9-12 Month Baby Sleep Guide

sleep guide for older babiesThis is it parenting peeps, the last few legs of the race. Enjoy these last days of being a parent of a BABY because in mere seconds you will be the proud parent of a TODDLER. Your older baby is no longer a screaming mess of short naps and blowout poops. Your baby is NOW a delightful smiling, laughing, ball of cute baby chub and tickle toes. Seriously, there is nothing better than a 9 month old baby. Absolutely nothing.

Things That Are Normal for 9-12 Month Old Babies

  • Bedtime is pleasant and happening at a reasonably consistent time each day somewhere near(ish) to 7:30 PM.
  • Baby is taking 2 consistent long(ish) naps a day.
  • Baby may still need a 3rd nap although this may vary from day to day. It’s generally short, maybe as little as 10-20 minutes. Also the 3rd nap is unlikely to happen in the crib so you may need a stroller walk/baby wearing/car ride to make it happen.
  • Baby is enjoying solid food and finger foods – YAY!
  • Baby is sleeping ~11 hours a night – YAY!
  • Baby is eating 0-1 times at night.
  • Baby is falling asleep on their own at bedtime and naptime.
  • Baby is sleeping where you would like them to sleep (crib or co-sleeping).
  • Baby is done with most sleep aids (swing, swaddle, pacifier) but is still happy with a dark room, loud white noise, and possibly a lovey.

This may not describe your baby which is OK. Baby sleep is not like a race. What matters is that you DO cross the finish line, not WHEN you cross the finish line.

If your older baby is still up all night, taking short crappy naps, and struggles to go to sleep at bedtime, then start reading here:
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 1
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 2
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 3

If your baby is 9-12 months old and sleep is still a misery (20 minute naps, bedtime battles, baby up all night, unwilling co-sleeping, only sleeps on Mom’s boob, etc.) then it may be time to consider sleep training. If you’re curious and want to learn more you can find everything I’ve written about cry it out here.

Further Reading

Why Bedtime Is Critical and How to Rock It
How and Why to Use and Lose the Paci
Weaning Baby OFF the Swing
When Night Weaning isn’t Working
Bedtime What Time?
Why Your Baby Hates the Crib
Monumental Guide to Vanquishing Short Naps
Are You Keeping Baby Awake Too Long?
Why You Need White Noise
When Babies Drop Naps and What to Do About It
The Secret to the 12 Hour Night
And of course the ever popular – Baby Sleep What is Normal?
{Photo credit: Lisa Stout}

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  1. My son is 11 months old today, and has been a great sleeper from about 3 months old until a few weeks ago. He still sleeps great at night, and usually takes 2 naps a day, but for the last 8-10 days, he has been fighting his afternoon nap (ie-he’ll play in his crib for an hour, or just fuss for about 30 min), or he will take a very short one, and then wake up very fussy. Unless, however, he is in the car. Then he will sleep for about an hour. My question is, how do you know if your baby is ready to do the 2-1 transition, and how do you do it? Here is what his schedule looked like before the nap fighting:

    WU: 6/630
    Nap1: 830/9-930/10
    Nap2: 1/130-2/230
    Bed: 5:55, ASLEEP by 6:15pm

    NOW, it look

    He still seems tired for his morning nap around 830/9, so I’m having trouble extending it. Any tips for tricks? Also, once you transition to 1 nap, what happens if he wakes up for some reason around 530(he still tends to do that occasionally), and needs a nap earlier than usual? Do you try to get 2 naps in there?

  2. *sorry, 11 month old fingers hit the button too soon…

    NOW, his schedule looks like:

    WU: 630/7
    Nap1: 9-1015
    Nap2: 115 in crib, but plays around until 215
    Bedtime: 545pm

    I know he’s not getting enough daytime sleep, and his wake time between the nap and bedtime is too long, but I’m not sure what to do. Can you help?!?!??!

    • Hi Allison,
      Did you ever get an answer on this? Our 11 mo old son is doing the exact same thing. He has been chatting with himself in his crib for an hour now, not wanting to take his (usually consistent) afternoon nap. He was vigorously rubbing his eyes before I put him down, so I know he will be tired! He usually goes to bed around 5:45/6, and I really don’t want to have to go earlier. Would love to hear if you found a solution!


    • I’m realizing how long ago you posted this, so maybe you don’t even remember :)

  3. Hi Alexis,

    Thanks again for everything you do here and all your hard work! It’s been really invaluable to me over the past several months!

    My son is almost 9 months. He’s always been a good napper but never a great night sleeper. He does put himself to sleep for both naps and nighttime about 98% of the time. Occasionally if he’s restless or something we may have to go in once to help him get in a comfy position, but we never stay for long and it happens rarely now. However, he still wakes up at least twice a nice, sometimes more, between bedtime at 7-7.30pm and wakeup at about 6.30am. A few times he’s only woken up once, but that’s rare. I try to only feed him once a night, but sometimes I have to do more, when it’s the only thing that will calm him after we try other things.

    I guess I’m just not sure if this is something he’ll figure out on his own, particularly if I try a bit harder to night wean him or if there’s something else we should be doing. I’ve read a few of the sleep books (Pantley, Weissbluth, Mindell) and they all stress that the beginning of the night is the most important. I’m not against letting him cry a bit, but I also don’t really want to just ignore him either when he calls for us in the middle of the night. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on if there’s something else we should be doing to battle these night wakings, I would very much appreciate it!


    • Hi Ashley,

      My daughter is 9 months old and is exactly as you describe your son. Did you ever find anything that worked to get him to sleep better at night? It’s so frustrating to read all the books and feel like you’re doing everything right by letting them fall asleep on their own for naps and at bedtime only to have them wake up over and over again at night. I’m at my wits end with the nighttime wake ups. I would love to hear about any solutions or success you had with your son. Thank you!

      • Hi Courtney,

        Well, we sort of struggled for a couple more months and not long before my son was a year old, I asked his doctor. She said to just stop feeding him at night full stop and see how that worked. The first night was a bit hard but the second night he slept 8 hours straight! He’s two and a half now and still sleeps really well at night and for his nap. We just had to bite the bullet with the night feedings. I hope that’s helpful!

  4. I am in the same boat as Ashley, who commented above. 9 month old baby sleeps fine for naps and goes to bed without assistance. But between 9 and midnight she typically wakes up 2-4 times. Sometimes she just wants her paci. Sometimes she wants to be rocked. Should we use CIO for these nighttime wakings too?

  5. Hi Alexis, I have the same questions as Allison regarding the dropping of the second nap. My 10 1/2 month old has been a pretty good sleeper since we started a bedtime/naptime routine at maybe 5 months old, based on your advice back then. (Thank you!!) Bath is 6pm, asleep by 6:30 or 7, and she’ll sleep until 7 or 7;30 with one or two small night feeds. She used to have 3 hours of daytime sleep, spread out over 2 naps. Recently she started sleeping 2 to 2 1/2 hours in her first nap instead of just one hour, and now she’s wide awake all afternoon. I still try to put her to bed in the afternoon but she fights it so much that there’s no chance. If she DOES sleep in the afternoon, it’s for a good 90 minutes, waking up at 5:30pm and pushing bedtime back until 7:30 or 8pm. And she still wakes up at the same time in the morning!

    So, do we stop trying to force the second nap?? Being awake from 1 til 6 is a long time but it seems to be working for her (although I can see a lull about halfway through where she does get tired, but refuses to go to sleep). Should I take advantage of this tired lull and take her for a drive to put her to sleep for an hour?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Jessica- our daughter dropped to one nap at 11 months. Schedule had been 7 am wake up, 10-1130 nap, 230-400 nap, 7 pm bed. We ended up pushing back the morning nap- so now she sleeps from about 1200-200. For the first week she was a little fussy before nap but she adjusted quickly (and if we tried to put her down earlier to give her time for two naps would just play in her crib). She still gets b/w 14-15 hrs of sleep a day, which is on the high end. And it varies- sometimes she wakes up before 7, or is ready for nap at 1130 (even after waking up at 730), or sleeps for 3 hrs, or wants to go to bed at 630. We just try to roll with it and adjust if she seems like she needs more rest that day.
      Good luck! We are loving the one nap thing. We feel like there is actually time to go places :)

  6. I am also trying to get my 10-month old to sleep better so thought I would chime in with the above comments.

    With respect to Jessica’s post, I just wanted to point out that Weissbluth recommends waking the baby from the first nap IF necessary to protect the second nap. We went through a phase where my guy would sleep too long in the am, and after gently waking him a few times (after about 1.5 hours of sleep) that seemed to steer his second nap back on course, which helped the overall sleep schedule.

    Anyways, I wanted to comment because nighttime sleep is still such a mess. We used CIO with great success at 8 months, but it didn’t stop his night wakings. Even though he learned to fall asleep by himself at the beginning of the night (at 7 pm), he still wakes to eat at least twice a night.

    Here is the kicker -he used to just fall asleep after a quick nurse, which I could live with, but NOW… torture. He wakes and can’t (won’t?) fall asleep for about an hour, no matter what we do to sooth him (nursing, rocking, singing, pacing). He’s been a little bonkers the past few weeks (a cold, teething) so maybe we’ve let some bad habits creep in? or maybe he still has a strong nurse-sleep association? Also, I started to gradually weaning him to the bottle this past week, and I am worried that the weaning process is blowing up his sleep. We are exhausted. At our nine-month visit, the pediatrician suggested just leaving him to cry when he wakes, but I am unwilling to do that.

    This blog has been such a great resource, and really helped convince me to try CIO. I can’t thank you enough for that!

    • Kate, I am in the same boat! I have an 8 month old and she would take 2 great naps a day, in bed by 7:30, up once for a bottle, back to sleep until about 7. NOW….still naps, still in bed by 7:30 but when she wakes up she does not want to go back to sleep!! A couple nights it’s been 2 hours! We did CIO around 5 months and it was great for us and she was starting to sleep through the night and we were finally on track! Well now she started to crawl and refusing a bottle at night, which is great. But then she started refusing the bottle all together. We ended up taking her to our ped and he said she is teething really bad right now and also with her crawling, she is basically having a regression. He said it should pass and she is probably waking up in pain too at night. I hope he is right.
      I am going to give it another week and possibly CIO during the night. Did you end up doing that? I am also afraid because if she is hurting…how can I let her cry?

      • We ended up losing sleep for two weeks or maybe more, but it passed! I decided that our little guy needed some extra soothing, for whatever reason, so at his night wakings I would rock him for an hour or even more. He would not fall asleep while I rocked him, however, so I did have to eventually put him back into his crib and he would cry himself to sleep. I tried to do as much for him as I could without just letting him stay up all night – the bottom line was, he refused to fall asleep in my arms, so he had to cry some to get to sleep.
        Hang in there! If you stick with it I bet you can get her back into that crib. Have you tried Tylenol? In retrospect, we probably should have used some pain relief medication.

  7. So my 9 month old falls asleep on me while feeding and I put him down in his crib and this is usually around 9 he will not sleep any earlier than this and for me this is a good bedtime for the little guy. He wakes at 2 for a feeding and diaper and is back to sleep no problems and is asleep til 7am when his daddy gets home from work. And then normal naptime around 930/10ish and has another in the afternoon between 2/3ish. The problem is he won’t go to sleep alone in his crib without his bottle nor will he at 2am at his normal feeding time. I have neighbors on each side of my apartment and can’t just let him cry like I do during the day. These ppl have lives and need to sleep too. So I give in and just give him his bottle and let him fall asleep with it. I would love to work on getting rid of the bottle before he falls asleep then work on the 2 am waking. What would be the best way of going about this? Any comments are very welcomed! Thanks Jessica

  8. Hi there. Thanks so much for this site!

    I did CIO with my son when he was 5 months old (he is almost 11 months old now) and he now gets up once per night for a feed and then back to bed usually until 7ish – though there are phases when this changes. His naps are a bit hit or miss.

    Lately he goes to sleep between 7 and 7:30 and usually sleeps til 4:30 or 5, then nurses and goes back to bed until 7 or 7:30. Is this considered sleeping through the night, or should he be able to sleep right through until 7 now? How would I go about cutting out that middle of the night feed? If I go in and sooth him, he flips out unless I nurse him. He also isn’t attached to any blanket or stuffed animal, and doesn’t suck his thumb, so doesn’t seem to have any way to sooth himself. He either goes to sleep or he doesn’t. I don’t plan to breasfeed much past a year, so I am worried about what I would do when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I guess I’d just let him CIO again?

    Also, his naps are kind of hit or miss. He has been sick and I have been nursing him to sleep before naps because I felt bad letting him CIO. Probably not a great idea. Should I just avoid nursing him before naps period? I find that if he doesn’t fall asleep, and I take him off to put him in the crib, he gets really upset. I feel like he will just cry forever for naps for some reason. What is a good routine for a nap, and do you apply the same principles to naps?

    Sorry if this is a bit jumbled!

    • Amanda,
      I am in the same boat right now to a T. 11 Mo, wakes every day 4:30 or 5, I nurse, she sleeps till about 7. I have also been nursing to sleep for naps but every now and then I don’t and it just takes lots of rocking/walking to get her to sleep but if she is not asleep when I set her down to nap she cries a lot. I have let her cry 45 min or so but then I feel bad and I rock her like 2 seconds she is asleep.
      Anyway I want to hear how your story resolved because I also plan to wean next month and am dreading having to make a bottle of milk at 4:30 am for the rest of my life.

  9. Hi, thank-you so much for this site.

    I am on night 6 of sleep-training my almost 11 month old daughter. I really appreciated the sleep training two part story because it felt like I was reading about myself. I was sure attachment parenting was for me. We have bed-shared with our daughter since she started sleeping poorly at about 3 months. I actually enjoyed it for most of that time until about the 9 month mark. She started to wake up more and more often to nurse and I was just not getting any sleep. Something had to be done. I knew after spending hours researching different sleep-training methods that full-on extinction was the only thing I could do. I know my daughter…she is a taurus!

    Things went better than I thought they would. 30 mins crying night #1 and then slept from 7-3. I fed her without her falling asleep (because I was not planning on night-weaning yet) and she did cry for 10 mins and then slept until 7am. I was very happy with that. The next night was even better. 15 mins of crying and slept straight through from 7-6. I don’t mind waking up early so we do start the day at 6 if that’s when she is up.

    So, today we have just started night #6 and although things have been ok I do feel like her intensity of crying is quite…well, intense. She cries pretty hard. Not really just a protest but VERY loud and screamy. Having said that, that is kind of her cry.

    So, I guess I am happy that she is doing so great as far as sleeping through the night. Last night she went to bed early because her naps sucked and she slept straight through from 6:30 to 6 am! But, will she ever be ok with going to bed? ie. not screaming? Is that normal after 6 nights? As soon as her bedtime routine is winding down she knows what is coming and she starts to cry before we even put her in the crib. It’s breaking my heart. Am I doing something wrong? Is this not for her?

    Thoughts or experiences greatly appreciated!


    • I had this happen. Around 11 months, separation anxiety could be setting in. My son had it for well over a month, from about 9.5 to 11 mos. I did not let him CIO. It was those two months that I rocked my baby to almost asleep and then put him in his crib, rubbed his back as he turned over and helped him to sleep that way. So, the last thing he remembered was his head on crib mattress. It’s ok to stay and rub your baby’s back from comfort, you don’t have to leave them to cry to teach to sleep in the crib ;)Good luck, and please respond to your screaming baby. I think she just wants more mama cuddles before bed. Babies outgrow everything! And fall into new patterns often.

  10. Amanda:

    I read your post and I can offer some input although I am no expert just someone who’s done a lot of reading.

    First on your 11 month old stopping the 5 am nursing session- I think it is quite common for babies even over 1 to still want to nurse once/night. But I hear what your saying and I’m sure there are ways to start to stretch that feeding later…it could totally just be his habit now. I’m sorry I don’t know much about that. I am just thrilled that my lo can make it until 5 without a feed at this point!

    I think naps are a lot trickier. I did start nap training today as well. I have always nursed and then rocked my lo to sleep and she usually napped fairly well that way. But since we started night sleep training I have found it isn’t working anymore. I had planned to wait a few weeks to nap train thinking she needed as much nap time as possible so the night would go well but she started to protest when I was rocking her and she just seemed to not be able to get comfortable and then when she would fall asleep her nap was too short. So, this afternoon I just bit-the-bullet and put her in her crib. It was getting to the point where I could tell she was getting overtired and so I just put her in her crib. She cried about 10 mins and then slept for about 40 so I went in and let her know I was still here but then I left again. She cried again for 8 but then slept for 45. It was so hard. This whole process is so hard. From what I’ve read, for naps you do your preferred method: extinction or leave and check. You do this for the total amount of time that you want them to nap for so at least an hour. Dr. Weissbluth the author of “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby”, says to let them cry for an hour but no more. I could not have done that but thankfully I did not have to. You may just have to try it because I was surprised it only took her 10 mins.

    Oh, back to your question about the 5 am feed. What I did for the first night of sleep- training was when she woke at 3 am I waited about 5 mins before I went in and then fed her and put her right back in crib awake. Yes, she did cry for about 10 mins but then she slept until 7am. And for the next 5 nights she has not woken up once during the night. So, it may just be a habit you have to break. You should probably try and do some reading on nap-training before jumping into it. I found the above mentioned book to be quite useful.

    I hope that makes some sense. Like I said, I am no expert I’ve just done a lot of reading.

  11. Thank you so much for this site and your wisdom! It was key to ourcsurvival and getting things right when we had a newborn. Fortunately , we have had a happy baby who’s been a great sleeper more months and months. She’s 11 mo and just started waking earlier and earlier each day. We’ve tried everything– her rm is dark, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, etc. She follows the 9-12 mo schedule with two good naps at the right time… So I’m stuck! She just started walking this week and has been having tooth pain but I don’t know that that’s it because she doesn’t wake at all st night. I’d be so grateful for any insights. Thank you!

  12. My baby isaac is 9months he used to sleep during the day from anywhere around 1/1/2 to 2 hours now its only 1 hour, he does sleep during the nights but at times he wakes up but eventually puts himself to sleep.
    Usually I feed him formula at 7am then breaky at 8:30am -Nap at 10:30am with milk 2pm lunch 3pm nap dinner at 6pm bath 7 then 7:30pm sleep time…
    How do I get him to sleep longer during the day as he wakes up after an hour crying when his naps used to be longer!!!

  13. Hey Alexis, and everyone!
    I just wanted to leave a comment/question. I have a 9 month old daughter and we did the Ferber method when she was 7 months old thanks to this site! I did nights and naps all at once because she was a paci addict lol. Well after two weeks everything came together and we had 12 hr nights and slowly we moved to 2 naps the first being 1- 1 1/2 hours and the second being 45 to 1hour. I was happy with that but within the last two weeks her naps have been hit or miss and somedays she only takes 30 min naps even though I leave the whole hour hoping she will fall back asleep. Then that throws off our whole day and she’s super cranky.
    Anyone know what this is all about??? I feel like I’m going crazy!

    Thanks for any advice. On a side note its not teeth or illness

    • What ended up happening? Did anything help? Did she start crawling or pulling herself up during this time? My almost 9 month old is fairly similar. He used to take about 1 1/2 hour morning nap, an hour afternoon nap and then a 20ish late afternoon nap. Now everything has gone to a terrible 20 min nap and I think it’s because of crawling/pulling himself up, but I’m not sure and I’m not sure how to get it to go back!

      • Hi Jen,
        As terrible as this sounds I honestly don’t remember this phase!
        My dd is now 21 months old and she definitely got over that, then moved on to other issues. But at the moment is in a good phase. Best advice I can give is keep everything the same, during a regression. I always left her in bed for the full hour, I would move bedtime up if need be. She got over it and this was such a tiny blip in her sleep troubles that I can’t even remember it. Keep in mind we just survived the 18 month sleep regression and that was a douzy, so it’s probably the freshest in my mind.

        I also tried to stick with age appropriate wake times as much as possible and that always seemed to help me. Maybe a longer or shorter wake time is needed.

        Best of luck and I apologize for not being more of a help. I do know that she was well into crawling by this point and didn’t start walking on her own until 12 months. As for pulling herself up she may have been working on this but she was able to get back down without assistance. She worked that out pretty quick. So in our case it wasn’t a physical learning curve that was hindering her.

  14. My daughter is 9 months old and has been a poor sleeper since 2 weeks old. She is #3 for us and we all live in a tiny house, so crying it out at night is not really an option.

    She naps great during the day….morning, mid/afternoon, and sometimes a late afternoon nap. She goes down great for all naps and for the beginning of the night. Then 1-3 hours after bedtime it starts…the screaming/waking. It goes from around 9/10pm until 4am. Sometimes she will go 1 hour without waking, but usually it is 15-45 minutes at a time of sleep. She doesn’t just fuss, she screams. The doctors have labeled it “colick” all the way up to her 6month appt. They say that some babies are just really colicky for a long time. I have tried co-sleeping, but she does not sleep if she is near me. She just “talks” and pats my face/back/arm. She used to fall asleep if I nursed her during the night (I know, bad habit) but now she even stays awake through that.

    I have 2 other children and do not get to nap. My husband works hard manual labor during the day and cannot help at night. I am losing my mind over the lack of sleep. Any thoughts?

  15. Bedtime and naptime with my 9.5 month old went from a happy extremely predictable time where he was always happily going to sleep on his own (for months) to changing over night! He had been pulling himself up on all kinds of things for a while now but just starting doing it in his bed this weekend. Immediately stands up when I put him in bed and SCREAMS! Won’t sit down. I know he is exhausted because as soon as I pick up him he lays his head on my shoulder and goes to sleep. But then try to put him down, it starts all over again! I am wary of starting bad habits that didn’t exist before but its very hard for me to leave him standing and crying! I am really afraid he’s going to hit is head! Is this something to ride out and the novelty will wear off for him? Any tips are appreciated!

    • I have this exact problem with my 12 month old son! He stands up in the crib as soon as I put him down and cries. I’ve tried letting him cry but he is so stubborn and will stand and cry for a very long time. Did you find anything that worked?


  16. Hi, great site! I have learned so much!

    We’re having an early morning waking problem. The last 4 am feed dropped around 8 months and things were great for a few weeks but then baby would start waking up at 6 am or earlier. I would go back in to feed him so that he would go back to sleep until the desired wake-up time of 7am (after 8pm bedtime) but at around 9 months that stopped working too. These days (at 10 months) he has regularly been waking up between 5 and 5:30. For the last few days we have been trying to consistently do the following: if wake-up is before 6 am, go in and give him a pat and leave the room. He’s usually standing in the crib and gets upset for about 30 seconds but doesn’t cry for very long. He then tries to sleep but has not succeeded. At 6am, we grumble, go in and start the day.

    We feel there are a few possible contributing factors. One is he’s been napping crappy in his new mobile infant room at daycare, and so he often falls asleep on the way home around 5:30ish. The late nap doesn’t affect bedtime too much (some times we push back to 8:30) but we feel may be substituting for some of the early morning sleep. He also tends to fall asleep in the car on the way TO daycare at 8ish on days that he wakes up before 6. We’ve been trying to talk to him or even reach back and nudge him to keep him awake in the car but it’s impossible! The second is a possible eat-sleep association, so we’ve moved the bedtime feed to be before bath time and added a book before putting him in the crib (at which point he falls asleep easily).

    I feel like I shouldn’t be complaining since he sleeps fine from 8-5ish but he’s only getting about 10.5-11 hours a sleep/day and it’s really hard to make it through the work day with the early morning wake up! Help!

  17. Hello!
    I am an avid reader of your website and have learned so much about sleep this past year. Yes, I said year! I thought I was pretty much done with worrying about it, as everything was great (in bed awake, no more nursing, etc). BUT these last few nights/naps my little guy (he’s almost 15 months) screams like he is dying. Right now, he is still standing up screaming 30 minutes after I left his room. He has never done this before. If I go in and pick him up, he will cuddle and fall asleep within minutes. I know this because I did it last night and at nap time today. This morning, he threw a tantrum in his crib. After he sat down, he laid on his back and his arms and legs were flailing. I’ve never seen this before! I’m pretty sure he’s teething, so I gave him advil before bed. I don’t want to start any bad habits, so I’m hesitant to go in and hold him again tonight (though I can put him down asleep and he’ll stay asleep all night-at least he did last night).
    Does anyone have any experience with this? Is there a 15 month sleep regression? He has been clingy lately. Just bad teething pain?
    Thank you in advance!

    • okay, so I don’t know how or why this whole mess started, but it is a mess and in 2 and a half days, I think I created a sleep monster. Last night, I went in after he threw himself against the crib and landed pretty hard on his head. Or so I thought, because when I picked him up he shut up immediately. However, I had to wait almost an hour before putting him down. He woke up at 10 because his white noise shut off (of all nights-this has never happened before) and he would not go back to sleep. After another dose of advil (just in case) I finally left him and he screamed until 1 am and fell asleep until 6:30. He woke up, sat up, sneezed and laid down/slept until 7:30. Hubby just put him down for his nap. He started his tantrum as soon as the book was done (never done this before. We’ve had this routine since 6 months). Finally, he left him to tantrum/scream in his crib. If he doesn’t sleep, how long do I leave him? an hour? at which point he skips the nap and we try again later? I know from reading here that when you attempt CIO you say protect the naps. I did that way back when we was 6 months and it was no problem, but this seems different. While I don’t want his sleep deprived, I also don’t want to reinforce this little (incredibly cute when he’s sleeping on you) sleep monster.
      Thanks to anyone who’s been through this.
      And I honestly don’t know why Wednesday night everything was “normal” and then Thursday he screamed bloody murder at bedtime and he’s been a mess since.

    • ” I’m hesitant to go in and hold him again tonight” Are you sure you love your baby? It looks like you are trying to avoid him…

      • I’m not sure why you would post a comment like that. By that I mean obviously meant to hurt someone’s feelings. The awesome thing about this website is that it provides positive support, and is filled with replies from moms trying to help other moms. Your comment is not helpful in the least, and was posted just to be hurtful. Luckily, most people know that if they don’t have anything nice to say, they shouldn’t say anything at all.

        • How come this website provides positive support be letting babies CIO? Is that how you are helping others?

          I don’t get it. I just can’t understand how you guys can hear your babies crying and not holding them? I really love how my baby calms when I pick him up. I will never let him CIO just because I am selfish and want to sleep all night. And yes, I hate this website and just came here to see what was it about. I wish I had never came here

          • Hey Carolina,
            Honestly? Yes. Sometimes. I try really hard to help people find tear-free ways to get everybody sleeping well. Because that’s my goal, that’s the parent’s goal, it’s really EVERYBODY’S goal. But it doesn’t always work out. And many times, CIO is better than whatever disastrous non-sleeping situation has led to CIO in the first place.

            Over a million people have come to my site. Maybe some of them are haters, who knows. But I do think and hope that I’ve helped a lot of people. I definitely know that everybody who comes looking for answers loves their baby.

            Let’s make sure we all hear that point because it’s key – EVERYBODY LOVES THEIR BABY.

            It’s unfair to suggest otherwise. It’s hurtful. And it makes you sound like a bully. You don’t have to agree with what I write about. But that doesn’t make it OK to be a bully.

            Helping your baby establish healthy sleep habits isn’t about being selfish. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that we’re raising a generation of chronically sleep-deprived kids. Our children get less sleep than any previous generation in known history. The result of this which is scientifically unarguable is that they are having more behavioral issues, incidence of ADHD, depression, childhood obesity, and poor academic performance.

            Helping your child get the sleep they need to thrive is absolutely critical. And I say “CHEERS!” to all the lovely parents who are committed to making sure that happens.

          • Carolina,
            One day your baby will cry a lot and there won’t be anything you can do about it, and I hope no one will tell you that you don’t love your baby because you will probably be feeling bad enough as it is that.

          • Carolina- The view from your high horse must be very lonely… I, for one, am incredibly thankful for any and all information I can get from those who have been there before me- whether I incorporate all, some or none into my life with my new baby, whom I love no less and no more than any other parent loves and adores their child. You don’t sound sorry for coming here, you sound proud of yourself that you can judge others for not having your same perspective. Please keep it to yourself next time.

  18. Hi,

    Thank you so much for this amazing site! I have a 9 month old that has been a great sleeper-I use white noise and have swaddled her. She always fell asleep nursing or burping after nursing. She recently has stopped falling asleep this way for her naps (still does for nighttime and sleeps fairly well-up 1-2 x for a few minutes-rock her and redo swaddle and back to sleep she goes). I then started rocking her or pushing her in the stroller to fall asleep. She liked this at first but then started crying even when I was holding her to fall asleep even though I could tell she was tired. If she feel asleep she usually woke up 30min later. Some days I just couldn’t get her to nap. Wished I knew about this website while she was still an infant-would have done a few things differently-but here I am. So I started a nap routine and then putting her in the crib to fall asleep on her own-crying it out (b/c I figured she was crying it out even when I was holding her!). The first time it took an hour for her to fall asleep. Then only 10 minutes. We have done this for over a week. It has gone up and down taking anywhere from 10min-45min for her to fall asleep. Does it ever get quicker? easier? less painful? I thought after a week she would be much quicker at falling asleep. She still takes crappy naps-30min. I hate that she has to cry for so long still to fall asleep and then not sleep that long.

  19. Same thing happened with me but after 10 days she goes to bed at night after only 3 minutes of crying now :) Yah! She freaks out when I put her in the bed though and it’s so hard for me to leave the room, but if I leave it takes about 1 minute of wailing- 1 minute of sobbing- 1 one minute of fussing and she is typically out. She sleeps from 7:30- 6pm yeah, I was so sleep deprived before this. However, her two naps are the same she crys for 5-10 minutes and only naps for 30 minutes or less 2x a day. I was thinking of just trying for one nap, does anyone have more success with this..she is only 9 months old? Any advice on day naps will be appreciated. She is still tired when she gets up after 30 minutes but will not go back down??

  20. I’m desperate for advice. I’ve been reading this website during my entire lunch hour after weeks of failure to sleep train my 11-month old baby girl. I never understood how people could let their babies CIO until now. I say that because I have exhausted every other means possible.

    My husband and I do not sleep together! Being a first time mom, I have probably broken every rule to teaching my baby girl to sleep at night. We co-sleep. By co-sleep, I mean her and I scrunched up in a twin sized bed in her room. I’m her soother. I think she truly wakes up around 11pm because she’s hungry (maybe I’m wrong?). She nurses and then falls back asleep. After that, she wakes up every couple of hours. She won’t go back to sleep without me. Literally, she attaches to my boob and falls right back to sleep. I’d hardly call it nursing. I think I’ve become her pacifier. This is also the reason we started co-sleeping. I can whip out a boob and fall back asleep. It’s funny and it’s not. It has become a real problem.

    My husband and I have been trying CIO and it’s not going well. I’ve been giving in every night because the love of my life sounds like a tiny lion being tortured. It breaks my heart to hear her so upset.

    What do I do? I’ve been begging my mom to spend a week with us only because I’m too weak for the torturous sounds coming from my sweet baby. Is that the solution? Let someone else sleep train my daughter?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • I’d like to add that while I do love co-sleeping (who doesn’t like waking up to such deliciousness in the mornings?), my husband and I need to reconnect. We are desperate to have our room back again. Together.

  21. When can you stop worrying about sleep associations? If I start giving my 12 month old a dummy at night is he going to start waking looking for it every 45 minutes if he did at 4 months?

  22. Dear Alexis,

    Thanks so much I have been reading your blog since my bb girl was 2 months! :) Now’s she’s almost 11mo and is doing ALL the things on your checklist.
    But I have a question: Her pm nap starts around 2-3ish. If we stay at home all day she sometimes won’t sleep until around 4ish. IF we go out and she happens to be in car at around 2:30pm, she’d fall asleep no matter how i try to keep her up by handing her little treats (while racing home trying to get her in bed!). Before I used to drive around for 1.5 hours so she’d get a good nap in because i KNOW if i get home 15 mins after she fell asleep, she’d wake up super hyper and won’t go back to sleep…and I’d spend the next 3 hours TRYING, with her fussing and clingy won’t go to sleep and refused to be left alone.. (like today… :( ) Anyway to help her to go back to sleep at home even just slept 15mins in the car?? i’m so longing for that hour of free time to do other things at home while she sleeps… i can’t be locked up at home all day respecting her sleep hours (i REALLY try!!) or keeping outside activities to her window between naps. But it’s hard to be that EXACT. :( I try my best to keep her naps so she sleeps thru the night like she does now. Any suggestions?

    Thanks kindly! :)

  23. Hello Alexis,
    My baby had trouble sleeping since he was born (bad colic) and so I try to always follow a routine and be strict with naps because if he misses one nap then it takes a week to get him in to the right schedule again. His sleeping got better when he turned 9 months old.
    Two weeks ago he was down for the night at 6-6:30pm fell asleep by 7pm woke up at 6-6:30am
    down to nap 8:30am-9am (sleep for an hour or an hour and a half)
    second nap at 1pm and sleep by 1:30pm wake up 2:30pm.

    Now that he is 14 months almost 15 he rolls in bed at night sometimes for more than an hour before falling asleep around 7:30-8pm and wakes up at 5am or before 6am. Because he wakes up so early he is tired by 8am.

    I put him down at 8:30am and as soon as I put him down he falls sleep. in the beginning I will let him sleep for an hour and a half but then he does not want to nap in the afternoon so I started waking him up after an hour of napping which is 9:30am and then he started sleeping an hour and 20 min at noon (from 1 to 2:20pm! When he naps in the afternoon I put him down at 6:30pm and he falls sleep close to 8pm and he still wakes up before 6am…..what am I doing wrong? It’s taking him too long to fall sleep at night, why? I just want my son to be rested and happy in the morning! I thought he may need just one nap but today he just had one (11:50am to 1:50pm) and was cranky at 5:00pm put him down at 6pm and did not fall sleep until 7:30pm, I guess 7:30 is a good time to fall sleep but not if he wakes before 6am right? Help me please!!!

  24. Sleep training is not fair on your child, if you don’t believe methink so, read this

    • This article is terrible. Clearly who ever wrote this is an intern with no kids. I really would not take this seriously

    • Yeah I’m going to ditto the – no thanks – on that too. It takes a very narrow view and shares opinion, not science. And that’s OK – nobody’s trying to sell anybody on sleep training. You do what works for you. But it’s also not OK to look down on others who are doing what works for them.

      Also the title “reasons to avoid sleep training” is no accurate. Nobody debates the reasons to avoid sleep training. NO ONE wants to sleep train. EVERYBODY is working hard to avoid this. So the reasons to avoid it are obvious – everybody is looking for the gentle way to make positive change.

  25. Hi Alexis,
    My son is 17 months and has been great at napping on a regular schedule (around 9am and 2 pm daily). Recently he doesn’t want his 9am nap and wants to nap around 11am. He naps for about an hour. He still wants a second nap which turns out to be too late in the day (like 4pm). How do I get my child to nap longer at his first (and possibly only) nap each day? I have tried later nap times (anywhere b/w 11am-1:30pm) but he still usually only takes an hour nap and still wants another nap later. I just don’t want it to interfere with his bedtime which is b/w 7:30/8pm. So far bedtime hasn’t been thrown off much but I am hoping we can get back to a more predictable routine/schedule. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Jenny

      What you are going through is a transition stage that will pass. My daughter is going through the same thing. She is 14 months. At this stage 1 nap is not quite enough but 2 is impossible unless you want your baby going to bed 8:30pm or latter which sucks because that leaves very little adult time in the evenng. I would highly recommend moving your sons bedtime up until 7pm and most likely he will still sleep 11 – 11.5 hours at night. My daughter sleeps from 7-6:30am and naps from 11-12 or 11-12:30pm every day. Some days she will nap for 1.5 hours but mainly its 1 hour every day. I can tell by 4pm she is a bit tired but she will not nap even thought we have tried to put her down from 3-3:30pm before. So around 4pm she yawns but then just moves on and plays with her toys and then dinner is 5pm, bath 6:30pm and bed at 7pm. Within a month or two max your son will be just fine with the 1 hour long nap per day. But I think 8pm is a tad late. Just my opinion. Hope it helps

  26. Hi can any one help me my 7 month old doesnt sleep thought night n has a bout 21 ozof formula a night can any one give me any tips thank u all xx

    • This is coming from the kindest place, your baby does not need to eat at night as of like 4 months. Definitely, unless he is underweight, as of 6 months (which is still a tad late) your baby does not need any food at night if he is getting a proper amount formula during the day (approx 24 ounces) The reason you think your baby needs to eat at night is because it helps him / her fall asleep. What you need to do is wean him off the bottle as soon as possible. If you give him 4 bottes at night tomorrow give him 3 then 2 and then 1 and then next day none. Worst thing that can happen is he / she may cry but just give it 10minutes before you go in(actually look at your clock) and I can almost guarantee that he/she will fall asleep and not wake up. After 10min if baby is still crying, go in and comfort your baby but do NOT pick them up. Make it quick and leave. Then give it 15 minutes before you go in again. But that time you probably will not have to bc your baby will be sleeping until the next morning. 7 months is tough to sleep train bc they are so much of a little person but if you wait longer it will just get so much harder.

    • I’m going to slightly disagree with Agnes. Some babies are done eating at 4 months or even 6 months, but not all babies are taking in all their calories during the day that young.

      That being said, if your 7 month old is consuming 21 calories (which has GOT to be like 70% of his intake) at night then there is something going on. And on that point – Agnes is totally right.

      Start at bedtime – no more bottle AT bedtime. This is the tough part but it’s going to set you up for eventual success later in the night. Trust me on this – it’s KEY.

      Also here’s a few more resources that might be helpful. We’re all rooting for you!

  27. My 10 month old boy had a period of 2 months where he slept like a dream and didn’t need a bottle until 5am. Yah. The minute he started to crawl and could remember all his exciting toys – oh and of course, when he learnt he could stand in his cot and rub his hands on the ever so exciting white plastered wall….well the midnight feed and constant waking through until 6am is back! I thought the feeding was for a growth spurt and because he wasnt eating enough on his new puree regime, so I adjusted things in the eating department. But nope. 8 weeks of growth spurts? Not. So now I have a spirited baby who is the fighting me most of the time to go to sleep. I have tried everything – consistently, day in day out since the day he was born to get him into a sleep pattern and daily routine – without support (live in France, MiL useless, father is great but questions what I am doing all the time and is knackered himself!). I am going to try CIO. I never agreed with it when I was preggars since I was reading a million books about a million things baby saying don’t let them to CIO…..but after being on my own 24/7 for the first 4 months of his life, then the past 5 months just “winging it” with his sleep routine…I am EXHAUSTED. I will say that he does fall asleep, happily and easily after his 3 – 4 hours of eat/play. It’s not the getting to sleep it’s the method – he needs to be carried around with a certain song on until he is out or just about out. At 10 kilos, my back is killing me but he won’t go on his own! I have tried the pick up/put down method explained by Tracy Hogg for 2 weeks consistently for over an hour. Back pain = 8, osteopath bills = not funny. Of course there he is being adorable, standing up in his cot, laughing his head off hitting that wonderfully exciting white plastered wall. There is only so much wine and meditation (sometimes the latter induced by the former) a girl can take! Right?

    Wish me luck. CIO here I come.

    oh PS – after reading much of this website and a number of other books on parenting babies, I have come to the conclusion that a) all babies wake at 5am. Nothing doing. And b) my household (probably like many others) suffers not from a Troublesome Tot, but a Panicky Parent..keen to do everything right so the kid doesn’t grow up with Abandonment Issues and hate me until he’s a parent himself or needs to borrow a large sum of money. :/

    • I hope it worked, Nadeen!

      • Hi, It did! I was surprised by how quickly he took to it as well. 3 days – but I tried a different tact and did it for ALL sleeps ie naps and bedtime. I am big on routine routine routine, and he has had a betime routine and a daytime routine overall since he was about 2 or 3 months old and I think this structure works well for him. I have had a glitch this week because he is a late teether and had 2 teeth pop out in 3 weeks. Poor wee tacker. Otherwise its great. Surprisingly the crying didn’t bother me as I thought it would because he didnt scream the house down for hours on end…the longest went on for about 17mins and it was more that grizzly discontentment. I figured he was suffering and just watched him on the camera. I have now figured out his night waking – since I sat and watched him on the camera one night. Noise. We live in the middle of a very busy french city. The kids downstairs scream the house down everynight until 10pm ( he is generally asleep by 7), and the police sirens that go through here everyday/night are horrendous. We have done everything we ca

      • ps – I have come to the realisation over the past couple weeks that it wasnt so much the 5am wakeup call that irritated me…. speaking with someone recently made me realise I was always an early riser, it was the lack of solid 6/7 hours before that I was missing. But now I am getting more regular sleep in the night (oh and have stopped drinking during this period and started taking vitamins/eating better)….its not actually that bad. All I need to do now is try to stop worrying about offending the horrible woman downstairs who refers to me as That Australienne Woman with the Baby. Nice. :)

        • It’s great to hear that it worked so well! When we did CIO it wasn’t always as smooth (we had to do it more than once, sadly, due to lots of moving and time zone changes) but possibly because we didn’t have a strong routine down.
          I’m curious about what you were saying about noise! Your comment got cut off. We currently have very loud neighbors upstairs, but fortunately she doesn’t seem bothered by them anymore, but it used to be a problem for her to fall asleep.
          The lack of solid uninterrupted sleep is something that I miss so dearly. Even though my baby does sleep many hours in a row, I still can adjust and wake up every three!

          • I know what you mean about the moving around..we live 6 months in Grenoble France, then 6 months in the Mont Blanc Valley – which is the current work pattern for my hubby. When he was a baby we lived in an apartment in the family chalet so had problems with noisy clients (bedroom was directly below the chalet living room). Now here in Grenoble I have a guy upstairs who plays the drums, his wife who moves ALL the heavy furniture 3 days a week at night to vaccuum (??) and the woman downstairs who told us to shut my baby up in the mornings (apparantly hers were perfect) but who has two boys who run (never walk) boom, boom, boom through the apartment screaming and then crying after her husband bellows at them for 5 minutes. The noise for some reason comes up into his bedroom as well as down. Thats a nightly thing. Plus, as we live in the centre of the town on a major inter-junction with trams and traffic, there are nightly police and ambulance sirens that are incredibly loud. Luckily for us, he has started to tune out to the man upstairs playing the drums. The children downstairs – that can be a bit hit and miss and depends on how long they carry on for.

            I’ve known for a long time that his interrupted sleep has been the cause of his problems, but sadly it’s been unavoidable.

            I have worked endlessly everyday to keep his routine – which is nearly impossible to do with travel I think. New surroundings, new sounds etc.

            I can go on 6 hours, if they are solid. :)

            How old is your little one now? Is she coping alot better as she gets older?

            I figure this is an ongoing job until he hits his teenage years, afterwhich he’ll be out all night with is mates anyway. 😀

            • Wow, that’s a lot of noise! I feel grateful now that our situation isn’t that bad!
              My daughter is 9 and a half and yes, she is doing a lot better, also thanks to a more consolidated routine. But we are moving in two weeks to another country and then again in a month (Asia->US->Europe) so that’s going to be fun…

            • :) I am soooo happy we will be hitting the silence of the mountains in a couple of weeks!

              Thats alot of travel! You must be exhausted. I find it difficult with the little bit travel we have done up and down France..but at least there are no time zones to consider.

              Acutally its funny – in France they have such excellent social security/free medical so women get alot of pre and post natal support, but in all the conversations I had with docs and midwives about learning to be a mum they all assumed we were in the same location with perfect surroundings! When I told my midwife just before my LO arrived about the travel she waved her hands in the air and said pfff forget it. Routine? Impossible. Just cuddle him all the time and do what you gotta do :)

              On that basis it sounds to me like you have managed pretty well so far.

              You sound like international spies lol – or in the diplomatic service.

  28. Your son does not know how to fall asleep on his own and that can turn into a big problem if you dont deal with this ASAP.
    Yes most babies wake up at 5am during a stage but at 10 or 11 months they stop that and they sleep until 6 or 6:30am. That is if they go to bed at 7/7:30pm. If you take your baby out of his crib at 5am he will think that is fine and will keep doing that. I remember there was one day when my daughter thought 5:15am was ok to wake up. I just went into her room in the dark and kept putting her back down (every10,15min) and leaving until 6am. Yes that was 45minutes of hard crying but she never woke up at 5:15am again and if she did she would just talk to herself for a bit and then fall back asleep. There was no other option for her and she learned that fast. Now at 14 months she sleeps from 7-6:15/6:30am and we never have to see another 5:30am wake up again. Those sucked. Anyway I honestly think that at this point a good routine like bath / bottle and put down in crib awake in order to teach your son sleeping skills is your solution. When crying starts, go in after 10min, confort without picking up, make it quick and leave, if crying persists, go back in after 15min, repeat, then 20min, repeat, until they fall sleep. If they are standing or sitting lay them back down even if it takes 15 times. Wear earplugs if you have to because that will help. The first night will be hard but if YOU can deal with the crying until your baby finally cries himself to sleep then next day it will be half as bad and chances are by night 3 he will be sleeping 10 hours a night. Try it.

    • HI there – thanks for the tips. I have never got him out of his cot at 5am… I have a firm rule of staying in the room until at least 6am, but lately I had to take him into our room because we live in an apartment and the level of noise has caused no end of trouble with my neighbours – who have posted extremely horrible letters to the elevator. Can you believe it? We have a very unique life here in France , which would seem very abnormal to most….we spend 6 months in a very noisy city and 6 months in the French Alps where my hubby works as a SKi instructor. But to his credit, the LO has learnt fast. And I am a convert. I did try the go in after 10mins etc, but it make him worse and take 3 times longer. I ended up just doing one visit then leaving him. Bingo. I am hoping once we go into the mountains where is is dead silent he will sleep through his 5am wakeup – which I have seen before up there..fingers crossed.

  29. My daughter is 9 months old today and day by day her night time sleep is getting worse. She was an amazing sleeper up until about 5/6 months. Then she started waking up to eat. I would feed her because that would be the only way she’d get back to sleep. She is breastfed so I’m sure it was the comfort she was looking for. She would wake up about 2am, eat and then sleep until about 6:30, which this worked ok for us. Then she started waking up about 12am, eat and then again at 4am. Now, she is waking up after an hour of being in her crib and crying for me. I’ve tried the Ferber method…laying her down, leaving the room, coming back after 10 minutes. We did this for over an hour the other night and there was no improvement at all, just cried harder as time when on. So I gave in and had her lay with me. Now, the past couple of nights, she’s sleeping with me, waking up at 12am to eat, again at 2am and wanting to play for hour, and again at 4am. I feel like her sleep is so messed up at this point, I don’t know how to get her back at all. I’m not opposed to the CIO method, but she seems to just cry harder and harder the longer is goes rather than starting to fall asleep, so I don’t know what to do or how long to keep trying. I need help!

    • You’re little avatar up there looks so sad and worried :(

      OK honestly I think the issue is that you need to separate nursing from bedtime because it’s that sleep association that is leading you to the all-night breasturant.

      So…if you think it’s time for CIO the problem is probably the Ferber Method. Have you read this?

      Full extinction is a far better approach. It seems “meaner” but it’s more effective. Admittedly now that you’ve tried it once, the next time is unlikely to go smoothly so I would encourage you to consider if you’re really ready? It’s OK if you’re not. But don’t go down that path unless you’re really committed.

      Lastly – the key is what happens AT bedtime. If you nurse to sleep at bedtime or nurse NEAR bedtime and then then try to ignore her when she wakes up 1 hour later, you’re going to have a lot of upset baby on your hands. So no nursing at or near bedtime, full extinction (if you think it’s cio time) and then work on night weaning (as you’ll still have a hungry baby during the night).

      None of this is easy. But it’s definitely fixable. Good luck!

  30. Hello.
    Our 9 1/2 month old daughter has usually been sleeping 11 hours at night since 5 months old with no feeds. Until she was 8 months old when she began to wake 1-2 times for 45 mins to 2 hours sometimes needing a bottle to sleep. She used to go to bed at around 745 pm and wake at around 7. Naps used to be from 930am-11 and 1-230 with the occasional 45 min nap around 4. With the time change that happened she started wanting to go to bed at 6 and wake at 530/6…that made her naps at 8/830 when we were trying to take our older child to school which was not working. Also she was trying to resist the 3rd nap it seemed so that made the witching hour unbearable. Now her morning nap is shorter like only an hour and she does sleep at around 1 for 2 hours. How can I make her sleep till 7 again? SHould I change bedtime?

  31. I find your article counter productive to moms. What moms don’t need is someone telling them what’s “normal” while what you describe is “normal” is not the case for 99% babies. All babies are different. You are arbitarilly describing what’s “normal” without research backing it up. In fact, what you describe is “normal” can very well be not normal.

    I appreciate you listing off tips or general directions for moms to look at and to see what they may be able to do with their babies. But to call only what you listed as “normal” is extremely misinformed.

    • Hey Christine,

      I’m not sure which article you’re referring to but I’m assuming you mean “Baby sleep, what is normal”. And in fact I do back up where my numbers come from – there are numerous studies on sleep patterns for kids under 1. I would suggest these sleep targets are the norm for 99% of babies and that those numbers are far from arbitrary. Also when I initially wrote that article, it was based largely on academic sleep studies. Now 3 years later I’ve got anecdotal data from literally millions of families that support that the studies, in fact, are right on the mark.


  32. Alexis,

    I have been referring to your site since my little guy was born, 9 months ago. He has been an all around textbook baby – napping and sleeping right on schedule with only a little sleep training necessary. I know, we have been lucky! But now, we’ve hit the dreaded separation anxiety stage and it causing so much sleep disturbance no one is happy.

    Here is the little guy’s typical schedule (pre separation anxiety):
    7:00 am wake up
    9:00 am -9:30morning nap (this nap has become shorter and shorter so I think he’s trying to drop it)
    1:00-4:00 pm afternoon nap
    7:00 pm bedtime
    He wakes once per night – usually around 10:00 – for a feeding that I’m pretty sure he doesn’t need ( he’s gone without before) but I want to keep through a cross country trip we have scheduled for the holidays.

    We’ve been following the same nighttime routine since around 5 months (bath,pjs,stories,cuddle,bed) and always try to put him down awake. For about the last week he goes down for bed like a champ but wakes up around 1:00 in hysterics. He will literally wake up screaming and is inconsolable unless we pick him up. Hubby can occasionally calm him with a back rub or short song but when I go in its pick up or nothing. Once he finally calms down, he will fall back asleep for about 15 minutes them wake up screaming again. The pattern repeats for at least 3 hours.

    When he wakes up his fear seems very real and he’ll frequently resort to hyper-vigilance to make sure someone is still there. While I don’t mind snuggling him to sleep I don’t want to throw away the great habits we had going by coddling him to much but letting him CIO doesn’t seem to be working either.

    Advice? Similar experiences?



  33. I’m sure that few people return here to leave success stories because once you can sleep, your time is pretty much taken up with getting caught up on that! But I just had to come back to sing the praises of this formula.

    This year, our long adoption journey ended with a whirlwind cross-country trip to adopt our son, who was born with a congenital heart defect. Between the adoption delay, long trips, the bonding process, a million doctor visits, and eventually a long hospital stay for open-heart surgery, we were all exhausted. Though he started out as a good sleeper, we missed the ideal time to sleep train him due to his medical woes. The result was that my relatively good sleeper emerged from his long medical ordeal as a 9-month-old who no longer had any concept of day or night, would not let me put him down, and screamed uncontrollably if I fed him any fewer than 4 full bottles a night (and then, of course, had to change him and all of this bedding when he wet through it over and over). I allowed this to go on for weeks more because he needed to catch up on growth and, after all, he had been traumatized like crazy. But so had I, and I was a sleepless, crazy, frazzled mess, and not the best momma because of it. I arrived at this site in desperation. After just two nights of following these steps, we were down to just one bottle. Yes, there were a few tears — but not as many as I had thought. And the information here on CIO put my (unfounded) fears to rest. After a couple more days, there were no more tears, and we were down to just 4 ounces a night. The rest of the process went slower, but I followed it precisely, and it worked exactly as promised. I was surprised that he really did give the bottle up on his own after a couple of nights of being disappointed by water. Within a month, he was sleeping through the night, from about 8-5:30, then up for a bottle and back down again for another couple of hours, give or take. He does everything else on the checklist here about what babies this age should do. I feel like the information might as well have had is name right in it.

    I had previously been wholeheartedly in the Sears camp, but I have to say that while I have found some of his other advice invaluable, his sleep book was useless for us. There was too little in it unrelated to breastfeeding (and I’m bottle feeding since he is adopted), and though the book says not to feel guilty about needing to put your own sleep needs first, all of the other advice seemed to contradict that. I just couldn’t wait to sleep until my son was as old as they were describing. Plus, my son needed sleep to recover, and he was getting very little for a baby his age. He was cranky and desperate too. I’m happy to report that we are both now rested, healthy, and happy to spend both our days and nights with each other.

    • I should add that, of course, I had our pediatrician’s OK before proceeding. Also, I realized that the extra feedings he was taking at night weren’t necessary any longer for his growth (he was eating so much at night that he was eating very little during the day — he basically just had the two times mixed up!). He now eats like a champ during the day, and finally got on a good pattern with solid foods for the first time (this was also delayed due to his medical ordeal). If anyone out there is struggling with a similar issue with a child with a special medical concern, I thought I should add these important details. And as good as the internet might be, asking the pediatrician should of course come first.

  34. Hi,

    Up pretty late surfing the net for answers and came upon your site! Thank you very much by the way.

    I have a 9.5 month old DS who has a really hard time falling a sleep on his own. This is a new development. He used to fall a sleep within 20 minutes, but now it takes an hour or so for him to sleep. He is overly active and all over the place. We co-sleep and I am not sure if it is time to move him to a crib. What can I do to help him fall a sleep faster and easier? Is this just regression and will it pass? Here is his schedule that we try to stick to:

    9:30-10 AM : Wake up, Breastfeed & Play
    11:30 AM : Lunch, milk
    12:00-1:30 PM : Play
    1:30 PM – 3:00 PM – Nap (Rock to sleep in arms, then transfer to bed)
    3 PM – Milk, Play
    5:30 PM – 6:30 PM – Nap (Rock to sleep in arms, then transfer to bed)
    6:30 PM – Milk, play
    8:30 PM – Dinner, Milk
    8:45 PM – Bath + Massage (every other day), story time
    9:30 PM – In bed, very active and does not sleep until close to 11 PM!!! Sleeps through the night. May wake once or twice, but goes right back to sleep.

    He is currently teething and has started to crawl. Perhaps this is a reason why he is having a hard time falling a sleep at night?

    Don’t know what to do and any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance. :-)

  35. daughter who is now 9 months old is never a good sleeper.on her first month she wakes up every 2 hours for 2 to 7 months, she sleeps 2am, 3am even 4am and wakes up 8th and 9th month, i was happy because she now sleeps 11pm, 12 midnight and 1am till 10am. but now,ive noticed she cannot sleep well and wakes up 2 to 3x at night for feeding..but its kinda different.i think she wants to be held and helped to be fallen asleep.. i dont know what to do with her..i tried a lot of things..i researched online why cant she sleep like every other babies..

  36. Hi there,

    Great site, thanks for all the helpful chat!

    Just a quick one; my 11 month old sleeps relatively well. He naps for half an hour at about 9:15 and then for 90 minutes at about 1:30pm. I wake him from both naps as he would just keep sleeping! The only issue I have is that he wants to get up at about 05:30 every morning!!

    Any ideas much appreciated!

  37. My 8 month old has been a pretty good sleeper. We started letting her CIO at 5 months and she started putting herself to sleep right away. She also dropped that late night feeding then. This has been her schedule the last month or so…

    Wake at 7 or 7:30
    First feeding when she wakes
    First nap 9:30 or 10ish for anywhere between 1 hour to 3 hours
    Second feeding when she wakes from nap
    Snack or small bottle around 2:30
    Second nap anywhere from 3 to 4 for about an hour (depends on length of first nap)
    Last feeding 5:30ish
    Bedtime 7:30/8

    For the last week or so she has started waking up earlier and earlier everyday (anywhere from 4am to 6am). Sometimes she will sleep in my arms but I don’t want to start that habit. She did this once before a month or so ago and we ended up dropping the 3rd nap and that helped. But I don’t think she is ready to go to one nap a day, any thoughts to why this is happening? I guess we could let her CIO out again until her wake time, but I know she will not go back to sleep so I hate letting her just lay there and cry.

    We try to give her plenty of physical activity a day. Maybe it is tied to her eating. She only drinks about 20oz a day… She will not drink more! We have been introducing new solids every couple of days since she was 6 months. She LOVES eating solids but I try not to give her too much so she will still drink her bottles. And of course at this age she is constantly teething.

    Any ideas or suggestions to why she is waking up early would be greatly appreciated!

  38. My baby is 10 months old and for the past couple months he has been waking up 2-3 or more lately a night. I am so desperate for sleep! At first it was due to teething, then that passed. Then most recently he had a stomach bug but that has since passed, yet he still wakes up numerous times a night. I want to try CIO but is he too old for this? When I pick him up to soothe him back to sleep, getting him to go back to sleep in his crib is a challenge so I attempt a couple of times and if not successful bring him to the bed with me so we can get some sleep. He naps so so during the day…better in my arms on some days then in his crib. Any advice is welcome!!! I am afraid of the CIO method because its sad to me but at this point I will try anything!!! Please help!!!

    • Shanna – CIO is sad, and hard. But it TOTALLY WORKS, even with a 10 month old! Following the advice on this blog, we successfully sleep trained our 10.5 month old. Sounds like you are ahead of where we started, which was with a bed-sharing night-nursing stubborn STUBBORN baby. We went from that, to sleeping all night in his own crib in about a week. It was nothing short of a miracle and we are SO GLAD we did it! Our only wish is that we had done it sooner.

      • So should I only use the CIO method at night for now and then slowly start with naps? I have heard make sure for now he is napping well and only start CIO at night until he has that down pat. Is this right?

        • Yes, that’s what we did also. On Alexis’ advice, we let night sleep settle in for a good 2 weeks before messing with naps.

          • Our evening routine normally consist of dinner time, bath, pj’s then bottle where he would fall asleep and I would just put him in his crib. Any suggestions on how to change it or should I?

  39. So if he wakes up in the middle of the night not to feed CIO still? Ive heard both ways. What ended up working for you?

  40. So completed night 1 on CIO and it was not as bad as I had anticipated. Our night ritual consists of dinner, bottle, bath, pj’s, book and then I gave him a kiss and said “mommy and dddy love you and i will see you in the morning.” Right after I laid him down he started crying. I closed his bedroom door and then tried to keep myself busy with dishes, picking up the house or anything. After 30 mins, I could see him on the monitor and he had fallen asleep. Victory!!! He slept until 2:10am and I feed him a bottle then told him I Loved him and laid him back in his bed. Crying began again. I closed his door, laid in bed and turned the volume down on the monitor. This way I could watch him but not hear him. I fell in and out of sleep and I woke up after 30 mintues and he was asleep again. He woke up for the morning at 6:00am which is what time I have to get up for work anyways so no biggie. He was so happy this morning because he got 10 hours of sleep vs our usual 6-7 hours a night. It was SOOOO tough but I kept telling myself in the long run this will benefit us all!.
    This blog has been so helpful and looking at everyone’s tips and what did and did not work for them really helped! Thank you!!!!

    • Shanna that is amazing! Complete success! Our stubborn little guy cried hard for over an hour the first night, and again periodically throughout the night. So 30 minutes is fantastic!

      To answer your previous question, we went from nursing on demand all night to in the crib all night, so initially I went to him 2x per night to nurse. Almost immediately, he dropped 1x on his own, then a few days later I was able to drop the 2nd feeding and we haven’t looked back.

      Sounds like you are well on your way to a sleeping-all-night baby. Just a bit of insight from someone who is a couple months ahead of you in the process — there will be bumps in the road. He’ll teethe, get a cold, something will happen in your life that interrupts the whole routine — just don’t give up and go back to old habits. It’s okay to do whatever you have to do to get through a rough patch (I recently went back to midnight feedings to help him through a teething episode), just make sure you are aware that it’s a temporary solution and plan to return to “normal” as soon as you can.

      Great job, mama! So happy for you. I know first hand how wonderful it is to open your eyes at 6am and feel refreshed after being sleep deprived for so long!

      • Thank you!!! I was so proud of him and myself! And waking up this morning I did feel refreshed!
        We are going to the beach for vacation in 2 months. I hope that doesn’t effect anything too much!That’s the only thing I’m concerned about chamging…

        • Try not to worry. In 2 months, you’ll really have a solid routine going. We went away for one night after training for a couple weeks. We brought a pack & play and just did the whole routine there and he barely registered the change. I was pleasantly surprised, hopefully you will be also!

    • Ditto to Amber. It could not have GONE any better. I know those 30 minutes were hard but honestly, it’s spectacular. Not only that you VASTLY increased the amount of sleep he’s getting. Well done indeed!

      I can’t promise you that it’ll be all gumdrops and roses from here on out. But it’s an incredibly encouraging 1st night. An immensely positive change for you all. Congrats on the great work!

      • Ok, so I’m on day 11 of CIO and he was doing great until 4 days ago. I put him down at 7:45 for bed then sometime wakes up about 12:00, then he wakes up at 2ish for a bottle and finally up at 5ish. My father in law watches him during the day and the past couple days has been waking up from his last nap at 3:00p. I think he is over tired by 7:30pm when I put him down so should I squeeze another nap befor bed or just rearrange his schedule? I’m in the process of updating his daily schedule now.

      • Hi Alexis, I am writing here half eye shut as we are worn out with out ten month old who refuses to sleep through night, your site has given me great ideas and I am starting tonight with the CIO plus night weaning also. Could I ask what I do if he never stops crying, I see you said roughly an hour on first night if not entering room again after put him down, do I just leave him as long as it takes (poss hours??!!) I think this method would be better for me as my son would escalate every time he sees me I feel. Thanks for advice and fab website, very comprehensible! xx

        • Sorry also meant to add that my son settles himself for naps in buggy during day as I give him bottle and he falls asleep himself once it is finished, is this going to affect my chances of CIO in cot at night?

  41. My 11 month old baby used to be a fantastic napper….2 1.5- 2 hour naps daily. The past 2 weeks, he will only take 2 30-40 minute naps. He is able to fall asleep on his own and has been doing this for quite some time; but, he wakes up when he is still tired. Help!

  42. Hello! My son is 10 (almost 11 months) old and his sleep is very inconsistent and I don’t know what to do about it! We’ve done everything we’re “supposed” to do and that has helped but he’s still inconsistent.

    So here’s what we’ve done: CIO at 6 months which was successful. He goes down for naps and bedtime awake without complaint and is usually asleep within about 5 minutes. He has a regular bedtime and routine (bottle at ~6pm, bath at ~6:15 then books and into bed) and this routine is consistent and the timing of it never varies more than about 15-20 minutes night-to-night.

    His bedtime is the only consistent thing about his sleeping. He still wakes up 1-2 times a night and it’s never the same times twice. For instance, one night he’ll wake up at 9:30pm and then he’ll wake up at 3am. The next night he’ll wake up at 11pm and 5am. The next night might be 1am and no second waking. He has also slept through the night with no wakings twice in the last month or so. It’s all over the place and so is the time he wakes up for the day as a result (anywhere between 5:30 and 7:30am). It’s seriously causing me problems with my own sleep as, of course, my sleep isn’t consistent either as a result.

    We also started night weaning him. We were actually down to 3oz per bottle (down from 6oz) and were getting ready to make the first bottle 2oz. But suddenly he won’t sleep unless he gets at least 5oz per bottle. He will scream and scream and scream if we try to only give him 3 or 4oz. I thought it was a growth spurt or something but he eats no differently during the day and this has been going on for a little over a week. I’ve tried to just comfort him with no food but he won’t have it. He will not sleep until he’s had a big enough meal.

    I’m at my wits end and so, so very tired from lack of consistent sleep. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • How has it gone with the weaning? I’m in a similar boat with my 8 month old. I got close to weaning his first night bottle if it was between 12 and 2, then tried to have my husband wean him when(if) he got him at 11 and that was a total fail. Then everything went crap again and I’m back up to a 4 oz bottle.

      • Not very well, but my son is sick right now so that never helps things. Poor little guy is waking up from his runny nose. He stopped with the 5oz bottles but he’s still at 4oz So we’ll probably try 3oz bottles again as soon as he’s over this cold. I think the trick is just to keep trying as long as there’s nothing wrong. Since I wrote my original post I’ve started to suspect that part of my son’s waking at night is just needing mommy time. That whole separation anxiety thing.

        Either way I wish us both luck on this whole night weaning thing. I can’t wait to get some sleep lol.

  43. We are past this age(and still have occasionaly sleep issues), but I love that you have broken your sleep guides down in these incremements–what a helpful resource to young parents struggling to find solutions! Wonderful, Alexis!

  44. Looking for tips on how to not get the baby to fall asleep while drinking his bottle at night. It’s been a crutch (our fault) because it’s been so easy to get him to sleep.

    We did CIO a few months back and it worked but then we were thrown off because he got sick for a bit. Then it was back to the bottle. He sleeps fine throughout the night with a very occasional wake up there and there, but typically fine. How can I get him to get himself back to sleep at bedtime?

  45. My toddler has always been a great sleeper. He is currently 18 months old and goes to sleep at 8.30pm, wakes for a feeding (bottle) around 4.30-5.30 and then sleeps until 7am. (if on occasion he wakes for his feeding at 6 he never falls back asleep) I was wondering if it is normal for him to wake for a feeding at this age and how I could get him to stop it. Also if, when and how I can get him to wake a little bit later in the morning. I am currently 7 months pregnant and need all the sleep I can get you see. He has dropped his morning nap since 11 months and currently naps from 2pm to 4 pm.

  46. my nearly 10 month old has not been sleeping well his routine that he has fallen into is bed time anywhere from 10pm onwards :-( sleeps till 5am ish when daddy gets up for work feeds him a bottle then he sleeps till 9am has solids and a bottle nap at 12pm with a bottle for 2-3 hrs then a short half hr nap around 6 or 7pm with a bottle then bedtime again from 10pm onwards!! he wakes in the night not for a feed but to be put in our bed and he goes straight back to sleep he doesn’t want a night time bottle which is good and he hasn’t needed one for months but the issue is getting him to sleep at night he just fights it and would stay up all night if we didn’t persist at getting him to sleep his bedtime/nap time is unusual but this is what it is and we can’t change it

  47. he has finger foods for lunch and solids for dinner forgot to mention above!!

  48. I’ve relied on this site since my 11 month old was born. I am happy to say that we are in a decent pattern now, but I am afraid withdrawal is going to hit hard once she turns 1 and the advice ends! Any resources or tips for a 1+ baby??

  49. One little weekend get away, added to the fact that my 9 mo old crawls and pulls up and now we are back to square one :-(. I lay him down after our full routine and he stands right up and starts crying. I left him to CIO but caved after almost an hour. Now I feel like all the hard work we put in is down the drain. So, is there a trick for older babies that I don’t know about? Im not sure what to do now that he stands. When we originally started sleep training at 6 mo, it only took 30 min the first night, then less and less. HELP!! What do I do??!!

  50. Hello!
    I have a question about third naps. My 9 month old (almost 10 month old) keeps moving his nap further and further. He just fell asleep for his third nap at 5:45. It used to happen at 4:30. His bedtime is 7:30. My question is, should he even be taking a third nap now? He gets fussy if not. Should I move his bedtime up for awhile? He wakes up at 6 AM and naps twice in the morning and afternoon. Thanks!

    • Does he have trouble going to bed at 7:30 when he takes the late nap? If so, I would suggest trying to drop the third nap and move bedtime earlier, maybe to 6 or 6:30. That’s what I imagine Dr. Weissbluth would advise, and his book (Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child) has worked wonders for our whole family’s sleep.

    • I agree with the earlier bedtime! My 10 mo old takes a nap at 930, one around 2, and bedtime at 630. She sleeps til around 3am then takes a bottle and wakes aeound 7. Shes very happy with that amount of sleep :)

    • My 9 month is the same. We kept the 3rd nap and bumped his bedtime to 8, which was nice because he slept a little later in the morning (630-7ish)

  51. Hi, this may seem stupid but am really starting to doubt myself! My 9 month old daughter now only has two naps during the day and neither are any longer than 40 mins. I can’t get her to go back to sleep once awake even if she’s yawning her head off! I’ve tried letting her CIO but she’s been known to keep going for 45mins and then vomitting! She used to sleep well at night (going down at 7pm and up at 6am) but for the last week has been waking around 2/3am and screaming. When we go to comfort her, she calms down but as soon as she is put back in her cot the screaming starts. In desperation, the last couple of nights I have put her in our bed and once calmed down she goes to sleep. I’ve then tried to put her back in her cot but the screaming starts again. She keeps pulling herself up to a standing position and screams her head off. Any suggestions?! I’d love for her to nap longer during the day but my main concern is her night waking.

    • I’m having the same problem where my daughter at first slept great until 5 but that has slowly creeped back 30 min at a time until now she wakes up at 3:30 am screaming her head off and I can’t get her to go back to sleep. Don’t know what to do!

      We do our bedtime routine and she goes down to sleep great and sleeps all through the night but just is waking up so early and is still obviously very tired.

      One thing that could be affecting her is that when she first started waking at 5, i got in the habit of bringing her back to bed and nursing her to sleep so we could go get more rest. But now when I go get her she only cries and settles down if I bring her to bed but she still never goes back to sleep. I think she likes coming back to bed enough that she’s waking earlier and earlier to do it.

      Anyone have any ideas of what I can to to transition her back to sleeping longer at night?

      • Hi Nicole,

        I persevered with the Progressive Waiting method with my little ones naps during the day and after three days her naps were closer to an hour, sometimes even two hours long. Once we got that sorted, we tried it with her early waking. It didn’t work. SO, had read about a method called ‘wake to sleep’. This is where you rouse them (not fully wake them) an hour before they’d usually wake. For our little one that meant moving her to a different position in her cot and covering her. She moaned a little and then drifted back to sleep AND slept through till 6 (now 6am we can cope with!!) The theory is that it interrupts their sleep cycle and they start a new sleep cycle again. It was suggested to do this for three days. We did it for two mornings and then tempted fate by not doing it on the third day. Seems she didn’t need it. We now have a little one who naps pretty well and sleeps from 7pm to 6 – 6:30am!! Don’t know if this will help but…

        • Nicole- what’s progressive waiting? My guy (who is one- today!!) goes to sleep like a dream, and sleeps all night- but wakes up around 5:30 (regardless of when he goes to bed- we’ve tried everything from 5:30 to 8, and have settled back to his original bedtime of 6:30). We never go in to his room til 6, but that has made zero difference in when he wakes up. And he’s not a great napper. Usually about an hour total for the day- either two catnaps or 1 hour-ish nap. I’d love for better naps, but most of all I would LOVE for him to sleep til 6 or ideally 6:30. I think I will try this wake-to-sleep!

  52. HI, My baby is about to be 11 months. He is not the best napper – usually 45 min to 1 hour – twice a day. Although fights the 2nd nap like crazy. He used to be great at sleeping through the night, went down awake, sometimes would cry but eventually down after a few min. He recently started waking up at 2am, wide awake and starving. He also went through a bottle strike as well so that could be the reason he is waking up for a bottle in the middle of the night. So I am not really sure what to do, should I let him try to work it out and fall back asleep, should I continue to feed him, even though he hasn’t had any night feedings for the last 4 months. I know developmentally a lot of new things are happening but just wondering how to manage and work through this lovely sleep regression. P.S. We have hit regressions at 4 months, 8 months and now 11 months. We got over the other ones within a few weeks but now that he is so much more aware of what is going on, just looking for some extra tips. Thanks!

  53. Dear Alexis,

    Good afternoon. Ever since my son was born I have been reading your blog. He started out very fussy and was challenging to get on a schedule. We did this sleep lady shuffle method around 4 months old and after that he had great naps and slept pretty well at night- although he always woke for at least one feeding. He was a child who put himself to sleep and things were pretty easy for a while.

    About a month ago things hit the fan. He is all over the place in terms of sleep. Last night, for instance, he cried for two hours- he was inconsolable. Today, he went down well for his first nap, now for his second he is throwing a huge fit.

    He is almost 10 months old and has recently been able to stand up in his crib. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. My husband and I are at our wits end. We feel like if we let him cry it out at night he will literally cry for hours and hours.

    Thank you so much,


  54. My daughter is 10 months old and she pretty much wakes up twice a night for a bottle.She goes to bed around 7:30-8pm and she gets a 6 once rice bottle also every night, can someone please tell why she doing this.

  55. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. My 9month old only sometimes takes long naps during the day. She is in a daycare so I really have no control about her daytime sleeping. Our bedtime routine has been the same since she was 4 months old. Bath/snuggles/bottle then bed. She hasn’t woke up for a night feeding since around 4 months as well. But now for the last month or so she has been waking up in the middle of the nighy ready to play. No amount of rocking or soothing does any good anyway. She just wants to play. If she is up playing I can’t sleep and it is really starting to affect my work. I am open for just about any suggestions at this point!

  56. I’m sure this has been asked and answered somewhere else, but what do you do when your 9-month-old still can’t sleep overnight and the cry it out method didn’t work?? Tried it for 3 weeks with my daughter, she screams for 2-3 hours then falls asleep for 10-15 minutes, then screams for another 2-3 hours, then 15 minutes of sleep, repeat all night. Shouldn’t it have worked, or at least helped, by now?? She has no health issues or food allergies, she’s well established on solids and is generally a happy kid. She just doesn’t sleep at night, even before we tried the crying method she was up 3-5 Times a night for no explainable reason. Since she was born we’ve been able to lay her down when she’s awake and she falls asleep on her own, but then she’s awake a lot all night. She sleeps well during her naps. Am I missing something here??

  57. This has been a lifesaver, we did sleep training with our 9 month old and now she is on a daily schedule. Before she was waking every 30 minutes all night long, would only sleep if held, and didn’t want naps. We never thought we could have easy naps and her sleeping 11 hours a night!! We are all so much happier and healthier. She is doing all of the healthy habits you listed here, so for anyone who feels hopeless, stick with it! Your whole family will benefit greatly. .

  58. Oh my, my baby doesn’t do any of those things at nine months. I feel like crying.

    • Hey Mika,

      You go ahead and have a little cry if it helps. Sometimes crying helps me, you know, get it out.

      Once that’s done, figure out what steps you could take to make things even a tiny bit better. Almost always this means changing what happens at bedtime. Change is hard and often a bit scary but you would be surprised at how quickly things can change for the better.

      You can totally do this, trust me!

  59. Is this for real? Baby doesn’t have a pacifier, goes to sleep on his own and sleeps eleven hours. Keep dreaming moms!

    • It’s so real! I’ve been following Alexis’s advice and my 4 month old is putting herself to sleep in the swing for naps and bedtime with no pacifier (but she is a thumb-sucker). We just keep trying little changes that are admittedly scary (like that first time you leave the room when she’s still awake) but being consistent works!

  60. Hey! JG is turning 9 months in a couple of weeks and he has been on an early rise spurt for several weeks now. He goes to bed at 7:30 to 8pm, but wakes punctually at 5 am every day. My DH began to bring him into bed with us to get him to sleep longer, in spite of my efforts to tell him that that was not a good idea… and I think JG began to wake up for that. Now it feels like it’s a permanent thing, and it’s frustrating. I’ve tried the wake to sleep method, but then he just starts waking up even earlier!! During the day, he sleeps 30 minute naps when he’s alone and 2 hours only if he sleeps with us. Any tips on how to wean him from this early morning waking to sleep with mom and dad? Thank you!!

  61. Early rising as mentioned above is kicking my tail too. Daycare has his room on one nap, even though he is only 10.5 months, but he certainly doesn’t belong in the wee baby room, so bed is about 6/630, then we are up and hollering at 5 am. Gah. No control over the day sleep has led to no control over the rest.

  62. My 11 month old son is an amazing sleeper. 7 pm to 7 am. 2-3 naps a day for an hr each. We put him to sleep with us in our king size bed then transferred him to crib from early on and were afraid he’d not be able to start going to sleep on his own. We were shocked when, a few weeks ago, he started doing just that!! He stopped wanting us to put him to sleep.

    But… now he’s not going to sleep on his own anymore and he refuses to let us snuggle him to sleep. Screaming for hours each night. I hope its a short stage.

  63. I’ve got 9 month old twin girls and am a single parent from the start. I stuck with a routine since aged 8 weeks and since 13 weeks they’ve slept thru the night. Both have COMPLETELY different personalities but I’m very strict with a routine. As a result they both nap for 45-60 mins in the am and 60-90 mins in the pm and 10.5-11.5 hours every night. Neither have pacifiers, they fall asleep on their own and don’t have any sleep aids whatsoever so it is possible. Believe me. Just be consistent and in charge. You’re the boss not them!

  64. My daughter has been sleeping 11 hours or more through the night since she was 6 weeks old, I wuld have to dream feed her, I took the dummy away at 5 months, stop night feeds etc…. And she is almost 11 months now! She brilliant sleeper but don’t reali nap due in day but tbh is rather her sleep all night, 3 meals a day, 1 healthy snack a day!!
    Pregnant with my second and so she’s good bcoz if I want to nap she generally will nap with me!!!
    Bed and bottle at 8pm wakes up at 8 sometimes later!
    Think I’m very lucky!

  65. This does not sound like my son at all!!!!

    He is the most adoring happy active child during the day and takes 2 goodish naps in the day time, eats solids and he is already walking.

    First i have to say we were blessed with a ‘good’ sleeper, but that good only lasted till he turned 5 months. He woke once a night from the first night we brought him home until he started teething, but i don’t think teeth can cause all this…

    At about 7 its bath time then he has a bottle and before 8 he is fast asleep and peaceful. he then wakes up at about 10 and falls back asleep mostly by himself. then comes 12 and he is up and refuses to sleep unless he has a bottle and lies on mom. even sleeping in this way only guarantees about an hour of sleep at a time and each time he wakes he wants something to drink, if he is in his crib he tends to wake every half hour. he only takes about 2 sips and then he goes back to sleep. this carries on all night till about 9:30 when he has his first nap of about 1,5 hours.

    what can we do to try and fix this as we did try cry it out, but he cries for almost 2 hours and is still not asleep by then my heart is breaking and i tend to give in. Should i leave him to cry longer? what are the other options, i have read the info on this blog and we have tried most of it with no luck.

    This mom needs sleep HELP!!!!

    • Our daughter was very similar. Waking all the time for nursing.

      She was small and we worried she might actually be hungry, so we always fed her.

      Well it was obviously a comfort thing. We transitioned slowly, first moving to holding her and getting her back to sleep that way. It seemed like an easier transition. We did that for a few weeks and then moved to helping her fall asleep, or back asleep, by her self in the crib. Trying to bring her to the bed to sleep with is doesn’t work, it made her expect food and nursing. Of it didnt show up it was screaming. And screaming inches from your ear, which is harder to not give into.

      The crying lessens over time. You know she is safe, and not in pain.

  66. Hi – My son is 9 months old and sleeps exactly 8 – 8 every night without waking up. I’m trying to get him on a routine to nap in his crib and I’ve managed to get him to do 1 ~1.5hr nap around 11 but a second nap in the afternoon is SCREAM fest!! it is NOT working.. given he’s sleeping 12 hours through the night, is it reasonable to do 1 2hr nap around 12 or 1 instead?

  67. I must say, after reading these comments, it reminds me that every baby is different. My son is 9mo and from day one I would read about how to make him sleep better. Some things worked, some didn’t. But regardless, I drove myself nuts.

    Ladies, please know you’re doing the best you can and some mommies are just “lucky”. They don’t have the magic touch or no some secret you don’t. Hang in there. :)

  68. Hi you guys, please help!!! My 9 month old is a very happy go lucky boy and we never have any problems with him, he is also a very good sleeper, untill about two weeks ago, we went on vacation for 10 days!!! But ever since we are back home he doesnt want to fall asleep!! He is crying and screeming!! He is usually with a baby sitter during the day! Can it be that he now have seperation anxiety seeing and might be scared that I wont be here if he is awake? I just hate to see him like this and dont know what to do!!! PleAse give me some advice!

  69. Help! Please!
    My 9.5 month old son has always been a “good sleeper”. Quick history-he was born 7 weeks prem and was in NICU x 3 weeks. Was on a strict 3 hour schedule there. He altered it to a 4 hour schedule himself upon coming home. He stuck to that for a few month, other than when having a growth spurt. Oh, he also has acid reflux to the point where he stopped breathing a few times ( no fun), but that has been sorted out on Meds. After about 4 months, he suddenly started throwing a 6 hour daytime nap in the mix. He was still sleeping all night, and waking him was just not a good idea for our sanity! This decreased at 6 months. I would do a dream feed at around midnight or 1, and he slept all night like a dream.
    I went back to work at 6 months, and dad is home with him. Baby immediately went on a daytime nap strike. When I got home, he wanted to be cuddled and fed/nursed, and immediately went to sleep for several hours, waking for an hour or two, and then going to bed for the night. We dropped the dream feed about a month ago.
    Now, he is showing quite a lot of seperate on anxiety, teething, and has a cold-poor guy!
    Over the last week, he has decided he does not want to sleep. Period. He will not let me cradle him for a cuddle, and even humming his usual lullaby causes screaming. Once asleep, he has good naps, and sleeps through the night.( I had surgery on my hand last week, which makes it hard to hold him and lift him-he is 25 lbs!)
    I don’t want to put him in his crib and just let him scream. I know he has some separation anxiety right now. So, I am trying a routine of reading a story, dancing with him a bit, as he doesn’t want to rock, and then putting him down. I sit in the rocking chair in his room, and don’t talk or say anything for about a minute. Then I lay him back down, if necessary, reassure him that he is just having a sleep, and sit back down. I add a minute each time to about 3-4 min, and then stick to that interval for reassuring him. He takes between 10-20 min to stop screaming and fall asleep.
    I just need some reassurance that I am doing the right thing, and that this is probably just a phase!

  70. Hi there, I need help. My 9 month old has become a terrible sleeper. He was great before, would go to sleep on his own no problem. I’ve rocked him to sleep only 3 times before, and it’s only worked because he’s been hysterically tired. He uses a pacifier. It feels like the last few months he’s started waking up in the night and his naps are horrendous. He’s still taking 3, and yesterday 2 of them took an hour for him to get down, and then he only slept maybe 45 mins. I’m sure he’s stuck in an overtired cycle that I can’t break him out of. And he’s inconsolable when he’s trying to go for naps. I can pick him up but he just pushes with all his might to get down. He rolls and is now standing in his crib. If I leave the room, he loses his mind (which he is doing now-going on an hour ten), and I can’t help him. I don’t know how to fix this.

  71. Hello, I feel your pain! My daughters just about 8 months and it’s a struggle now for her to stay/ go back to sleep on her own. She’s always been a fussy High strung baby but at about 4 months would sleep 4-6 hour stretches. Bed at 7-8 then sleep (2-3 feedings during night) to 7 ish. Now at almost 8 months it’s all gone downhill. She’s completely drained and ready for bed at 6, wakes at 10&12, stays awake til 2 ish, wakes at 430 ish, I either fight her to go back to sleep at that point or were up for a very fussy day. She doesn’t eat well during the day so I refuse to wean her at night ( shes too stubborn any way) I believe she’s waking up to eat because she is hungry but I try and try and cannot get her to eat more during the day. She is definitely teething and has some tummy issues. Just thought I’d share just in case someone else is going through this, when I’m up for hours at night trying to get her to sleep I enjoy reading these 😄 I should also add I’m going to try a new bedtime routine and maybe later bedtime? She is formula fed and on solids, 2-3 naps during the day but fights me 90% of the time because she can stand in crib now and wants to be awake 😄 I’ve been on my own with her at night since 6 weeks old due to my husbands work schedule. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  72. Hi, I was wondering I have a 11 month old who hates sleep, he won’t take naps and when he does finally fall a sleep he only sleeps a few minutes and that is it for him cannot lay him down for another nap. When bed time comes he’ll scream and cryjjust fight going to bed but once I do get him to sleep again he’ll wake I can’t get my baby to seep been like this since he was born I was hoping he would grow out of it but now he’s almost a year.

  73. HELP!! My son is nearly 11 months old and will not sleep.
    He has a nap for about a hour around 11am then maybe another around 3pm for about 20mins then he is awake till about 8.30 when i put him down in his cot.
    Proberly sleeps till 2-3am then wakes and wont go back to sleep till 5-5.30 which my alarm goes off at 6.30am so i can get my other children up and ready for school,then the whole day starts again!!!

    Help please as he has really bad seperation issues and spends his time awake crying and holding onto my leg all day.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Check out the Sleeping Through the Night series above as I’m pretty confident that’s the root problem for you guys. Not easy to sort out for sure but DEFINITELY worth the effort. I’m guessing it all boils down to how he falls asleep at bedtime. Is he clingy? Probably but I’m guessing that a lot of the separation issues are related to sleep deprivation. So if you can make things better on that front, the clingy stuff will abate.

      – Read those 3 posts (see above)
      – Gradually start pushing bedtime back (if he’s waking at 3:30 PM he probably will do better with a bedtime closer to 7:30 PM)
      – Changing what happens at bedtime should make dramatic improvement in his being awake between 3-5 AM.
      – If his bedtime does get moved to 7:30 PM his real wake time should probably be around 6:30 AM. You might want to start waking him when you get up so that you can reset his schedule so his night sleep is less disjointed.

      Try all this for 5 days before you give up. You can do this!

      • Hi Alexis,
        I read your sleep guide and thought it had great information. I have a 10 month old little boy. He was born under weight (not preemie). He is growing and developing as he should. Since, he was a month old he has been on a schedule. He goes to bed between 7:30-8:30pm. We put him in the crib with his white noise and some toys and let him fall asleep by himself. He sleeps until 11-12pm and then wakes up and has 5-6oz bottle. We change his diaper and he goes back to sleep immediately. Then he wakes up again between 4-5am to feed and then he has 3-4oz bottle. We change his diaper and he goes back to sleep until 7-7:30. My question to you is, “is this normal behavior?” because he still underweight for his age (but normal giving the birth circumstances) I feel that he needs those bottles, but on the other hand I don’t want to promote a routine that could be detrimental to him later. Please advise us!

  74. Hi I have 9 month old baby girl who have is sleep though the night. She sleep in around 8 pm and get up around 11 pm then after the bottle feeds she usually get up around 3 am then 7 at morning, I think Bc of hungry and she just does. Not have skill to go back sleep her own? What should I do ??

    • Chen,

      I’m guessing the root issue is her falling asleep with a bottle at 8 PM. You don’t say this but it’s a strong guess. Change how she falls asleep – remove the bottle from your bedtime routine. This establishes the basis for night weaning. Once that has happened you can start gently reducing the amount of formula she gets during the night – make bottles smaller by 1 oz every night. But the key is to change what is happening at bedtime first. Good luck!

      • I do not get it. What do I need to do ! She usual get up and eats 4 oz is she is not eat no sleep at night and she cry

        • Hey Chen,

          What I’m suggesting is that if your daughter is taking a bottle NEAR or AT her bedtime this behavior is going to establish a “bottle=sleep” association for her. If she has this association (and I believe she does) your attempt to not give her a bottle at night is going to result in crying. If you want to wean off the night bottle you need to first remove the bottle portion of your bedtime routine. After you’ve made that change you’ll have more success not giving her a bottle in the middle of the night.

          good luck!

  75. Help! Ok my son is a ball of awesome who is slowly trying to kill me via sleep deprivation! He’s 11 month old, he is highly active and has been walking since 8 month. He’s a very independent kid who can easily play on his own and does not need or have time for lots of cuddle in the daytime! BUT ten kid has had the same sleep schedule his entire life! He goes to bed at 8 after bath singing dim light and white noise and bottle. He the. Wakes up at 12,3,6 and finally at 830 for the day. THIS IS EVERY NIGHT. He eats finger foods and is taking 2 naps a day one at 12 for about an hour and one at 3 for about 2 hours sometimes on terrible days 3 naps. He drinks a bottle at 3 am and 6 am at night. He won’t get comfortable and continue sleep with a full diaper he still gets changed 1-2 times a night because he’s like a camel. He doesn’t wkae up and party but he does wake up and he is angry about it then get what he needs an dna k to zzz land! We have tried cry it out both in intervals and cold turkey and it was ww3! Last attempt he cried 2 hours and was so hysterical he started puking and it took me another 2 hours to calm him back down. He was hysterical to say the least. In intervals I got him to sleep but he still woke at his “scheduled” times every night. I am at my wits end! I don’t know what to do but I do know I need sleep!

  76. Hello,

    We have an 11.5 month old who has been consistently taking two naps (8:30-10 am – sometimes 10:30, and 12:30-1:30 – sometimes 2) for 4 months now. Note that she wakes between 5:30-6:30 am.

    Over the past week her morning nap has been from 8:30-11 am and she has been refusing her afternoon nap. She routinely goes to bed at 6pm but we have been putting her down between 5-5:30 because she is completely exhausted by this time.

    We tried capping her morning nap at 10:15 am today but her afternoon nap resulted in a lot of tears and was only 30 minutes.

    Struggling to figure out if she is ready to begin transitioning to one nap or if this is just a phase. Please help!!

    • Hi Julie,
      My son is 10 months old as of yesterday. He has been on a schedule since his first month of birth. I follow the Mom’s On Call suggested schedule for his age group. They say that they should have 2 naps that are 1-1 1/2 hours long. The third nap is a 30-45 min nap if they need it. Sometimes he takes his third nap and sometimes he doesn’t. I think she might be sleeping too much on her naps. Try keeping the naps less than 2 hours and gently wake her up. Then give her a little snack and play time. It also sound like she could use the third short nap. I hope this helps! Good Luck!

  77. Hi Lady! You are awesome!! I was referred to your site when my now 18 month old was 4months. I find myself coming back every now and then when I’m in a sleep pickle. Anyway now that daylight savings has shown it’s nasty face my 18 month old is refusing his nap. He goes down for the night at 7:30 and wakes about 6:30-7:00 and naps at noon. He used to be great at napping. not a peep. But now he is yelling and crying. He has been crying for 30 minutes now, not hysterically or I would have gone in there but he seems mad. He is yelling and crying. I need suggestions…. PLEAsE!? THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR WONDERFUL SUGGESTIONS AND INSIGHT!

    • Well I fear I will seem far less awesome when I tell you that there is no magic insight here! His body clock will take time to adjust to the “new” naptime. You could experiment with pushing it back slightly – to say 12:30 PM. This is also probably hampered by the fact that many kids have a sleep regression around 18 months. So really the secret sauce is to just keep calm and carry on.

  78. Hi, we did CIO around 5 months with our 10 month old, and it worked great. After that, we all started sleeping in the night, she wasn’t up at 5 when my husband got up for work anymore, etc.

    She is now 10 months. She’s up between 7 and 8 in the morning, goes down for her first nap at 10ish. That goes fine. She sleeps for an hour and a half to two hours.

    She will NOT go to sleep on her own for her afternoon nap (2:30ish). For a long time, I have just been rocking her to sleep for that nap, and it worked fine. Now, when I lay her down in her crib (after 20ish minutes of her sleeping in my arms to make sure she’s cycled through to a deep sleep) she just wakes up.
    Sometimes she’s fine till bedtime (7:00) but lots of the time she’s grumpy for the rest of the day.

    Ideally, I would like her to go down on her own for this second nap as well, but more than that, I just want her to sleep longer.

    Are my expectations too high? Is 20 minutes a reasonable amount of time for a second nap for a 10 month old?

  79. My 11 month old goes down very easily and consistently at 7pm. He had been sleeping until 6:15-6:30 without question but for the past month he’s been waking up around 5:00a. He naps really well at 9a and 2p, usually for 1.5-2 hours each nap. I’ve tried waking him up early from the naps, and I’ve tried not going in to him in the morning, but nothing seems to help him sleep past 5a. Sometimes if I leave him to play/whine for 30-45min he will go back to sleep, but I’m worried this is messing up his sleep for the day. Is this just our new reality or is he trying to tell me to change something up and I’m not getting the message?

  80. My daughter nevaeh just will not go to sleep at all I tried letting her play nothing try letting her cry it out nothing I even tried toys and the warm bottle I tried rocking her as well nothing what should I do to get her down please help me

  81. Who all can give me advise on how to make a baby boy

  82. Who all can give me advise on how to get her down who all did exsepect to have a kid when u did

  83. How do I get my 10.5 month old baby girl to sleep with out her fighting sleepiness and just fall asleep with out all the fussiness my wife and I have huge trouble getting asleep

  84. So my 12.5 month old is allergic to sleep. Here’s the deal he has had 8 ear infections in 6 months we just got tubes 11 days ago. I was thinking this might help but no such luck. He wakes up between 5am and 7am. He takes two naps for 1-1.5 hours each at 9am and 1p mostly and goes to bed at 7:30. For the most part he now nurses to sleeps at nap and bedtime. I would like to be done with nursing but it’s the only tool that works. He is up every 2 hours sometimes more at night and nurses back to sleep. He use to go to sleep awake. He has never slept more than 4 hours. He doesn’t take a bottle or a pasifier. He has a lovey but not really attached to it. He just started walking so as soon as he gets up he stands in the corner of his crib. He had a sound machine and dark room. Oh and the mostly lovely part if I try to let him cry it out. Like let him cry for 2 hours (cause I have) he gets so worked up he pukes all over himeself. Any help, support and/or suggestions are greatly needed and appreciated.

  85. Hi! I love your website thank you! I have a question as to whether my 11month son’s sleep is normal/ok/enough… he often only has 2 short naps in the day (45mins) but always goes to bed easily by 7pm and usually sleeps through to at least 6am waking once around 10pm for a feed. Is there more I should be doing or are we on track? That is the ‘norm’ but over the last couple of weeks he was struggling with his morning sleep so I resorted to driving him to sleep (and him only getting 20mins) and then the nights deteriorated quite drastically. I think a big heap of separation anxiety kicked in which triggered it so I’m just wanting to know the best things I can do to get him the sleep he needs. Is it more important to have regular times for day sleeps or should I wait for ‘tired signs’…? And if he wakes after a short time in a day sleep how long do I leave him before getting him up? He usually starts bawling and not resettling (just tried leaving him to cry for about 45mins, he didn’t go back to sleep and I couldn’t handle it, now he’s up and happy?!). Aaah lots of questions sorry, but any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks :)

  86. Hi Alexis,

    Question: Our previous amazing sleeper (thanks to your advice), has just learned to pull-to-stand and suddenly cannot go to sleep on his own anymore. We follow his routine, bath, bottle, book, dark room with white noise and he rubs his eyes (his normal sleepy cue), and we sing his goodnight song and as we leave the room, he stands up and starts screaming. He has occasionally fussed for less than 10 minutes before falling asleep, but this is a whole new thing. The only way we can get him to sleep at night is to stay in the room and rub his back/redirect him from trying to stand until he falls asleep. Naps are a disaster and barely happening. He has never co-slept, but the only way I can get him to nap is to bring him into the bed. Otherwise, it’s just him standing in his crib, screaming.

    Any advice on this transition? We successfully used your swing method from 8 weeks old and his has been an amazing sleeper since that time.


  87. I got these for my little ones, and it worked wonders! Highly recommended

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