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6-9 Month Baby Sleep Guide

If your baby is in the 6-9 month age range one of two things is happening:

1

Things are getting dramatically better!

Your baby is taking longer more predictable naps, you’re down to 0-1 feedings at night, you’re no longer wearing flannel PJ pants to the grocery, and you’re reading enough to show your face at your monthly book club meetings. WOO HOO!

2

Things are bad or possibly getting even worse!

Your baby is taking short unpredictable naps, bedtime is a dreaded chore, and you’re up so often at night you wish you could go back to the newborn phase because that was easier. (If so keep reading!)

You’re probably done swaddling your bigger baby but some older babies still need to be swaddled although I promise you you’re very close to being done with wrapping up your baby Houdini. You’ll want to continue to use loud white noise and work hard to make sure you aren’t keeping baby awake too long. Your 6-9 month old baby is hopefully taking somewhat longer and more regular naps (check out Baby Sleep What is Normal for more details on this). Most babies at this age are napping ~3 times a day. The first 2 naps are serious where the 3rd nap (which falls in the late afternoon/early evening) is generally more of a cat nap.

Teaching Your Baby to Fall Asleep

teaching baby to fall asleepYou can no longer nurse, rock, pat, etc your older baby to sleep. If your 6-9 month old baby is sleeping poorly THIS is the problem. It’s not the teething, growth spurts, wonder weeks, learning to roll over, or any of those other changes that make parenting an older baby so exciting. The problem is that they haven’t yet learned how to fall asleep on their own.

The process of gradually reducing the amount of nursing, rocking, and butt patting you do can be frustrating. But it’s REALLY important. Also? Failure to do so almost guarantees you will never ever sleep through the night. That’s how important it is.

I know it’s not easy but trust me, the longer you wait to deal with this issue the more likely it is that you’re headed towards cry it outsville. I’m not saying you can’t avoid this path, but as your baby get’s older, it get’s harder to do so. So really, now IS the time.

Further Reading

Ultimate Guide to Vanquishing Short Naps
How and Why to Use and Loose the Paci
Weaning Baby OFF the Swing
When Night Weaning isn’t Working
Bedtime What Time?
Why Your Baby Hates the Crib
Are You Keeping Baby Awake Too Long?
Sleeping Through the Night Part 1
Sleeping Through the Night Part 2
What You Need to Know About Sleeping Through the Night – Part 3
And of course the ever popular – Baby Sleep What is Normal?

 

306 Comments


  1. I have a 6 month old baby girl from birth untill now she has not slept in her crib not through the night. Majority of the time i have to hold her to sleep. When she sleeps if i put her in her crib after an hour shes crying if i try to let her self sooth it doesnt work after a little my husband gets up to get her and 9 times out of ten she ends up in bed with me and my husband sleeps in guest room because he has work next day. She doesnt sleep through the nigh most nights she wakes up at 230 or 330 am i stopped feeding her i try to get her to go back to sleep but it usually takes a couple of hours. I have tried to eliminate the afternoon nap, i bottle feed i try to make sure she has had enough to eat. During the day she wants to be held all the time and if i put her down she cries non stop. I am exhausted i have major back and neck problems. This is causing problems in my marriage i am at my whits end and i do not know what to do please any advice is welcome. Thank you!

    • Hey sorry to her ur having problems…
      When u first train then for crib take her into bed 1 hours before her actual bedtime and dim the light and leave her in the crib AWAKE sit beside the crib and read a book in soft voice or sing a song. Let her calm down in the crib if she cries pick her up soothe her put her back in the crib. It might take a long time but she will understand ur gonna put her back in. Just patt her bump while singing or try white noise in low volume. Keep trying for few days it will work (1week)
      Don’t give up and put her back in bed with u

      Also day time do u have bounce for her? If not u need one of those
      Leave her in there and sit infront of her and make her smile and talk to her
      She is feeling insecure for some reason when if she cries give her a toy she is trying to grab attention trust me it’s what we train the babies my guy is 7 months old he was like that they love our body heat and secure hold.
      The more we run to them when they cry they try and create attention through crying when u know she is crying becaz she wants to be held don’t just go talk to her day it’s ok mom is here . If u need to be in the kitchen pull her in the bounce let her watch u from the entrance and u do ur stuff….

      Best if luck

    • Hey sorry to her ur having problems…
      When u first train then for crib take her into bed 1 hours before her actual bedtime and dim the light and leave her in the crib AWAKE sit beside the crib and read a book in soft voice or sing a song. Let her calm down in the crib if she cries pick her up soothe her put her back in the crib. It might take a long time but she will understand ur gonna put her back in. Just patt her bump while singing or try white noise in low volume. Keep trying for few days it will work (1week)
      Don’t give up and put her back in bed with u

      Also day time do u have bounce for her? If not u need one of those
      Leave her in there and sit infront of her and make her smile and talk to her
      She is feeling insecure for some reason when if she cries give her a toy she is trying to grab attention trust me it’s what we train the babies my guy is 7 months old he was like that they love our body heat and secure hold.
      The more we run to them when they cry they try and create attention through crying when u know she is crying becaz she wants to be held don’t just go talk to her day it’s ok mom is here . If u need to be in the kitchen pull her in the bounce let her watch u from the entrance and u do ur stuff….my mistake with my baby he won’t let go of his paci at night and it’s problem when he sleeps

      Best of luck

      • Thank you for the advice i will try it hopefully is works. But what about the waking up in the middle of night she wants to play and usualy stays up for an hour or two?

        • Hi Lena,

          If she wakes up don’t interact with her let her lay in the crib she will eventually get the point it’s night time not play time and even mayb learn to soothe her self to sleep. The more we talk to them or interact they will want to play.
          Even if u want u can give her a diaper change and put her back in but don’t speak a work to her or smile at her. Will take few days but will get the point. again babies are all abt attention seeking.

        • Your baby is not ready for crib yet…don’t force it. Your baby will grow to be a very secure lady if you let her tell you, when she is ready!

          • Hello thanks for reply my baby has to be in the crib as she stands now and moves wayyy too much. I think she is very attached to me.

    • I disagree that this has anything to do with the crib. The fundamental issue is that she doesn’t know how to fall asleep without you. You sneak her into the crib, she wakes and you’ve mysteriously disappeared! The issue is how she’s falling asleep.

      • Hello, thanks for reply! She is now 7 months still not sleeping through the night i am trying a routine but shes still waking up at least twice a night. Now however she doesnt always cry but plays so i leave her. A lot of time she poops so i change her lol and she will go back to sleep.

  2. Charlene JOrdaan

    I have 6 month old twins who share a room. they sleep in separate cribs though. My lg sleeps through the night but my lb wakes often through the night. I don’t have a problem putting them to sleep. I put them down and leave the room. there is white noise playing.they both fall asleep easily. from about 12am to 5am I probably have to get up 5 times. my lb cries in his sleep. I leave him sometimes but am scared he will wake the lg so get up. he doesn’t really wake up but cries enough for me to go and give him his dummy again.
    im tired! not sure what I should do?

  3. I have an 8 month old who previously slept through the night starting at 1 month until 6 months. She started waking through the night and would not go to sleep until I nursed her despite everything I tried. I was never a fan of the CIO method but at this point I am up to trying anything. Her bedtime is between 8-9 and she usually wakes up between 11-12 and sometimes 3:30 and then may be up for a good hour or more. She then wakes up again around 6:30-7:30 nurses and sometime will go back to sleep for another hour or is up for the day. I have always nursed her to sleep and we lay in my bed when I nurse her and then when shes asleep, my husband will move her to her crib. What is the best thing to get her back to sleeping through the night?

  4. I have a 6 month old who is a great routine follower all day. She’s up at 6 and follows an eat, play, sleep schedule every 4 hours. When it’s time for nap she calmly gets herself to sleep. Until it’s night time and we get her to bed. She just recently started having trouble getting herself to sleep at night. She self soothes sometimes during the day, I feel, but at night she just screams for hours. Once she does go to sleep – she’s fine. She maybe gets up once during the night to nurse. We let her CIO to an extent but when she gets to the point of not being able to take a breath because she’s crying so hard we cave and rock her or nurse her or do whatever we can over and over until she falls asleep.

  5. My 8 month old was always amazing at self soothing and putting himself to sleep with minimal help from me. Until he learned to crawl and sit up on his own.
    Now he goes in the crib, sits up, bounces and laughs like a maniac. This can last for hours.
    How do I get him to stop playing and just sleep? He shows all the signs of being tired before he goes in and he seems to perk right up as soon as he gets in the crib.
    I lay him down gently, rub his back and tell him softly that it’s sleepy time. And he tricks me! He closes his eyes, his breath steadies and I sit down, letting sleep take over.
    And as soon as I walk away he pops back up and it starts all over again!

    How can I help him realize the crib is for sleep??

  6. Hi Alexis. I have an 8 month old boy and CIO is not seeming to work. It worked for nights fine but now I am trying naps and it is a nightmare. I’ve been following the bedtime routine (books, songs) but when I put him down in the crib he cries/whimpers the whole hour. I take him out, play quietly for an hour, try again. He did this three times in a row…. So 9 hours without sleep! I thought for sure he would cave in but he never did. The next day he did the same exact thing. Should I just continue with this method even though he never cries “to sleep”?? How long do I keep trying it for? Should I try something else? I’ve also tried getting him super drowsy but as soon as he touches the crib he starts crying. I just hate to keep doing the CIO when it seems like it doesn’t even work for him…. Thank you. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • I have the same problem with one of my 6 month twins. The CIO worked very well for sleeping through the night (took 2 nights for them to understand) but naps are a nightmare. We do two naps of 2 hours (9-11 and 1-3 plus a 30 min optional cat nap at 5 – schedule was based on them showing signs of tiredness). The pediatrician said to only leave them crying in their crib for 30min max during nap time and if they’re still crying, take them out and try again later. Half the time he’s asleep right at the 30min mark and the other half of the time he won’t nap unless nursed. I’ve been trying for 2 weeks and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. He knows how to fall asleep on his own as he sleeps through the night… I’m wondering if this is a sort of tantrum simply because he doesn’t want to nap? Versus unable to fall asleep…

      • So my guy seriously did not nap AT ALL for a week and a half! It was horrible. But then all the sudden he did it! I was leaving him for an hour. I just set my timer. Then we would stay up together for about an hour, and try it all over again. It was not fun. Now he’s doing pretty good. I have a monitor which really helps cuz I can see if he’s standing or if he’s lying down but just not sleeping. It helps me determine when to “give up” on the nap or not. We went to the beach for one day though and I had to start all over again. I had to disassociate nursing and nap because he thought they were connected. I don’t nurse in his room at all anymore. Good luck mama!

  7. Hello!
    My baby will be 6 months in 3 days. She sleeps very well at night (usually sleeping by 7 or 7:30 pm the latest and goes until around 7 am with one feeding during the night around 4 or 5 am. I wake her up at 7 am if she isn’t already). But naps are something that I can’t figure out. Every day is different. She does sleep on her own, I do a nap routine and put her on her crib awake (she either plays a bit with her lovey and falls asleep easily or cries and I go in to soothe her doing PU/PD until she settles and falls asleep). She used to sleep 1:30-2 hours in the morning and have longer naps during the day, but now she almost always sleeps for 45 min only. I can’t figure out what is wrong, because she falls asleep on her own, I guess she should be able to connect sleep cycles. I try to put her down every two hours, when she is showing sleepy signs, but every day is different, sometimes she will sleep a little longer or she will take more time to settle and go to sleep and this makes every day look different, which is upsetting. What can I be doing wrong?

  8. Hi I have a 6 month old she puts herself asleep but wakes several time through the night. I feed her each time. I put her down around 7 she usually wakes at 10is, then 1, then 4, and 6. Sometimes it’s closer and longer. It’s getting super hard. She takes 3 naps a day and does great naps. But hard through the night. I’m not huge on the cry it out either. She only feeds for 10-15 min not sure if she is getting enough food to sleep longer or what. I feel she isn’t that’s why I keep feeding her. Not sure what to do.

    • Hi, I have 6.5 month old that I’ve had “trained” to sleep since 15 weeks following the Babywise method. STTN and two 2 hour naps plus cat nap. Over the last week or so this has all gone out the window. She sleeps all night but can’t self soothe at all. She screams for over an hour before bed at night and at naps. She used to do this at night as an infant but would eventually go to sleep. CIO used to work but now it’s not working. She cries for over an hour and gets so worked up nothing that used to work works…paci, sleep bag, rubbing forehead. I end up picking her up and holding her. I know she’s tired because during the day she’s falling asleep at the breast. I feel like all of my hard work is going down the tubes and I have zero patience for my older child. Heeeelp

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