Surviving the 9 Month Sleep Regression: Tips for Parents

Babies at 8-10 months are gaining new skills every day. Sadly, this can lead to sleep troubles, known as the 8, 9, or 10 month sleep regression. Such sleep regressions are signs that your baby is growing and changing a lot. The 9-month sleep regression happens over a few weeks. This is when a baby, who used to sleep well, starts having a tough time. They might have trouble sleeping at night, wake up often, or find naps hard. This change can be because of new developmental milestones, teething, and missing you when you’re not around.

Key Takeaways

  • The 9-month sleep regression is a common phase of disrupted sleep patterns and increased night wakings.
  • Developmental milestones, teething, and separation anxiety can all contribute to the 9-month regression.
  • Establishing healthy sleep habits, optimizing the sleep environment, and addressing teething discomfort can help manage the regression.
  • Consistency, patience, and professional support can be key to surviving the 9-month sleep regression.
  • This phase is temporary, and your baby’s sleep will typically return to normal in due course.

Understanding the 9 Month Sleep Regression

At around 9 months, your baby might start waking up more at night. They might also have trouble going to sleep and take shorter naps. These changes show your baby is growing and learning a lot at this time.

What is a Sleep Regression?

A sleep regression happens when a baby’s sleep changes and becomes more difficult. It shows they’re learning and growing, making big changes in their brain.

Signs of the 9 Month Sleep Regression

Your baby might cry more at bedtime and be hard to soothe. They might only sleep when held. They could also skip naps, wake up a lot at night, and not want to be away from you. These are all signs of the 9-month sleep regression.

Causes of the 9 Month Sleep Regression

Kids at 9 months can start to do lots more. They might learn to sit up, crawl, or stand. These big changes can mess up their sleep. With new teeth coming in, sleeping can be tough too.

Developmental Milestones

At 9 months, babies grow quickly. They may learn to sit, crawl, or stand. This is exciting for them but can also keep them up at night. This part of growing, called developmental milestones, can make it hard to sleep like before.

Teething Discomfort

If your baby’s about 9 months, teeth might be coming through. This teething discomfort can cause pain and stress. New teeth can mean waking up more at night or not wanting to nap. Teething is a big reason for sleep issues at this age.

Separation Anxiety

By 9 months, babies understand you’re still there even when they can’t see you. This makes them worry when you’re not around. They might have a hard time sleeping without you nearby. This is known as separation anxiety, and it affects their sleep.

9 month sleep regression

The 9-month sleep regression is a phase when a baby’s sleep can get worse. They might wake up more at night or find it hard to sleep. Also, their daytime naps might be shorter or not as restful.

At 9 months, babies sleep about 12 to 14 hours total. Most of their food still comes from breastmilk or formula. This is also when they could be getting several new teeth, which might trouble their sleep.

This difficult sleep phase might last for days, weeks, or even months. It’s key to keep the sleeping place cozy, with a room temp between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. A little bit of baby pain medicine, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, could ease teething and help them sleep.

Setting up a nice bedtime routine helps a lot. This includes practicing new skills during the day. Sounds like soft white noise and stickin to a sleep schedule can also make things better.

Preparing for the 9 Month Sleep Regression

Your baby will soon reach the 9-month mark. It’s key to be ready for any sleep issues. Following a few steps can help ease this phase. It’s about ensuring your little one sleeps well.

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Transitioning to Two Naps

At 9 months, your baby should change from three naps to two. More awake time between naps can lead to sleep troubles. You should adjust the nap times slowly. This way, your baby will comfortably switch to two daily naps.

Adjusting Milk and Solid Food Intake

What your baby eats and drinks is vital during this time. They need plenty of calories and nutrients for growth. Pay attention to their meal times. Make changes if needed to prevent hunger at night.

Help your baby transition to two naps and watch their meals. This approach can make the 9-month sleep regression phase go more smoothly. Being proactive makes a big difference in handling your child’s sleep during this period.

Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits

As your baby goes through the 9-month sleep regression, you need to set up good sleep routines. This helps them get the right amount of sleep. You should look at the ways your baby falls asleep and see if there’s an easy, gentle way to do it better.

Eliminating Sleep Associations

At 9 months, check if your baby depends on certain things to sleep, like rocking or feeding. These actions can make it harder for your baby to sleep through the night or take good naps. It’s better to try putting your baby down when they are awake but drowsy. This can help them learn to sleep on their own.

Sleep Training and Gentle Sleep Coaching

If sleep troubles persist during the 9-month sleep regression, consider sleep training or gentle sleep coaching. These methods can teach your baby essential sleep skills. They can learn to sleep without needing outside help. This way, you help your baby learn to calm themselves and sleep better.

Being consistent is very important for a good sleep routine. By getting rid of sleep associations and maybe trying sleep training or gentle sleep coaching, you can help your baby. They will learn how to get the sleep they need for growing and learning.

Promoting Independence and Separation

Your baby might get clingy during the 9-month sleep regression. To help, encourage some alone-time and independence. Try things like peek-a-boo or stepping into another room briefly. Your baby will start to see that you’ll always be back, even if they can’t see you.

Teaching your baby to be okay with you leaving can lower their stress. By making time apart a part of their day, they start to trust that you’ll always return. This trust makes it easier for them when you need to say goodbye.

Here are some ways to help your baby be more independent:

  • Spending quality time just with your baby helps with their need for closeness
  • Try stepping into another room for a bit as a planned separation
  • Explain calmly to your baby before you go away
  • Don’t just disappear when they’re not looking, it can make them worry more
  • Do a little goodbye routine that shows you’ll soon be back
  • Stay relaxed when leaving, since your baby can sense your mood
  • Don’t rush big transitions, and try not to baby your baby too much

Helping your baby be okay with a little independence makes tough phases easier. It helps in their emotional growth and can even lead to better sleep. So, by teaching them that you’ll come back, they learn to be okay without you for short times.

Supporting Gross Motor Development

Your baby is quickly learning to move, like crawling and standing, around the 9-month mark. This can influence their sleeping habits a lot. Encourage your baby to try these new skills a lot during the day. This way, they won’t want to do it as much at night, which can disturb their sleep.

Gross Motor SkillImpact on Sleep
CrawlingBabies may want to practice their new crawling skills at night, leading to more frequent wakeups and disrupted sleep.
Pulling to StandThe desire to practice standing and cruising can cause babies to wake more often and have trouble settling back down.
CruisingAs babies become more mobile, they may want to explore their crib at night, preventing them from sleeping soundly.
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To help your baby’s gross motor development and sleep better, let them practice a lot during the day. Try to do tummy time and have a play area safe for moving. Also, let them check out their world when you’re watching. This keeps them active and less likely to move a lot at night.

“Working on gross motor skills can positively influence sleep quality during the 9-month sleep regression.”

Seeing your baby learn new things is thrilling. Yet, it can make sleeping harder for them. By focusing on their gross motor development in the day, they can rest well at night. This is key for their growth at this stage.

Optimizing Wake Windows

It’s key to time your baby’s wake windows right to help with the 9-month sleep issues. Most babies at this age do well when they are awake for 2-2.5 hours at first. Then, they need a longer 2.5-3 hours of activity before their next nap. Finally, they should have 3-4 hours of play before bed. Watching for signs your baby is tired and changing their routine can stop them from waking up too much at night.

Keeping a steady wake window is very important now. A baby who has had enough sleep will have fewer sleep problems. So, by learning your 9-month-old’s best times for sleep and changing their day, you help them sleep better. This way, you can make the sleep hurdles easier on your baby.

If your baby starts acting fussy or looks tired, they might need less awake time. But if they have trouble napping or sleeping at night, maybe they need to be awake a little longer. Getting this balance right may need some testing, but watching your baby’s signals can guide you to the right answer.

Keep in mind that the sleep troubles at 9 months will pass. With time and sticking to a routine, your baby will sleep better again. Finding the best wake times is a big step to help your baby sleep well during this shift.

Creating a Conducive Sleep Environment

Making sure your baby’s sleep space is top notch can reduce the effects of sleep regression. Using a steady, soft white noise is a big part. It helps drown out outside noises and calms your baby when they wake up at night.

Importance of White Noise

White noise is great for creating a calming environment for your baby. It’s a constant sound that hides sudden loud noises. With a white noise machine or app, your baby may sleep longer. This boosts their sleep quality.

Ideal Room Temperature and Darkness

Also, the right room temperature and dark setting are key for better sleep. The best range for the nursery is 68-72°F. This is comfy and good for deep sleep. A dark room, with blackout curtains, tells your baby it’s time to rest.

Addressing Teething Discomfort

Teething can cause a lot of pain, often leading to sleep troubles around 9 months. When new teeth come in, the pain can keep babies from sleeping well. Luckily, many remedies are both safe and helpful for dealing with teething pain.

Safe Teething Remedies

A simple and effective teething remedy is a cold, damp washcloth. After freezing it, let your baby chew on it. This helps numb the pain in their gums. You can also chill a silicone teething ring or toy in the fridge for another soothing option. Another method is to gently massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger.

Pain Relief Medications

For very severe teething pain, talking to your doctor is a good idea. They might suggest over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These medicines can greatly reduce pain and help baby sleep better. Always be sure to use them as the doctor says, and get their advice before giving any medication to your baby.

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Surviving the Regression: Tips for Parents

Surviving the 9-month sleep regression needs patience and a routine. Stick to your sleep habits even if they get hard. This will help your baby adapt to the changes smoothly.

Staying Consistent

During this time, avoid changing your baby’s sleep schedule drastically. Keep doing what you usually do for bedtime and naps. This consistency is vital for your baby to go through the regression.

It makes them feel secure and stable. Continue using your bedtime routines, nap times, and sleep training.

Seeking Professional Help

If your baby’s sleep troubles go on, or if it’s really hard, you can get help. A professional sleep coach can give you strategies tailored to you. They use methods that are proven to help babies sleep better.

Remember, the 9-month sleep stage is just a phase. With the right support, your baby will pass through it and sleep better again.


The 9-month sleep regression is hard for babies and parents, but it can be overcome. It happens because of things like new skills, teething, and not wanting to be away from you. By knowing these reasons and getting ready, you can help your baby.

To tackle this, focus on good sleep practices. This includes not let your baby rely on you to fall asleep, trying different sleep training ways, and picking the best times for your baby to be awake. Being steady in these efforts is key. If you’re finding it super tough, it’s okay to ask for expert advice. Remember, this phase won’t last forever. Your little one will soon move past it.

With care, effort, and the right methods, you will guide your baby to better sleep. Your work to ensure sound sleep for them now will pay off later. Keep your spirits up and believe in better nights to come. This period is just a phase, promising brighter days and nights in your family’s future.


What is the 9 month sleep regression?

The 9-month sleep regression means your baby’s sleep gets messed up. They might wake more at night and have trouble napping. This happens because your baby is growing fast and reaching big milestones.

What are the common signs of the 9 month sleep regression?

Signs include more crying at bedtime and being fussy. Your baby might only want to sleep in your arms. They could also wake a lot at night and be more clingy.

What are the main causes of the 9 month sleep regression?

This happens because your baby is hitting new milestones. For example, learning to sit up, crawl, and babble. Teething can also bother them, along with new fears of being away from you.

How can I help my baby through the 9 month sleep regression?

You can help by making sure they eat well during the day. Try moving to two naps if they’re ready. Good sleep habits and a cozy, safe sleep space are important too.

Should I sleep train or use gentle sleep coaching during the 9 month sleep regression?

Sleep training or gentle methods can both work. They can help your baby learn to sleep better. Teaching them to settle by themselves at bedtime is a key part.

How can I help soothe my baby’s teething discomfort during the 9 month sleep regression?

For teething, you can use chilled washcloths or teething toys. Ask your doctor about using pain relievers if needed. These can help your baby feel better and sleep more.

When should I seek professional help for the 9 month sleep regression?

If your baby’s sleep issues continue or are hard to fix, you might need expert help. A sleep consultant or coach can offer advice tailored to your baby.