9 Mo Old Not Sleeping Through the Night

Updated on May 04, 2007
H.C. asks from Birmingham, AL
11 answers

I have a 9 month old who still does not sleep through the night most days. He goes to bed at 8 and wakes around midnight or 2AM. We feed him and he falls back to sleep. I have tried CIO (30 minutes) and attempting to soothe without picking him up. I feel we are in a cycle and that he is conditioned to eat in the middle of the night. I’ve tried to feed him more during the day, giving him a bottle of H2O in his crib at night. He does take naps well during the day 2 (2.5 hours total) and falls asleep on his own. Any suggestions?

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answers from Nashville on

My nine month old had been doing exactly the same thing. I have started feeding her a little cereal right before bed time. This had helped most nights.

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answers from Huntsville on

Hi H.-

My daughter slept 11-12 hours regularly at 3 months; my son just started sleeping through the night at 18 months! All kids are different, but I agree that kids become conditioned to eating in the middle of the night. I would stick with the water bottle at night, but not leave it in his crib. If he is laying down while drinking, it may leave fluid in his ears which could lead to an ear infection.

When you tried the CIO, did you stick with it for more than a few nights? It took my son about a week to get with the program, but each night he cried less and less. Try to decipher his cries. Sometimes my son has that "if everybody would just leave me alone I'll fuss for a minute or two and fall asleep on my own" cry.

Another thing to think about: he may be ready to transition to one nap a day. You have to read the child. Maybe two naps one day and one nap the next for a while would do the trick to make the transition easier (for all involved!!!).

Good luck!
Kids will keep you guessing, for sure!



answers from Mobile on

My daughter did the same thing! We started gradually cutting back the amount of milk we were giving her in the middle of the night. Say if she was taking four ounces we started giving her 3 ounces for 2 to 3 nights and then went to 2 ounces if we had a problem then we would go back up a 1/2 ounce for a few nights. One more thing we learned was to keep the same bed time routine every night, or atleast as close to the same as possible. Good luck! I know it is hard because we are battling her now to stay in her own bed and go to sleep. She has had a lot of ear problems and got used to me laying down with her every night! If it was not for the ear problems she would be a great sleeper. So much for a good routine!!



answers from Montgomery on

Hey H.,

A great book on sleep is "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Weisbluth. His recommendation is an earlier bedtime (sometimes 6 or 7 p.m.) which actually produces a longer solid night's sleep. We've found this to be true with our 3 kids. And he would probably say, yes, your baby isn't really hungry but just used to this routine. And at night, his recommendation is that there is no limit to crying. But usually it doesn't last longer than an hour or so. Really, you know your child's different cries. If he's hurt you usually can tell, but if he's just upset that you're not coming to him you can leave him to fall asleep. After a couple nights you'll find he gives up and realizes no more bottle at night!

I'd go get the book though because there are great testimonials and examples, as well as the fact that he is the expert. The book is neat because it doesn't deal with just infancy, but sleep issues all the way through the teenage years. You'll keep it as a resource and it's a good investment.

All the best!



answers from Memphis on

Hi there,

My 9 month old just started sleeping through the night two weeks ago. The main thing you need to know...he'll do it when he's ready. I tried some of the things you mentioned and nothing worked. Some tips though...don't put a bottle in his crib. If he wakes up from turning over, he might feel it lying there, sip some and wake up because he wants milk instead. Also, don't feed him when he wakes up. His body is waking him up because it's hungry. When his body gets used to not being fed at night, he's more likely to sleep longer. If he wakes up, give him a pacifier and rock him back to sleep. He'll fight it at first but will eventually get used to it. Plus, bottles in the crib raise the risk of SIDS and cause tooth decay (if it's milk).

good luck!



answers from Jackson on

Hi H.,
I am a new mother again also, I have 4 kids one who just turned a year old. She wasn't sleeping at night either. I started setting her bed time at 8:30pm & gave her a bath right before she ate dinner at about 7:30-8pm. She is now sleeping through the night & through most the morning if I let her.



answers from Knoxville on

My son is 2 and he hasn't ever slept through the night. I think it is unrealistic to expect children that young to sleep through the night. Their stomaches are very small so it is important for them to eat at night and eat breastmilk or formula. I'd like to add that you can google for Harvard's study on crying it out and how horrible it is for your child's emotional development.



answers from Dothan on

I remeber when my first was doing that I finnally had to just let him scream it out. It took him a couple of hours about every 30 min you go and make sure he is ok and then you leave again. I know this is hard but in the end it will be worth it. I just had to do this with my little girl about a month ago. My dh is in flight school so durring the week wasn't an option. We did it one weekend and she has been sleeping great through the night again.



answers from Knoxville on

Maybe try letting him sleep less during the day.start out by taking away a 1/2 hr or maybe even a whole hour from his naps. Or maybe just allowing him to have one morning nap. So by the time 8 pm comes he is ready to sleep thru. it may work.



answers from Tuscaloosa on


My first was the same way. I found out the hard way that what he was waking up for was the bottle. At about a year old, I weaned him off the bottle. He woke up that first week at around 2am and I would just rock him and he would cry, but I think once he realized that he wasn't going to get the bottle anymore (or anything) he just stopped waking up. The key is not to give in and just give the bottle. If you do want to give him something then try a Nuby sippy cup with water in it. I guarantee he won't wake up for that. Good luck!



answers from Macon on

I give my 16 month old son a cup of milk before bed and it stays in his crib all night. He also keeps a pacifier all the time. Water is not good for children if it contains floride. Do a google search on floride and you will be amazed at the health problems that come from it. Another thing too is to let him cry for 5 minutes the first night before you go in there and then just quietly lay him back down and leave. The next night he wakes up, wait 10 minutes before you go in there and then just quietly lay him back down. Eventually, it might take a week or so, he will get the picture and soothe himself back to sleep. Just dont make a habit of getting up everytime he cries or he will be doing it forever and it is hard to break. I also have a 3 year old that still gets up at least once at night.. My now 18 month old sleeps all night. But he eats a healthy dinner before bed with no juice after dinner. They get one cup of milk and thats it

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