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9-Month-Old Baby Sleep Schedule

At around 9 months, your baby may have settled into a consistent sleep schedule, with two naps occurring at predictable times during the day. However, it’s important to note that any sleep disruptions that occur during this time are not necessarily due to age, but rather to developmental milestones that your baby is mastering.

This period between 8-10 months is sometimes referred to as the 8-10 month sleep regression due to the many changes and developments that occur during this time. Check out our previous blogs on the 8-month and 9-month sleep regressions to learn more about this.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at your 9-month-old baby’s sleep schedule. We’ll go over the average wake windows, sleep duration, and bedtime to help you create a flexible sleep schedule that works for your family.

A Note on Sleep Schedules:

When considering your 9-month-old’s sleep schedule, it’s important to remember that individual differences are normal. While average sleep needs are a useful guideline, they may not precisely match your baby’s unique requirements. The best measure of adequate sleep is observing your baby’s mood and energy levels. A content and alert baby is usually a well-rested one, even if their sleep pattern deviates from the average. Always consider your baby’s adjusted age when establishing a sleep routine, and trust your instincts as a parent to recognize their individual needs.

How Much Sleep Does My 9-Month-Old Need?

The National Sleep Foundation, suggests that at 9 months, a typical sleep total for a day, encompassing night and nap times, is between 12 to 16 hours. Generally, this includes 10-12 hours of nighttime sleep and 2-3 hours of daytime napping, usually split across two naps. This recommendation serves as a guideline, recognizing that individual sleep patterns may vary.

Sample 9-Month Sleep Schedule

sample schedule for a 2-nap day

When planning naps for your 9-month-old, consider both the total amount of daytime sleep and the duration of individual naps. Limit each nap to no more than 2 hours, and aim for a cumulative daytime sleep total of 2-3 hours. This ensures your baby gets enough rest during the day without affecting their night sleep. For instance, if your baby typically sleeps for 13 hours in total over 24 hours, a balance of 2 hours in naps and 11 hours at night is ideal. Adjusting for 3 hours of daytime sleep would correspondingly reduce night sleep to 10 hours.

Customize your little one’s sleep schedule with Batelle’s Schedule Creator. Input your baby’s usual waking time, bedtime, number of naps, and sleep duration, and our generator will tailor a sleep schedule with appropriate wake windows for your baby’s age. Try it out now and make sleep planning a breeze!

9-Month-Old Nap Schedule

Your 9-month-old baby needs to take at least two naps every day. If your baby has just started following this schedule and their first two naps were short, they may occasionally require an additional short late afternoon nap to make it to an appropriate bedtime. On average, a 9-month-old baby needs 2.75-3.5 hours of awake time between sleep periods.

Bedtime For a 9-Month-Old

For a 9-month-old, bedtime is typically set 12-13 hours after morning wake-up. If they woke up at 6:00am, that would mean bedtime will likely be between 6:00-7:00pm. Don’t start the day any earlier than 6:00am. Doing so can result in a bedtime that is too early, which can cause early rising, or may interfere with a solid 10-12 hour stretch of sleep at night due to too much daytime sleep. Aim to keep your little one’s morning start time and each subsequent wake window consistent within a 30-minute range. This will make it easier to establish their optimal nap and bedtime schedules and ultimately improve sleep.

Should My 9-Month-Old Be Sleeping Through the Night?

The goal for a 9-month-old baby is to achieve approximately 10-12 hours of nighttime sleep. While many babies start to sleep through the night around 6-9 months, this can vary. Sleep patterns differ among infants, so at 9 months, your baby may still be working on consolidating their sleep periods and sleeping for longer stretches at night. Night waking is still common, and night feeding can also still be common at this age – particularly for breastfed infants.

It is worth noting that the meaning of ‘sleeping through the night’ may vary from family to family. For some, their baby may be considered to be sleeping through the night if there are a few night wakings, as long as these wakings are handled efficiently and do not significantly impact overall sleep. Others may define it as a completely uninterrupted stretch from bedtime until morning.

How To Encourage Longer Stretches of Sleep At Night

It’s important to note that the longest uninterrupted stretch of sleep usually happens at the start of the night, while the second half of the night and early morning tend to be more restless. This is because sleep pressure and melatonin are at their highest levels at the beginning of the night, and gradually decrease towards morning.

If you notice that your little one isn’t sleeping for a solid period during the first part of the night, it may be worth checking their sleep schedule to see if they’re going to bed either overtired or not tired enough. It’s also a good idea to review their feeding schedule to make sure they’re getting most of their feeds during daytime hours, as this can help encourage longer stretches of sleep at night.

And remember, it’s always best to consult with your pediatrician before making any significant changes to your little one’s feeding routine, especially if they were born prematurely or are underweight.

Would Sleep Training Help?

As mentioned earlier, the time between 8-10 months is full of developmental milestones. Your little one is acquiring new skills and new mobility, and they may be experiencing separation anxiety. Additionally, teething can also impact sleep.

Sleep regressions can last anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks. The extent and duration of sleep disruption, caused by changes in routine or developmental milestones, are influenced by various factors, including how you respond to your baby during these times. It is usual to support your baby’s sleep during the most intense phases of developmental growth, when they are experiencing teething discomfort, or when they have had a day of short naps and inadequate sleep. However, it is easy to get caught up in an unsustainable routine if your primary method of helping your child fall back asleep involves a lot of interaction from you.

Sleep training can be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck in a pattern that is leaving you exhausted. Families who have consistent bedtime routines, nighttime interactions, and sleep habits may experience shorter and less intense periods of sleep disruption during sleep regressions. Sleep training can help guide you on how to create sustainable and consistent nighttime routines and foster your little one’s ability to self-soothe.

Looking for More Sleep Tips?

If you’d like support and guidance on how to establish more consistent sleep routines, The Batelle Sleep Program is a great option to help you achieve better sleep for your whole family. We’ve helped over 5,000 families get the sleep they need, and we’d love to help you too!

This article was written by Batelle – team of sleep experts, lactation consultants, therapists, doulas, and early education specialists.

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