nowhere, but around nine months is a very common time for babies to have an interruption in their regular sleep pattern. Are you noticing fussiness, multiple night wakings, fewer and shorter naps, appetite changes, and general crankiness? You’re probably in the middle of the 9 month sleep regression. Read on to find out:
- Why does this regression happen?
- How to support your child
- Self-care for you!
Why Does the 9 Month Sleep Regression Happen?
Somewhere between eight and ten months, your baby begins to develop his gross motor skills and may start crawling or even pulling himself up onto furniture. Many parents find their child practicing these skills at nap time or in the night, pulling themselves up on the side of their bed and then wailing when they can’t figure out how to get back down. Some motivated babies in this age range even start to walk! As your child explores “moving away” from you and becomes more independent, he may also become more clingy and be awake and upset in the night as a result.
Your 9 month old baby’s brain is in the midst of major developmental changes, too. Around this age babies begin to categorize objects and people and understand that not everything is the same. They may also learn that there are sequences to the way things are done and be interested in stacking cups, blocks, and groups of objects — like shoes.
Want to know more about sleep regressions?
Read: Sleep Regressions — What Are They, and When Will They End?
How to Support Your Child in the 9 Month Sleep Regression
To support your child in this exciting and, admittedly, difficult phase consider these strategies:
- Let your child know when you are leaving and coming back
- Make time for extra snuggles and one on one play at the end of the day
- Help your baby practice getting down from standing during the day
- Keep a predictable nap and bedtime routine
Wondering how to use The Shuffle?
Read: Gentle Sleep Training with The Sleep Lady Shuffle
How do I get through this sleep regression?
The best and biggest piece of advice for weathering these challenging regressions is to remember they are temporary. Your baby WILL get back to his usual sleeping and eating routines soon.
What you can do to help your child sleep better and weather this phase smoothly:
- Be flexible. You may not be able to count on long daytime naps to give you a break or for bedtime to be smooth and relatively quick. Recruit some help — or even just moral support — from your partner, family, or friends to give yourself a break or a boost
- Respond to your baby. It’s good to cuddle and feed her more and to take more time at bedtime or meals right now.
- Be patient and supportive while your baby is frustrated or out of sorts — especially given how hard their brain and body are working.
- Stick to your GOOD habits. While it’s important to be supportive and responsive to your child, don’t fall back on old sleep habits or create new sleep crutches out of desperation. Resist the temptation to nurse or rock your baby to sleep — use The Shuffle strategies to comfort and calm him if he’s having a tough night
It might be hard to imagine it when your baby’s sleep challenges are difficult, but this sleep regression will pass just like the others before it. And if you find yourself with new unwanted habits or sleep challenges that don’t resolve on their own, check back in to this blog or consider speaking with a Gentle Sleep Coach.
Did you know there are quite a few common sleep regressions?
Read: Sleep Regression: When, Why, and How to Solve It!