9 Month Sleep Regression - Signs, Causes and How to Deal with It

9 Month Sleep Regression – Signs, Causes and How to Deal with It

The journey of parenthood is filled with joyous moments, marked by the blossoming milestones of your baby. Among these is the dramatic development that occurs around the nine-month mark. However, with the thrill of witnessing your baby’s growth, this period might bring a less welcomed milestone, commonly known as the “9-month sleep regression.” This term refers to a phase where your baby, who has been sleeping soundly, suddenly starts waking up frequently and has difficulty returning to sleep. Understanding this challenging stage of your baby’s life can help you manage it better and aid your child in navigating through it comfortably.

What Is The 9 Month Sleep Regression?

The 9-month sleep regression is a period of disrupted sleep patterns that usually occurs when your baby is around nine months old, although it can happen anywhere between eight and ten months. The term “regression” refers to a return to a previous state. In this case, your baby might return to a sleeping pattern similar to a newborn’s, with frequent wake-ups and a seeming resistance to going back to sleep. This can be a surprising and exhausting experience for parents, particularly if your baby has been sleeping through the night. The 9 month old sleep regression, though tough, is a completely normal phase in a baby’s development and often signifies significant growth.

What Are the Causes of 9-Month Sleep Regression?

The joy of parenthood is often accompanied by the challenge of navigating various stages of a baby’s development. Among the many milestones, parents may encounter the phenomenon of “9-month sleep regression.” This period can be perplexing and overwhelming as infants who once slept soundly may experience disruptions in their sleep patterns. Understanding the causes of nine month sleep regression can offer insights into this developmental phase, empowering parents to navigate it with patience and support. In this essay, we will explore the potential reasons behind this sleep regression and how parents can provide the best care during this crucial time in their child’s growth.

1. Cognitive and Motor Development:

Around nine months, babies are undergoing rapid cognitive and physical development. They may be learning to crawl, stand, or babble more complex sounds. These exciting leaps can be so stimulating that it makes it harder for them to switch off and sleep.

2. Separation Anxiety:

This is the age when babies start to understand that they and their primary caregivers are separate entities. This can result in increased anxiety, especially at night when they are alone in their cribs.

3. Teething:

Teething can cause significant discomfort and may coincide with the nine-month sleep regression. The pain can make it harder for them to stay asleep.

4. Changes in Sleep Cycle:

Babies’ sleep cycles begin to resemble adults’ around this age, meaning they are lighter sleepers and can be more easily disturbed.

Signs of 9-Month Sleep Regression

Recognizing the 9 month sleep regression signs can help you take proactive steps to mitigate the impact on your baby’s and your sleep. Here are the ten common signs:

  • Your baby suddenly wakes up more frequently at night.
  • They resist going to sleep when they previously did not.
  • Their naps become shorter or more inconsistent.
  • There is an increase in fussiness or clinginess during the day.
  • They seem overtired, yet fight off sleep.
  • There are noticeable changes in their appetite.
  • They wake up early from naps or in the morning.
  • They demand more feedings during the night.
  • There are signs of physical advancements like crawling or standing in the crib.
  • You notice an increase in their desire for comfort objects or practices, such as breastfeeding or a pacifier.

How Long Does 9-Month Sleep Regression Last?

Typically, the nine-month sleep regression lasts two to six weeks. While this might seem like an eternity for sleep-deprived parents, it’s important to remember that this is just a phase, and it will pass. Every baby is different, and the length of this regression can vary greatly.

How Can You Manage 9-Month Sleep Regression In Your Baby?

How Can You Manage 9-Month Sleep Regression

Parenthood is a journey filled with wonder and challenges, and one of the common hurdles parents face is the 9-month sleep regression in their babies. This phase can leave parents feeling exhausted and unsure about how to handle the sudden change in their little one’s sleep patterns. However, with the right approach and strategies, managing the 9-month sleep regression becomes more manageable. In this essay, we will delve into practical tips and techniques that can help parents navigate this period with patience and care, ensuring their baby gets the restful sleep they need for healthy development. Let’s explore the ways to handle this sleep regression and foster a soothing sleep environment for the growing baby.

  • Maintain Consistency: Try to keep your baby’s bedtime routine as consistent as possible. This gives them a sense of security and predictability.
  • Provide Comfort: If your baby is struggling with separation anxiety, extra cuddles and reassurance can be helpful.
  • Promote Self-Soothing: Encourage your baby to find ways to self-soothe, such as with a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.
  • Address Teething Pain: If teething is disrupting sleep, consider using safe teething toys or consult your pediatrician for advice.
  • Daytime Practice: Allow plenty of time during the day for your baby to practice new skills so they’re less compelled to do so at night.
  • Encourage Daytime Eating: Try to make sure your baby is getting enough to eat during the day to decrease the chances of nighttime hunger.
  • Avoid Over-Stimulation: As your baby is now more aware, avoid over-stimulating activities close to bedtime.
  • Stay Calm: It’s important for you to remain calm and composed during this period. Remember, your baby can pick up on your stress.
  • Take Breaks: It’s crucial to take care of yourself during this period. If possible, share nighttime duties with a partner or seek help from a trusted family member or friend.
  • Consult A Professional: If the sleep regression persists for more than a few weeks or if you are concerned, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician or a child sleep consultant.

What Should You Not Do During Nine-Month Sleep Regression?

What Should You Not Do During Nine-Month Sleep Regression

Parenthood comes with its share of challenges, and the 9-month sleep regression is one that can leave parents feeling perplexed and weary. During this phase, babies may experience disruptions in their sleep patterns, causing frustration and concern for both the little one and their caregivers. As parents seek ways to navigate this period, it becomes essential to understand what actions to avoid during nine-month sleep regression. In this essay, we will explore the key “do not” factors, shedding light on practices that may inadvertently exacerbate sleep disturbances. By being aware of what to avoid, parents can create a nurturing environment that promotes better sleep for their precious bundle of joy during this critical developmental stage.

  • Don’t Establish New Habits: Avoid starting any habits you don’t want to continue in the long run, like rocking your baby to sleep each time they wake up.
  • Don’t Skip Naps: In the hopes of getting your baby to sleep better at night, you might be tempted to keep them awake during the day. However, this can result in an overtired baby who has an even harder time sleeping.
  • Don’t Assume It’s Only Sleep Regression: If your baby seems ill or in pain, don’t just attribute it to sleep regression. Always consult with a doctor if you’re unsure.
  • Don’t Panic: While this period can be stressful, try not to panic. Remember, this is a temporary phase and things will get back to normal.
  • Don’t Overstimulate Before Bed: Keep the time before bed calm and quiet to help your baby wind down.
  • Don’t Forget About Your Own Rest: As important as it is to ensure your baby gets rest, it’s equally important that you do too.

When to Call A Doctor?

While the 9-month sleep regression is normal, there are times when it would be wise to consult a healthcare professional. If your baby has a fever, shows signs of illness, their feeding habits change drastically, or they’re not meeting their developmental milestones, these could be signs of a more serious issue. Moreover, if the sleep regression lasts for longer than six weeks or causes extreme disruption to your family’s life, it might be time to seek advice from a doctor or sleep consultant.


1. Is The 9 Month Sleep Regression Considered The Worst Phase?

Not necessarily. Each child is different, and the severity and duration of sleep regressions can vary greatly. For some families, the 9-month sleep regression might be the hardest, while others may find earlier or later regressions more challenging.

2. Why Does Your 9-Month Baby Keep Waking Up At Night?

There can be various reasons for this. Developmental milestones, separation anxiety, changes in sleep cycles, or physical discomfort like teething can all contribute to your baby waking up during the night during the nine-month sleep regression.

To conclude, the 9-month sleep regression can be a challenging phase for both you and your baby. However, with the right knowledge and strategies in hand, it can be managed effectively. Always remember that it’s a temporary phase, and soon your baby will be back to their usual sleep patterns.

Also Read: How to Deal With Sleep Regression in Babies

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