Baby Sleep at 9-12 months

Baby Sleep Patterns

By Vandita Rajesh

At 9 months most babies are able to drop one nap and be active with just 2 naps.

Total sleep needed is about 12-15 hours in a 24 hours period.

Sleep Requirements 9-to-12 Month Old Babies

Nighttime Sleep

Naps

Number of naps

10-12 hours

2-3 hours

2 naps

 Sample Sleep Schedule

Wake up

Nap 1

Nap 2

Bedtime

7 am

9 am to 10 am

1 pm to 3 pm

7 pm

Around 9 months of age, your baby may experience pain or discomfort arising from teething or working through developmental changes such as crawling and walking. These are big projects in the life of a baby and it will lead to increased waking. The best way to help your baby cope with this to use the calming and soothing methods that you have used in the past. For teething related issues, it may be a wise idea to talk to your pediatrician and find a solution for your baby to cope with teething discomfort.

To help you get organized through out the day and ensure that your baby is getting sufficient sleep you could try the 2-3-4 nap pattern. The 2-3-4 nap pattern follows a general rule, which is, to time the naps based on when the baby wakes up each time from sleep. See below-

  1. The 1st nap will be 2 hours after the baby wakes up.
  1. The 2nd nap will then be 3 hours after the baby wakes up from the 1st nap.
  1. The bedtime will then be 4 hours after the baby wakes up from the 2nd nap.

Example Nap Schedule 1

Wake up

Nap 1

Nap 2

Bedtime

6 am

8 am to 9 am

12 pm to 2 pm

6 pm

Example Nap Schedule 2

Wake up

Nap 1

Nap 2

Bedtime

7:30 am

9:30 am to 11 am

2 pm to 3:30 pm

7 pm

The 2-3-4 nap pattern is great to use if your little one needs only 2 naps. If you feel that 2 naps are insufficient and baby needs more naps, then you may need to squeeze in a small catnap for about 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Some babies around 7 to 8 months will also follow this pattern of 2 naps with an energizing catnap. The time spent in catnaps are also valid rest time in the daytime sleep period.

There are babies who may not completely fit into the 2-3-4 nap pattern. Some may to 3-3.5-3 schedules depending on their energy levels. Based on the needs of your baby, you may need to tweak the sleep time in order to ensure that your munchkin gets enough rest.

Example Nap Schedule 3

Wake up

Nap 1

Nap 2

Bedtime

7:30 am

10:30 am to 12 noon

3pm to 4 pm

7:30 pm

    These nap patterns are especially good because it prevents babies from being overtired and get the that much needed sleep to enhance their learning and memory. If you are able to catch the sleep cues on time you will be able to quickly get the baby to nap and follow the nap schedule. Usually crying and extreme restlessness is an indication that the baby is overly tired.  

    Notes for Mothers:

    Tumbling: As babies become more adept at crawling or cruising around there is a possibility that they may tumble off the bed. It is a good time to reconsider the sleeping arrangement.

    • If your bed is too high consider lowering it to prevent falls.
    • You may use folded blankets or light mattress around the bed to cushion any accidents.
    • You can just put your mattress on the floor; an option many mothers have used in the past to safeguard their babies from falls.
    • If there are cracks or gaps between the mattress and bed frame use towels or blankets to fill in the gaps.

    Nursing Strikes: Many babies suddenly resist nursing and this can be a huge source of stress for mothers. Babies may become more playful and stop nursing during the daytime. Mastering the milestones and dealing with teething related discomfort, can make it hard for babies to nurse or feed from a bottle. Most babies will however, nurse when they are drowsy and catch up on nursing during the night. Usually, it is a temporary phase and like most things it will pass.

    Pretending to Sleep: Yes, many mothers use this technique to coax their highly active baby to settle down. On days when your baby will not rest this is a good option. Often babies will try to wake you up and try to convince you to play or nurse them in order to avoid sleep. Patting your face, crawling over you, calling you, trying to open your eyelids are some of the cute ways your baby will try to wake you up. It is incredibly hard to control your laughter at this point. But it may work to just be still, breathe slowly, and pretend you are fast asleep. Worth a shot!

    Featured Image Credit: Juan Encalada @juan.encalada

    Sleep recommendations: National Sleep Foundation

    The author is a public health professional with expertise in child development, epidemiology, and behavioral science.


    Older Post Newer Post


    Leave a comment