How do you get your 9 month old to sleep?(30 Posts)
Mine just screams his head off every evening & it's breaking my heart
He won't feed to sleep, won't self settle (although does for naps no problem). Rocking doesn't work as he then keeps waking regularly. We've tried shh ing him with mixed success, patting which he hates.
What else is there to try? Once he's off he's generally ok but getting him down is a nightmare.
Just a quick update.
We changed naps to 2.5hrs max & shortened the bedtime routine & it's helped massively! Goes off in 10-15mins instead of 3hrs.
Thanks all, so nice to have an evening again --please, please let it last--
DS will shout at me a fair bit which I ignore. He developed a protest cry at 6 months, which was the first time he properly cried really and I ignore that too at night.
Then a month or so ago he started hysterically screaming. It's odd as he's not a cry-ie type baby, never has been. Everyone used to laugh at his cry because you could hardly hear him.
I think the cold thing is spot on. If anything he's too hot went he goes down after all the screaming. He then wakes in the night due to the cold. I put an extra blanket on him around 3am but he's a wriggler so it last about 5 mins.
Pleased I'm not the only one to struggle with over/under tiredness. DS was so overtired sometimes as a newborn he was almost running in the spot. The shear awfulness of those days probably means I've totally over compensated.
I've been thinking of taking the bath out of the equation. He loves it but getting him into his PJ's afterward is a wrestling match. It's not relaxing for either of us and would be a relief to drop it tbh.
DS is a pretty good eater and not adverse to a bit of spinach. My little popeye. We did co-sleep for a while but stopped when he started sticking his fingers up my nose at 3am
What worked for DS was leaving him to self settle once we'd got a really predictable bedtime routine in place. He used to feed to sleep and then that stopped working and it was the end of the world! But I read the tizzie hall book (save our sleep) and loads of it is bollocks but I'll save you £12 by telling you the two things that were useful:
1) leave them to it. Get bedtime routine sorted so they know exactly what's happening next, make sure they are winded, warm and cosy etc and put them in the cot and shut the door. Only go in if they properly cry, If they do angry shouting, leave them alone. I had a lightbulb moment when I realised that the shouting noise DS made meant that he was going to sleep, it was the noise he made in the car and the pushchair just before he dropped off. Even now if he's struggling to settle, there's a particular shouting cry he does that means he's just about to drop off. I used to interpret that as distress and try and comfort him, which then meant he'd scream because he wanted me to leave him alone. You can't bloody win with babies.
2) babies often wake up because they are cold.
Bring the bath forward to some time in the afternoon. Eliminate it from bedtime. Some babies are simulated and not relaxed by bathtime and it gives them a second wind.
I once nannied for a baby who went down for long naps (about 4 hours total every day) and then slept all night 7 to 7 even at 8/9 months. She was a fantastic eater too -- gobbled up all her homemade pureed food, even spinach. Did my own babies ever achieve such feats of eating or sleeping? Not a single one. With the baby I nannied for, the trick was to watch out for signs of sleep and then put her down and leave the darkened room so she could settle. With my own, I ended up settling on 9 pm for bedtime, with quiet reading and cuddling up to then, and a gentle bedtime routine that did not include a bath. Still took a while for them to settle but there was hardly ever much screeching. For the most part I opted for co-sleeping though.
Fwiw I had terrible trouble with DS1 at that age. I thought he was over tired. Turns out he was not tired at all. I cut out either one nap is shortened both (I can't remember) but it worked a treat.
All sounds very familiar pickled unfortunately. I let DH do the honours this eve as I couldn't face it. He went down in 45 mins which is a massive improvement. I know it's only one night but really hoping we're onto something with the new nap schedule.
I've no idea what DH's trick is, possibly that it's simply someone other than me. When we work it out, I'm going to write a book about it and make millions
DD rarely sleeps more than an hour for naps and generally only 30mins, twice maybe 3 times a day but I've no idea what the ideal nap times are. We just go by when she seems tired.
She's usually shattered by 4pm and often has a nap then but is still tired by 5pm. Always in bed by 6pm. Sometimes earlier. Sometimes she's awake again at 8pm. But we don't always get obvious sleep signals until it's too late.
I'm very envious of those with babies that can be shush-patted or left in the cot without exploding. No chance here, no matter what we do. Hold/rock her, she screams, scratches and pinches me. Put her in the cot, she screams. It's horrible. It's the same for naps.
I hope you find a solution.
DS has his bath between 5.30 and 5.45 regardless (although I try to ensure that he never sleeps past 3pm, if we're driving around after tea I either sit DS in the front and sing to him all the way home or I sit in the back with him poking him to keep him awake!).
His routine goes like this:
5.15-formula and yoghurt downstairs in front of ceebeebies!
5.30-upstairs for bath. Straight into pajamas in our bedroom, we say goodnight to all the other rooms and turn the lights off one after the other, then into his room with the lights all dim, quick breastfeed and bed.
Bedtime takes around 25mins ish at the mo. Rarely get any tired signs tbh which made me think he's not tired enough...but I don't know now!
Should I just set a bedtime & put him down regardless of when he woke from his nap? if you could give an example of a short bedtime routine it would useful
Yes, I would agree. I would say that if you're actually waiting for sleepy signs, it's too late by then.
Another thing that might work is ruthlessly shortening the bedtime routine, it sounds like it's taking quite a long time, and maybe he's overtired by the time he actually goes to sleep...?
Great, ok so it's looking like too much day sleep then. I'll cut his naps down and see if it helps.
Feeling slightly gutted, I waited 4-5 months for him to finally do these long naps everyone talks about. Can't believe I'm going to start waking him up!
Bedtime routine is bath, feed, quiet play whilst waiting for yawn/eye rubs, into grow bag singing same song, same book, cuddle, bed. He does have a comforter that he flings round the cot for a couple if hours before sucking it to sleep.
I do the exact same for day naps (minus bath obv) and he goes down in 5-10 mins. Twice a week ish he'll go this easily at night, so naps could well be the variable. I do think separation anxiety is part of it, though he doesn't have it during the day..?
I'll start stretching the naps out slowly. Would be great if he started going a bit longer between sleeps.
If anyone has more thoughts on what might help it would be greatly appreciated
I think at that age dd had 30mins at 9.30am and then up to an hour after lunch. Any longer and she's be up mega early or take ages to get to sleep. She always has been good at going to sleep only as long as she's tired. Seems obvious but took a while for me to understand!
I would agree that there's too much daytime sleep. My general rule of thumb was 3 hours up before first nap and at least four hours clear before bedtime. I think an hour for each nap should be enough. But I never made hard fast rules. If my DD slept for an hour and half in the morning, then I'd just let her have half an hour for her second nap. Or sometimes it was 45 mins for each nap. But I found the four hours clear key at 9 months, otherwise she wasn't tired enough at bedtime.
Also what is your bedtime routine?
Sorry I should have said he usually has around 2.5-3 hours nap time in the day. 10-12 hours at night. May be I need to change this then?
What's the max awake time at this age? I had a terrible time with over tiredness at one point, so could have gone the other way.
I found it useful to introduce a couple of things to tell her it was time to sleep. First was a ritual of saying good night to objects in the room and a little lullaby - the same each time- as I zipped her into her sleeping bag. And the second was to introduce a comfort object, in our case a silky blanket, again only coming out at sleep time. These definitely help but don't solve everything
god I'm shattered
Just to add, my Dd generally sleeps 40-50 mins per nap, 2/3 times daily...with the very occasional 1.5 hour thrown in?! She does sometimes nap at 4ish, but I don't find this affects when she wants to go to bed - 6.45-7pm. If I tried keeping her awake she would be hellish from that point onward!!
(Didn't know if having a comparison would help...feel totally free to disregard!!)
Just to say this was a bad time for us, lo started sleeping better a few weeks later. I think it's a separation anxiety phase that fades. Doesn't help you now I know. Good luck
I'd second the too much daytime sleep... my ds is 7 months and has two naps of about an hour each and sleeps 12 hours at night between 5-5 (unfortunately he won't be budged on this bedtime but I'm not complaining!)
We do naps and bedtime exactly the same. I feed him in a chair next to hiscot in his room which is blacked out. He is still awake after this so I kiss his head and rock him softly a few times and then pop him down. From the min we enter the bedroom I don't say a single word to him at all so he knows its time to sleep.
When he was little I used to do the same thing and if he then cried etc I would go back, pick him up till he stopped and then put him down again. And repeat. When he seemed to be getting tired I'd pat him and stroke his head and walk out again. Never ever spoke to him etc.
I did the same with dd and she had the same sleep pattern.
That seems like quite a lot of daytime sleep to me (disclaimer-no expert, have just spent many hours on my phone googling stuff in the middle of the night!) DS is 8 months and apparently at this age they should sleep 14 hours out of every 24. If he has nearly 4 hours daytime sleep maybe he's not tired enough at bedtime? With DS I have to limit his daytime sleep to around 2 hours in total otherwise he doesn't settle. His routine looks like this-
6.30/7 - wake up
9 - nap of one hour max, usually 45 mins
1pm - nap of an hour and a quarter max.
6pm - bedtime
DS sucks his thumb and goes down awake but drowsy after a bedtime bf. if he feeds to sleep he usually wakes up screaming after exactly 35 minutes... Babies are very strange!
My DD is 9 months old also and I have just tried making the bedtime routine the same every night. At the first sign of tiredness we get the bath ready, little massage (not as often now she's mobile an can crawl away from my clutches!!), goodnight kisses, bottle in a darkened room then popped into her cot, usually awake and she drifts off (whether she remains that way is anyone's guess at the moment!!).
I try not to let her get too tired as she gets past it and I definitely find it harder to get her down.
Generally this works well for us, but I'm by no means a pro. We have had stages when she has hated being put into the cot, I've dealt with his by sitting with her, in her room and shush shushing until she's given in really?!
I hope this gets easier for you, I know how much it stresses me out...we NEED evenings to ourselves!! :-)
Loges..? Hours, 3 hrs to go to sleep
Daytime sleep generally looks like this...
7.15am - wake up
9.15am - nap (1hr-1hr 45mins)
1-2pm - nap (1hr-1hr 45mins)
6.30pm ish bed depending on when he woke from the last nap.
I won't let him sleep past 4pm or he'll never go down. It took almost 3 loges tonight. I had to semi restrain him on my lap in the end.
Pickled what does your DH do that works so well?!
I don't. I was just about to post a similar thread, as the only way I can get my 9mo DD to sleep is if DH puts her down (and then it takes about 3 mins flat ). I'm getting mightily cheesed off with it. I've no idea what the answer is, so can only share your pain.
I've not looked them up but assume supernanny's techniques are CC (from what I've seen of the TV show)?
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