12 answers

My 9 Month Old Is Waking in the Middle of the Night...

My 9 mo. old daughter has been sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old. She has always been a great sleeper and napper. Recently, she has been waking between 11:45 and 12:30 for the past week, and I don't know what's wrong. I was prepared for this when she was younger but not now. She never has a dirty diaper, and she is not hungry. She doesn't scream, she whines, so I know she isn't hurt. At first, I would be able to go to her crib, pick her up, and comfort her for a few seconds. Then I would put her down and she would go right back to sleep. Now, she won't go down and she just screams. Around the same time she started doing this, I took off her little mattress pad thing because she doesn't spit up anymore and I didn't think she needed it. Without the pad her matress and sheet is kind of loud and scratchy sounding, and it's a little cold too. So, last night me and my husband put the mattress pad back on. We will see how that works. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi N.,
My daughter did the same thing. When I asked the doctor, she just said her cycle is changing and she may just want to see you. She'll get back to her own schedule again. It shouldn't be a concern for apparently all babies do this at some point.
In regards to the mattress, I would get a mattress cover (it's comfortable and it gives just the right cushion) and keep it there until she graduates to an older bed.
Good luck!

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More Answers

N.,

Do you think she might be teething? My baby started doing the same thing..and not being comforted very easily about 3 weeks ago...she has since gotten two new teeth, and I think we are finally back on track with sleeping.

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I can think of two possibilities for her waking and not wanting to go back down.

1. Check to see if her gums are bulging because she might be teething. My kids always woke more when a new tooth was on the way.

2. Has she had a cold or runny nose lately? I ask because the Eustachian tube, which connects the ears, nose, and throat, is horizontal in infants (compared to adults, where it is angled for better drainage). That means that germs or bacteria that go in their mouth or nose cannot drain well. Rather, the germs/bacteria can sit in the Eustachian tube or migrate to the middle ear. If that happens, she could have fluid behind her ear drum or an ear infection.

I hope this helps and that you can figure out how to soothe her. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,
My daughter did the same thing. When I asked the doctor, she just said her cycle is changing and she may just want to see you. She'll get back to her own schedule again. It shouldn't be a concern for apparently all babies do this at some point.
In regards to the mattress, I would get a mattress cover (it's comfortable and it gives just the right cushion) and keep it there until she graduates to an older bed.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My kids still do this but they're old enough to reason with now. It seems to happen when they're about to master a new thing as babies. Now it's when they're stressed or worried about something; even if they're excited. My oldest (8) doesn't wake so much but he'll talk forever in his sleep. Still not very restful for him. Fun to listen to though. Encourage her if she's trying to cruise or walk and this too shall pass. Until she starts trying to talk!

FWIW,
L.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,

I feel your PAIN. My daughter Miranda went through this as well but it started around 6 months. It was horrible but she woke up several times. I nursed so somewhere around 9 months we began giving her cereal before going to bed. We also thought at times she was teething. I'm sorry I don't have any recommendations but sometimes it's nice to know you're not alone. I do know the doc told me that they start waking up and realizing your not there and it takes some time for them to sooth themselves back to sleep. Good luck.

P.
SAHM Mom of an awesome 14mo old girl
Owner of Kiddos Delight (www.kiddosdelight.com) Personalized Music and Storybook CD's for children

1 mom found this helpful

Mine did the same thing. What you are going to have to do and it is hard it go in her room comfort her and tell her it is time to go back to sleep. She will cry at first but it works trust me. Good luck

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I noticed a lot of suggestions have been to go to your daughter when she cries out. If the crying out is happening at the same time each night, I would suggest not going to her because she will get into a pattern of expecting mommy when she calls at any crazy hour. This happened to me with my daughter and I would go to her room and peek in to make sure she wasnt hurt but not let her see me. Then I would let her cry out for 15 minutes; usually she would fall back asleep before the 10 minute mark. If she did go over 15 min. I would comfort her by patting her on the back and giving her a kiss; but typically it was still difficult to get her back to sleep once she saw me. The crying out stopped after about 4 days of me letting her cry for several minutes.

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Both of mine did this. What I figured out is that it's a time of night where they are having a "light" phase of sleep, so when they were whimpering, etc. they weren't fully awake. If I went in there to mess with them, comfort, hold, etc. they'd actually wake up, then it was harder to get back to sleep. After going through it with my daughter, I was prepared for it when my son did it 9right around 9 months too), so I tried not going in there at all. He got himself back to sleep in no time (5 min or less). To this day (he's 16 months) he still whimpers or cries around 11pm most nights for a minute or two, then goes back to sleep. Occasionally he will sound really upset, so I go in to comfort him, but I rarely pick him up to do so. You might go in to comfort her for a couple more nights, but don't pick her up, and eventually stop going in there at all and see what happens. Good luck!

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Sounds like you already got lots of good advice. My daughter (9.5mo) has been doing the same thing and it is just starting to get better. She was learning to walk (just took her first steps three nights ago!) and was having a little bit of a growth spurt. I think someone else already mentioned the learning new things aspect that can disturb their sleep, but growth spurts can, too. I know you say that she's not hungry and my daughter wouldn't take a bottle, either (until one night about a week and a half ago when the waking happened at 4am in addition to the early 12:30 or so waking - when she wouldn't calm down, I finally tried a bottle and she downed it! She went back to sleep woke up about a 1/2 hour later than usual and ate her regular breakfast!). Since then, I've added some extra protein to her diet (in the form of tofu since she still doesn't have any teeth!) and that seems to have helped tremendously. She's finally having better nights (and so is mommy!).

I hope you get some relief soon.

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I agree with other moms, mine used to wake up at night whenever she was teething, specially if she had a runny nose. Mine did it with EVERY tooth, we'd finally get to sleeping thru the night again and it would start all over for the next tooth. I read that they can also do this when they start doing something new, crawling, walking anything. Sometimes I would hold my daughter until she went back to sleep, other times that she did not want to go back to sleep I'd tell her I'm going to put you in your crib, you have to go to sleep. And I'd put her in there and walk away, after 10 min or so she would cry herself to sleep. It's something hard to do but it works. I know I hate doing that, but sometimes it's necessary.

1 mom found this helpful

I would definitely put the mattress pad back on. It could be an easy fix, or at least help the problem. I suspect that your daughter's biggest problem is that at 9 months, she is beginning the peak of separation anxiety. It usually is at its worst between 9 and 12 months. Be patient. Continue to go in to her and comfort her. I would recommend that you not pick her up but rather comfort her from the side of the crib. Try to just pat or rub her gently or stroke her hair while whispering "shhhh." For the first night or two, you may have to pick her up, but keep it as brief as possible. As you place her back into her crib, tell her you will stay with her in simple words, such as "Mommy will stay here" or "Mommy stay." Then, sit in a chair next to her crib whispering "shhh" until she falls asleep. She's probably just looking for extra reassurance.
The second thing to consider is what's going on during the day. Are her naps still good (she should probably be getting 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the morning and 1 to 3 hours in the afternoon.) What time is she going to bed? (should be between 7:00 and 8:00.)

I hope this helps,
L. Stipe
Newborn Specialist, Infant Sleep Trainer, Parenting Coach
www.NannyForNewborns.com

Both of my girls did the same exact thing at 9 months (after sleeping through the night since 7 weeks). My doctor told me that it is real common to go through seperation anxiety at 9 months. Her advice was to go in her room and reassure her that you are still there but not to pick her up (she will get use to that).
I would walk into my daughter's room, pat her on the back and tell her she is ok and remind her that it is still "night-night" time and that I love her. It took a couple of days (which is very hard b/c I hated walking away from her when she was reaching for me) until she finally new what was going to happen every night when I came in the room. It is hard, but you just have to be cosistent. Just know that this is just a "seperation anxiety phase" and it does pass.

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