9 Month Sleep Regression: Don’t Panic… Here’s What To Do

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 07/05/23 •  Sleep / Sleep Regressions

Baby suddenly fighting sleep? Being fussy? Struggling to settle? The 9 month sleep regression has arrived. Here’s what that means, and what exhausted parents need to know to get through it.

What Is The 9 Month Sleep Regression?

How Long Does The 9 Month Sleep Regression Last?

The 9 month sleep regression, like all sleep regressions, commonly lasts between 2 and 6 weeks depending on the trigger.

Causes Of The 9 Month Sleep Regression

There is not always one clear reason why your baby may be experiencing a sleep regression but at 9 months old there is a lot going on in your baby’s world that can cause sleep disruption.

Check out these causes of the 9 month sleep regression and see if you can identify any that may have occurred in your baby’s life recently:

Causes Of The 9 Month Sleep Regression
  1. Your baby is having a growth spurt! All that extra energy needed to grow can easily disrupt a well-established sleep pattern and trigger a 9 month sleep regression.
  2. They are reaching big physical milestones, mental leaps and emotional development milestones. From refining motor skills such as learning to crawl, and beginning to pull to stand, your baby is also becoming increasing aware of the world around them and all that extra brain and body activity will require more sleep.
  3. You have changed baby’s environment. Moving house, going on holiday or visiting family overnight can all trigger a sleep regression.
  4. Baby’s daily routine has changed. Any major changes in routine could also upset an established sleep schedule such as starting daycare, parents returning to work or the primary caregiver changing.
  5. Your baby is experiencing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is also very common at this age and it will make it difficult for your baby to fall asleep and can cause them to become distressed when they wake up in the night and discover you’re not with them.
  6. They’re teething. If your baby is experiencing pain due to teething their sleep is very likely to be disrupted for a short while and although this is not a true sleep regression in itself, it may trigger one. Investing in a natural teething toy can help soothe your baby resulting in helping them sleep better!
  7. They are dropping from 3 naps to 2. At this age, your baby will be able to stay awake for longer periods of time and may need less sleep during the day. Most 9 months old babies sleep between 12-16 hours in a 24 hour period with 10-12 hours of sleep at night and the rest over in 2-3 daytime naps. However, transitioning from the 3 naps to 2 naps a day can trigger a 9-month sleep regression as you try to balance the correct amount of daytime sleep with nighttime sleep.
  8. Your baby is unwell. Like teething, illness may cause a sleep disruption for a short period of time and although this is not a true sleep regression, sickness can trigger a brief one.
  9. Your baby is hungry. With all the increased physical activity that your 9 month old is now capable of they may need more calories to keep them going. This can result in them waking more often due to hunger so you need to keep an eye on their calorie intake during the day and especially in the evenings.

Is My Baby Really Going Through A 9 Month Sleep Regression?

If your 9 month old baby has been sleeping through the night most of the time but now their sleep habits and awake time have suddenly changed and they struggle to settle or fight sleep… Then it is more than likely they are going through a 9 month sleep regression.

9 Month Sleep Regression Featured image

9 Month Sleep Regression Signs

The signs to identify whether your baby is going through a 9 month sleep regression or not are:

Tips To Get Through The 9 Month Sleep Regression

Having worked with many families over the years, I have tried and tested many techniques to help parents and babies get through sleep regressions as quickly and painlessly as possible.


I’m not going to sugarcoat this.

Getting through a sleep regression is tough.

And I know that you’re so exhausted you can barely think straight…

I also know that the last thing you want to do is lose any more sleep…

But you need to persevere with your previously established routines and stick to your guns.

Because by sticking it out now, your baby will go back to their previous sleep routines much quicker and you won’t have to undo any bad sleep habits down the line once they have got through the regression.

Think of it like this: short-term pain for long-term gain.

So let’s get into my top tips to help you survive the 9 month old sleep regression:

9 Month Sleep Regression Tips

1. Establish A Healthy Bedtime And Nap Routine

If you have not established a consistent bedtime routine now is 100% the time to do so.

The benefits of a bedtime routine and having healthy sleep habits will make it easier for you to cope when your baby decides to fight sleep.

And by making it clear to your little one that the end of the day is marked by lowering the energy levels, getting into a cosy bedroom and following the same routine will give them all the right signals that bedtime is on the way.

2. Stick To Your Daily Routines

I cannot stress how much maintaining baby’s healthy daily and bedtime routines will help to keep you sane and keep their healthy development on track.

I know life gets in the way sometimes, but being super vigilant about nap times, meal times and bedtimes during a 9 month sleep regression will make your life so much easier during this time.

So, if you have to cancel a few plans over the coming weeks to ensure you’re at home for naps and bedtime, it will be worth it in the long run.

3. Have Lots Of Cuddles

Sleep regressions can sometimes make your little one feel insecure and offering extra cuddles and snuggle time will help comfort them as they navigate this tricky phase.

4. Watch For Hunger Being Nighttime Waking Trigger

It is very tempting to feed your baby in order to get them back to sleep… however, this is not a habit you want to continue.

Therefore, if your baby is experiencing a growth spurt, try introducing a dream feed before you go to bed to prevent extra nighttime waking and increase the length of time you breastfeed by a couple of minutes or increase bottle feeds by ½ ounce.

Ensure they are getting enough solid food during the day to support any growth spurt too.

5. Keep Nighttime Interactions Low-Key

If your little one wakes at night then it’s super important to keep your interactions low-key. Have the lights down low and do not chat to them.

A night light is a great investment for these nighttime interactions as it stops you from having to turn on a light when visiting them at night.

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Its gentle glow makes it the best night light for feeding baby, diaper changes, or comforting your little one back to sleep.

As your baby grows the Cozy Starry Night Light's starry sky projection can provide comfort and gentle quiet time stimulation. Its soft lighting ensures a dreamy, peaceful environment, supporting your baby’s natural sleep cycle.

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  • A USB adapter is not included for charging.
  • The star projector is static without motion (however, this is ideal for very young babies and toddlers).
  • Battery life varies based on the brightness settings.
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6. Try Not To Pick Up Your Baby Every Time They Wake

If your little one is waking more at night, try leaving them to fuss for a short time when they wake as it can result in them falling back to sleep without you having to go to them. If, however, they start to become distressed, you should go to them.

7. Teach Your Baby To Self-Settle

If you have not done so already try and teach your baby to self settle. Allow them to spend time in their cribs while they are awake and put them down whilst drowsy and not asleep.

This will also help baby to build strong sleep associations as they grow. Here’s a handy video to get you started.

8. Learn Your Baby’s Sleep Cues And Act On Them

During a sleep regression your baby may need more sleep during the day to make up for broken nights so keep a keen eye on their sleep cues and act on them.

Increased physical activity and ability can make your little one more tired than usual for a while. As they adjust to their new skills you will need to keep a close eye on sleep cues to avoid them becoming overtired.

9. Make Up For Poor Nighttime Sleep With Extra Naps During The Day

Let your baby sleep whenever they need to during the day to avoid them becoming overtired.

This comes with one condition: you don’t want baby to sleep too close to bedtime… Try and ensure baby has finished their nap between 3.5-4 hours before it is time to go to bed. This will ensure they are ready to go to bed on time and you won’t have a hyperactive baby to deal with.

10. Make Baby’s Sleep Space More Conducive To Sleep

Now your baby is older they will be more easily woken by sleep disturbances and noise. So, darken the bedroom using blackout blinds and use a nightlight as during a 9 month sleep regression your little one needs to be sleeping in a calm, dimly lit room.

Using a white noise machine can eliminate background noise from disturbing your baby’s sleep too. They will help to ensure that sudden changes in noise will have less of an impact on your sleeping baby.

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11. Help Your Baby Practice New Skills

During the day help your little one learn how to get down from standing so that if they pull to stand in their crib they are able to lie down again and go back to sleep. It is important that you give your baby plenty of opportunity to practice any new skills during wake times so that they are not desperate to do so when they should be sleeping.

12. Dress Your Baby In The Correct Sleep Gear

Ensure your baby is dressed appropriately for the time of year so they are not too hot or too cold. I find sleeping bags like these are the best for this age group combined with the GroEgg room thermometer.

Tommee Tippee GroBags

Another great sleepwear range with sleeping bags to suit all ages and seasons. The easy to follow tog guide used in conjunction with the GroEgg room thermometer will give you peace of mind that you have chosen the perfect sleep attire for your little one.

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GRO-Egg Room Thermometer

Offering peace of mind at a glance, the wonderful GRO-Egg changes colour with the temperature of a room. A yellow glow means a safer temperature for children to sleep in which also doubles up as a gentle nightlight for your baby!

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How Will I Know When The 9 Month Sleep Regression Is Over?

Once your little one starts to sleep for longer periods at night and is taking 2 naps consistently, you can then breathe a sigh of relief that this sleep regression has passed.

This will usually coincide with them having fully mastered any new skill they were learning.

Here’s what to expect from your 9 month old’s day and sleep schedule:

9 Month Old Sleep Schedule Sample

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About The 9 Month Sleep Regression

Looking for more information about the 9 month sleep regression? Check out the most commonly asked questions here.

How Can You Care For Yourself During A 9 Month Sleep Regression?

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are finding it tough to be consistent with sleep routines and nap times, just hang in there knowing that the 9 month sleep regression is a passing phase.

However, there are things you can do to help the regression pass more quickly and avoid developing long-lasting unwanted sleep habits… so take time to rest when you can and enlist the help of family and friends to get through this difficult period.

If you are feeling very tired and overwhelmed, then put your little one somewhere safe, such as a playpen or crib, and make yourself a cup of tea and have a 5-minute break. You will be in a better place to deal with things if you do.

Does The 9 Month Sleep Regression Affect Naps?

Yes, a 9 month sleep regression will affect nap times as well as nighttime sleep. Resisting naps and not napping for as long as normal is a common sign of a sleep regression.

How Much Sleep Do 9 Month Olds Need?

On average your 9 month old will need 14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. The bulk of this will be taken at night with the rest taken over 2 naps during the day.

Why is My 9 Month Old Waking at Night?

If your 9 month old is suddenly staring to wake at night they could be experiencing a sleep regression. Other reasons may be teething, illness or hunger.

Do All Babies Experience A 9 Month Sleep Regression?

No, not all babies will experience a 9 month sleep regression. They may have already had one or they may have missed previous ones and are now experiencing a sleep regression for the first time due to any of the reasons listed above.

Is The 9 Month Sleep Regression The Worst?

Any sleep regression is unsettling for parents and the severity and length of time it lasts will vary from child to child and depend on the trigger.

Between the ages of 8-10 month sleep regressions are very common as there is a lot going on such as huge developmental leaps (pulling to stand and crawling), as well as strong separation anxiety coming into play, plus you may also be adjusting sleep routines from 3 naps to 2…

All of these can make this particular sleep regression tricky to handle.

Why Is My 9 Month Old Suddenly Not Sleeping?

If your 9 month old has been sleeping beautifully and suddenly has frequent night wakings and resisting sleep in general this usually means they have hit a sleep regression.

This can be due to a number of triggers including a growth spurt, teething or achieving a developmental milestone.

While you should always rule out any illness that may be affecting your little one if all is well then you should deal with your little one’s nighttime waking as a sleep regression and follow the tips listed above.

When Do I Need To Talk To A Doctor About The 9 Month Sleep Regression?

If you are unsure if your baby’s change in sleep patterns is due to a sleep regression, watch for the following signs. If they are present then you should consult a doctor:

Can You Do Sleep Training When Your Baby Is Going Through A 9 Month Sleep Regression?

I would NOT recommend doing any sleep training during a 9 month sleep regression unless the regression transfers into a permanent change in sleeping habits.

There is too much going on to change more of your baby’s environment, so just follow the tips I have outlined above and you should get through the regression without undoing your hard work of creating healthy sleep habits.

How To Handle Minor Sleep Regressions That Come With Teething

Your baby may be experiencing a minor 9 month sleep regression due to teething. This interruption to their normal sleep pattern should last no longer than 8 days in total.

Read these posts to help you get through a teething blip without losing any sleep:

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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