The 9 Month Sleep Regression
The 9-month sleep regression can be a doozy, plus, it can start and stop over a few days or lasts months on end and leave you wondering where your beautiful sleeping child went. If you made it out of the 4-month sleep regression, listen up. This is one post you are not going to want to miss.
The whole first year of sleep has a lot of leaps, changes and developmental things happening with your baby. The 4 months sleep regression is literally a change to HOW they sleep. They move from two types of sleep, light and deep sleep, into 4 sleep cycles, that they carry with them throughout their lives. That is when parents find they need to reach out because what once worked for a newborn suddenly no longer calms their child and new wakings appear.
So What is Happening during the 9 Month Sleep Regression?
There is a lot of cognitive and physical development happening during this age. Children are hitting milestones like sitting up, standing up, taking their first step, cruising and so on. Babies are also becoming more acutely aware of their surroundings. Each will begin to understand language and what you are saying to them, they can decipher tones and become aware of things like color and size.
Add to all of this happening on a daily basis, throw in a few teeth that seem to keep popping up, the daycare cold and a fresh bout of diaper rash and you ready to spend a day at the spa in silence. (or maybe that was just me)
So, how long does this Sleep Regression Last?
Hmm. Good question. And that depends. It can be a short few weeks, where you may not see any disruption to sleep but all of a sudden you see your baby pulling up virtually out of nowhere and pointing to things or even starting to sit up and play independently with a small toy or block. The other end of the spectrum can be a few months. It can also be lumped into the 8-month sleep regression or not recognized until 10 months.
The impacts of sleep regression also differ in every child. Many kids, especially past clients of mine tell me that they saw no disruption to their child’s sleep during this time at all. They slept a solid 11-12 hours at night and another 3-4 hours during the day of naps without skipping a beat.
There may be a small period of overnight disruption. Think about it like when you had a big meeting the next day with your boss, or a very important doctors appointment. Didn’t sleep great, did you? That’s EXACTLY what’s happening with your kids. They are excited, learning new skills, practicing those new skills and are just not ready to settle down.
Also, for many babies this age, they are transitioning down to 2 naps a day, if they aren’t already there and it takes a little time to adjust and ensure their body clock is regulated and not overtired. Your child’s sleep needs are important, so ensure you follow the guidelines of recommended sleep as recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Watch timing and practice new skills with balance. The hardest child to settle is an overtired one, so pay attention to their awake windows and adjust accordingly. The average naps for a baby this age, if you wanted to have a set schedule would be
- 7:00 am waking
- 10:00am – 11:30 am Nap 1
- 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Nap 2
- 7:00 bedtime
That keeps your windows in check and gets them the total sleep need of 3 hours at the right time in the day.
So how do you solve for the 9 Month Sleep Regression?
- Eliminate overtired as a cause (it’s a common one, so check out the chart.)
- Is the room is plenty dark (bat cave dark)
- Is it possible that it’s teething (Teething is a day or may a week) not WEEKS and months of imperfect sleep?
- Ensure you offer support to you 8 month old, 9 months old, 10-month-old… any age. Just ensure the support comes with boundaries. You don’t want to develop a new habit trying to get over of this current speed bump. This includes co-sleeping, holding the baby to sleep, rocking, feeding, bouncing, nursing. Anything with the word ‘to sleep’ in it can cause issues.
- Be patient with them – They will only be transitioning through this leap one time. While we can’t always eliminate the discomfort, we are always there with support.
Remember, sleep regressions are temporary.
If you think it may in fact not be a regression but a bigger underlying issue, then set up a time to speak. We love helping tired families get the sleep you need to feel at your best. Sleep well, my friends.