Doesn’t it seem like each time you’ve figured out your baby’s sleep habits, something changes? For example, when things finally work out down from the 4 month sleep regression, all of a sudden the 9 month sleep regression is best around the corner. So, let’s talk about why your baby goes through this 9 month sleep regression and some suggestions and tricks for surviving it!
Special thanks to our #RookieMomSquad’s sleep Mama, Ashlee Denny, a certified pediatric sleep specialist from sleep wise Consulting for sharing this short article on sleep regression at 9 months.
Is the 9 Month sleep Regression Real?
First thing is first, is there a 9 month sleep regression? We give a lot of power to the word “regression” and I would like to take that away now. like best now!
You need to know and believe that you, as the parent, have the ability to shorten these periods of interrupted sleep and even help your baby cruise through them. We can still refer to these times as regressions for sake of a typically accepted label but we ought to not worry them!
No, you don’t need to purchase all the coffee just because your 9 month old won’t sleep! Instead, read on and arm yourself with knowledge of what is going on with your child developmentally and how to avoid those milestones from wreaking havoc on both you and your baby’s sleep.
Understanding The 9 Month sleep Regression
The nine month sleep regression could really be called the 8-10 month sleep regression as it typically occurs with the onset of numerous milestones that coincide with this age group. An 8-month sleep regression may occur if your baby hits these milestones sooner.
Not only does separation anxiety begin to ramp up at this time but your baby is also starting to learn and master sitting up independently, crawling, pulling up and cruising furniture, babbling, and saying things like mama and dada. While getting to view your baby learn and change is very exciting, the downside is these developments tend to impact sleep.
What does a sleep regression look like?
For many families, they will notice a sudden downhill trend in their baby’s sleeping ability without any known cause such as teething or illness. A baby that was sleeping through the night may experience multiple night wake ups or start taking short naps that only last one sleep cycle (30-45 minutes).
How long does sleep regression last?
So, how long does sleep regression last? Unlike the 4 months sleep regression, in which the architecture of a baby’s sleep actually changes to reflect that of an adult, the 9-month sleep regression doesn’t permanently impact your child’s sleep.
You can expect 9-month-old sleep regression signs and sleep difficulties to last between 2-6 weeks. The essential is to recognize the milestones are occurring, help your baby work through them, and remain consistent in your reaction to any sleep issues they experience.
You can learn much more about baby’s sleep cycles here if you’re curious as to why these changes occur!
How to deal with 9 Month sleep Regression
Practice Makes ideal and change Can Be Good
How can you avoid these milestones from impacting sleep? Practice! My many essential 9-month sleep regression guidance is this; help your little one practice each new skill multiple times during the day.
This will allow them to be able to sit up or pull themselves up to standing in their crib at night and be able to get back down without any parental intervention.
Practice standing to sitting with your baby by using common household items, like your couch and your remote control (which for some reason seems to be a baby magnet).
Let them pull themselves up to standing using the couch and then place the remote control on the ground as a lure and help guide their legs down to sitting. practice this at least 3 times a day for about 5-10 minutes.
Think about Your Baby’s Routine
For babies that go to sleep independently and are all of a sudden having sleep issues at this age, you may want to consider whether or not they need a change in their routine (along with practicing milestones).
At this age, babies need about 3.5 hours of awake time before naps. They need 10-12 hours of overnight sleep and 2-3 hours of daytime sleep. Lastly, it never hurts to go back to the basics and make sure their nursery is conducive to good sleep; dark, cool, quiet, and boring.
Hello Separation Anxiety
From a very early age, your baby learns to distinguish between different faces and recognize their primary caregivers. then around 6-7 months your baby gains an understanding of object permanence and realizes that people and objects exist even if they leave their sight.
These amazing developments are so essential but together they create the pathway for another milestone that seems to ramp up best around 8-10 months; separation anxiety.
Babies realize that their mothers and dads can get up and walk away from them but they don’t know how long it will be until they come back, which triggers their separation anxiety. You’ll know it has arrived because your little one has become a stage 5 clinger, cries when you leave the room briefly, shows much more stranger anxiety, and has enhanced crying at nap times, bedtime, as well as enhanced night wake-ups.
So, how Do You minimize Separation Anxiety?
To minimize the impact of separation anxiety on sleep, try confidently narrating what you are doing for your baby during nap time and bedtime routine. When you place them in their crib, keep your goodbye short and calm and then leave the room. Be prepared for the potential of a “hey, where are you going?” cry.
Ensure you keep your reaction to this type of crying consistent with how you would respond in any other crying situation. Lastly, alternate which parent does nap time and bedtime routine so your baby doesn’t get upset when one parent is there versus the other.
What Not to Do during the 9 Month Regression
Say No To sleep Props!
Do not introduce a new sleep association or as I like to call them, “sleep props” in purchase to help your baby sleep during this regression. By that I mean, if before this regression you put your baby to sleep or responded to their night wake-ups without feeding, without using a pacifier or without rocking or holding, do not start doing it now.
It only takes a handful of times responding to your child’s enhanced wake ups with a new sleep prop for that to change the way in which they believe they need to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Be careful with parent Intervention
Which brings me to my next point, and this is a slippery slope, mamas! parent intervention during regressions tends to create longer-lasting sleep issues than before the regression started. If you begin to respond to your child in a certain way while they are struggling with sleep, then they will learn to expect that even after the regression is over.
Don’t stray from Routine
Lastly, don’t stray away from your routine! A stable routine will make your baby feel confident as to what to expect during the day and for bedtime. So keeping your nap time and bedtime routines the same will only steer you away from the temptation of adding in new sleep props. It will also give your baby confidence in what is to come and aid in lessening any separation anxiety they may be experiencing.
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Pin for Later- suggestions & tricks for the 9 Month sleep Regression!
How long does the 9 month sleep regression last? You can expect the 9 month sleep regression to last between 2-6 weeks.
Is there a 9 month sleep regression? Yes. The 9 month sleep regression could really be called the 8-10 month sleep regression as it typically occurs with the onset of numerous milestones that coincide with this age group.
Why is my 9 month old all of a sudden not sleeping? certain milestones like separation anxiety begin to ramp up at this age. Your baby is also starting to learn and master sitting up independently, crawling, pulling up and cruising furniture, babbling, and saying things like mama and dada which can impact sleep.
Why is my 9 month old waking up crying? If your baby is waking up crying then right away calming down when you enter the room, it is probably separation anxiety.