Nine months is an age full of new milestones with your baby trying out so many new skills. Let me share frequent questions I get about nine month old nap schedules, wake windows, sleep regressions, and more.
What are 9 month old wake windows? How long can my 9 month old stay awake?
At nine months old, your baby’s wake windows range from 2.5-3.5 hours. You’ll notice wake windows are shorter in the morning (between 2.5-3 hours) but get longer later in the day (3-3.5 hours).
Here’s what your daily routine will look like based on those 9 month wake windows:
About 2.5–3 hours after Wake Time = Nap 1
About 3 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2
About 3-3.5 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Bedtime
What is a sample schedule for a 9 month old?
When thinking about a schedule for your baby, remember that it can look different every day since it depends on those wake windows, nap lengths, and feedings. This sample below is just one way a day could play out as you’re responsive to your baby’s needs.
In this schedule, you’ll notice the first wake window is about 2 hours and 50 minutes, and the second wake window is 3 hours. But after the last nap of the day, they’re able to stretch that wake window to 3.5 hours until bedtime.
Text version of table
|6:40 am||Feeding (breast/bottle)|
|7:20 am||Breakfast (solids)|
|9:10 am||Feeding (breast/bottle)|
|9:20-11:20 am||Nap 1|
|12:10 pm||Feeding (breast/bottle)|
|12:40 pm||Lunch (solids)|
|2:20-3:30 pm||Nap 2|
|3:40 pm||Feeding (breast/bottle)|
|5:00 pm||Dinner (solids)|
|6:40 pm||Feeding (breast/bottle)|
How many naps should my 9 month old take? How much daytime sleep is best for a 9 month old?
Our goal for total daytime sleep at nine months old is 2.5-3.5 hours divided between 2 naps.
To help promote good sleep, no single nap should go longer than 2 hours. Here’s why:
Keeping naps under 2 hours makes sure your baby has enough active awake time to be ready for sleep.
Capping naps at 2 hours supports your nine month old getting enough calories during the day to help sleep through the night.
Limiting naps to 2 hours or less helps keep bedtime between 7:00 and 8:00 pm.
If your nine month old is struggling to get at least 2.5 hours of daytime sleep, my class – Conquering Naps – can help. It will give you the tools you need to set your little one up for consistent, consolidated naps.
Why does my 9 month old wake up crying?
The short answer: it depends. Some babies are fussy wakers. If your nine month old calms down in the first few minutes and is content throughout their wake window, this “fussy waking” could truly just be part of their personality. Think about how you wake up: Do you need to drink a cup of coffee before starting your day? Or do you spring out of bed ready to take on the morning? You have a “waking” personality just like your baby!
On the other hand, if the crying continues for more than about 10-15 minutes, this could be because they’re overtired, whether that’s an issue of not sleeping through the night, early morning wakings, or short naps. If you need a plan for more restful sleep, my 5-24 Month Collection will walk you step-by-step through a completely customizable, holistic approach to great days and nights.
What are some 9 month old developmental milestones?
At nine months old, your baby is probably starting to:
Have multiple facial expressions to show happy, sad, surprised, and angry
Look at you when you call their name
Lift their arms to be picked up
Look for things when they fall or go out of sight
Sit without support
Use their fingers to “rake” things towards themselves (like food or toys)
All baby milestones are based on ranges, so don’t be surprised if your baby hits these milestones a touch before or after 9 months. If you have any concerns, make sure to speak with your pediatrician.
Expert tip: If your baby has started to pull up to standing, make sure your crib mattress is at its lowest setting. Read my Safe Sleep Checklist for more room safety tips.
What are some activities to do with a 9 month old?
There are many fun activities you can do with your nine month old. Here are a few ideas:
Play peekaboo games to help them learn object permanence.
Give them lots of practice with standing up and plopping down on their bum with an activity center (this one has toys, music, and supported standing).
Have a ball pit for fun grabbing balls and practicing sitting on their own.
Build a small tower and allow your baby to knock over the blocks to see where they fall. They may even try to crawl or pull themselves toward the tumbled blocks.
Read books – like Baby Faces, which helps your baby learn facial expressions.
Let your baby flip light switches on and off in different rooms or turn the sink faucet on and off and play in the water. Bonus: this one is great for stretching a wake window!
How much night sleep does a 9 month old need?
A nine month old needs 10-12 hours of night sleep and about 2.5-3.5 hours of daytime sleep divided between 2 naps.
Often babies on the lower end of the range for night sleep are on the higher end of the range for daytime sleep. And babies on the higher end of the range for night sleep are on the lower end of the range for nap sleep. Our goal is for your baby to get around 13-15 hours of total sleep in a 24-hour period.
What time should my 9 month old go to bed?
The best bedtime for helping your nine month old to fall asleep and stay asleep is between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. If your baby is going to bed after 8:00 pm and is doing well, there’s no need to change it. But, if your night owl is fighting sleep, having more false start bedtimes, and/or experiencing more night wakings or early morning wakings – it could be tied to that later bedtime. Consider shifting bedtime just a bit earlier for the next few weeks to see if that helps!
You may also need to adjust your baby’s bedtime earlier than 7:00 pm on days when their sleep doesn’t go as planned. Consider moving bedtime earlier if any of the following happens:
Your nine month old took short naps and/or their naps were interrupted.
Your baby’s last nap of the day was short, or they refused to take it.
Your baby has had a wake window of at least 3 hours but just won’t make it to 7:00 pm.
Your nine month old woke up before 6:00 am
What is a good bedtime routine for a 9 month old?
A great way to establish bedtime success is to have a bedtime routine for your baby. But I want you to remember that a bedtime routine doesn't have to be complicated. It’s simply a way to cue your baby’s brain that it’s time for sleep. It can look like this:
Sing a lullaby
Here are a few other ideas to consider for your routine:
Nine months is a great time to add reading to your bedtime routine. Research shows that reading as part of bedtime increases night sleep.
Consider a sleep sack as part of your bedtime routine. Sleep sacks are a safe way to keep your baby warm and work as a cue that sleep is coming.
Parents: Baths can be a good way to help your baby sleep, BUT it’s not necessary to bathe your baby every night. Each family is different, and a daily bath may or may not work for the rhythm of your family’s schedule or be best for your baby.
Is there a 9 month sleep regression? How long does the 9 month sleep regression last?
Yes, we often see a regression around 9 months. It typically lasts a few weeks, and consistency in your baby’s routines and your approach to sleep are key to moving through it faster. Try not to introduce any new sleep habits you aren’t willing to maintain: new habits can cause long-term struggles after the regression is over.
How do I stop my 9 month old from waking in the night?
If your baby is suddenly waking in the middle of the night, first check for any physical concerns – like sickness or teething – that may cause a change in sleep.
If you’ve ruled these out, there can be many other reasons your nine month old may not be sleeping through the night. Here are a few of the more common ones:
Your baby could be ready for longer wake windows.
Your nine month old may be getting too much daytime sleep.
Your baby is learning new skills.
Your baby may also lack the skills to sleep independently. Not sure how to teach this? The 5-24 Month Collection will help by giving you a step-by-step plan to 10-12 hours of night sleep in the crib. It’s an emotionally-connected, holistic approach covering bedtime, night wakings, night weaning, early morning wakings, and naps through the first two years of life.
Does my 9 month old need milk at night?
At nine months old, most babies can sleep 10-12 hours through the night without needing a feeding. If you have any specific concerns about your baby’s feeding needs, it’s always best to discuss that with your pediatrician.
If you’re wondering how to wean night feedings for your nine month old – or want to keep night feedings but still establish great sleep – The 5-24 Month Collection will help you create a plan to achieve your baby sleep goals.
Is it too late to sleep train at 9 months?
It’s never too late to have a great little sleeper.
If you’re ready to start sleep training, my 5-24 Month Collection will help! Using a personalized, holistic sleep training plan, I’ll show you how to meet your baby where they are developmentally. My classes will give you the guidance you need to navigate sleep regressions, manage nap issues, work on consolidated nighttime sleep, and so much more. You don’t have to walk this journey alone!
Still have a 8 month old? Check out 8 month sleep schedules. Already have a 10 month old? I've got you covered with my 10 month sleep schedules.